CONTROL - (Remedy Entertainment and 505 Games)

It’s basically the final fight though and there’s only three or so waves (best advice I can give, having ragequit once myself, is to use levitate a lot and keep moving). The coda after it is superb though.

It’s that third wave that does me in with the dudes that throw the radar dishes at me. Argh. The most annoying thing is having to climb the damn stairs again to get back to the battle.

(I feel your pain, BTW. It’s a recurring theme of Remedy Games that they don’t do end of game climaxes that don’t involve a difficulty spike with a large wave of tough enemies.)

I though Control’s end fight was hectic but manageable. Quantum Break defeated me.

I very nearly gave up at that same point. When I made it through, the actual ending was underwhelming enough to retroactively diminish my enjoyment of the entire game.

I’m just stunned at how well this reviewed. Sure, Control has lots of style. But that’s all it has. The systems related to gameplay ranges from really bad to mediocre.

The fighting is obviously the weakest part. None of the guns feel good (no impact, inaccurate, incredibly small clips with long reloads, and mostly ineffective). And they’ve seemingly intentionally made weapon switching maximally awkward, just to make sure that nobody accidentally tries to use the right tool for the job.

Instead of the guns you’re clearly supposed to use the telekinesis ability to throw crap at enemies. It’s just absurd how much more damage it does than the guns, and how much easier it is to upgrade. But the problem is that the telekinesis is really boring to use. There’s no aiming, there’s no interesting timing, the rate of fire is really low, and the wind-up is frustratingly long. It’s basically just “is there an enemy on the screen? if there is, just press right bumper for about 1.5 seconds, release it, and the enemy will die”. Why is this the centerpiece of combat rather than a special purpose tool you use once every few encounters, just like the shield is.

The combination of the health system and the way incoming damage works make for a lot of really frustrating moments. It feels like most of the time you’re just taking no damage at all. And then you take 80% of your health bar in one go, and suddenly have a knife to the throat of needing to run into the middle of enemies to pick up the health shards.

The idea for the health system was probably to encourage aggressive play. No turtling around waiting for health regen; if you want healing you need to kill some enemies for it. But that doesn’t work when the health bar is almost always either at 100% or so low that you’re likely to die from a single hit. It’s never in between, and it’s that gray area in between where the “health from aggression” system should be interesting.

[The ultra-punitive checkpointing makes this even worse in the late game, since you’re either in a position where everything is perfect, or you’re about to lose 10-15 minutes of gameplay.]

Finally, the bulk of the enemies you fight are bad. They’re not distinct enough, it’s hard to tell at a glance what you’re actually fighting. And I found a lot of the attack animations to very non-visible.

The comparison to Remnant: From the Ashes is pretty stark. Both games tried to do the same kind of highly mobile and aggressive 3rd person combat with a small weapon selection. Remnant was janky as hell, but I ended up playing through it 2.5 times just because the combat felt so good. In Control, I was never happy to see a combat encounter.

That was longer than expected, I’ll split other gameplay topics than fighting to a separate message.

Spot on I gave up halfway through the game because of the mediocre combat. No idea why people praised it so much. The whole brutalist architecture setting is cool but there is also a lot of asset reuse through the game that makes the discovery of a new area kind of boring. The story is ok but way too much is told through text snippets that you find all over the place. Basically every room has one or more of them and that’s just too much reading to not break up the flow of traversing the world.

I beat the game and completed all side missions but didn’t get near enough ability points to max out my skill tree. I read reports of other players doing the same and maxed out their skills with points to spare. What am I missing? As far as I can tell alert missions don’t give you skill points.

Secret areas give you skill points too - there’s about a dozen in the game, I think?

Control received GOTY from IGN. This little video Sam Lake released was a nice personal touch.

I just played this the first time for 2 hours, and wow RTX is jaw dropping in terms of the way a level looks and how you are reflected within a level. Second, 2 hours felt like 15 minutes of awesome.

I am deeper down the rabbit hole, and this game is amazing.

The level of destruction is most impressive.

Just judging from the Qt3 podcast, and Tom’s review, I think Control is also a top contender at being Tom Chick’s Game of the Year as well.

I’m definitely looking forward to this when it gets a little cheaper. Sounds like a great game.

Secrets facts:

  • Control protagonist is a Building
  • Control is Half-Life 3 under a different name
  • Control is a Elders Gods / Cosmic Terror shooter

Concur! I just cleared the Black Rock Quarry section, and I am totally absorbed by this game.

I wish the weapon and mod system was a little better thought-out, but otherwise having a great time.

I thought you played as a lady with telekinetic powers? I don’t understand your post, but I’ve only watched a little footage of the game so far. Did Valve have a hand in this?

No, Valve wasn’t involved with Control. It was developed by Remedy and published by 505.