Control felt a little too CONTROLled for me

(Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2022)
Red Hiss

So for Control I went into it almost completely blind. I knew it was a game about a woman with powers that flung things around, but I had no idea what to expected other than that. I actually thought she was some sort of test specimen and trying to get out of the facility was going to be ’the thing’ of the game, but it was the complete opposite.

I really wanted to like Control a LOT, it’s a semi-open world metroidvania-ish game with sci-fi/spooky stuff, that’s all good/amazing stuff. I think what held it back for me was I never felt like it actually WAS that. Like it has all these amazing ideas that it DOES pull off, but the things it only does okay with is what stuck with me more.

tldr Ratings:

First Time Playing Yup
Play Time 12hrs
Difficulty Normal
100% Completion No
Fun 7 / 10
Creepy X-Files 6 / 10
Jank 2 / 10

Setting

The more you explore the Bureau of Control, you will both get more insight into what she is looking for, as well as get more confused about what is REALLY going on at this place. The game allows you to explore everything at your own pace (providing you have the keycards). I think its all very well designed in terms of the atmosphere and making it feel like a real place people would work, though the keycard gates seem slightly arbitrary. Both in the ways to gate the player into areas they “shouldn’t” access yet, and in gatekeeping secrets for no reason other than “DON’T FORGET THIS SPOT FOR LATER”-isms.

Floating Staff

The more you explore, the more otherworldly elements start coming up, and it’s actually really well done. It really makes you feel like some parts of the building are in another dimension entirely, espeically in the more research/experimental parts of the Bureau.

Spacey Quarry

Combat/Enemies

You generally have two ways of combat. Your “Service Weapon” which is a pistol that can transform into different weapons, and also her telekinesis powers which you can pretty early on in the game. I generally used the charge-up/sniper transformation that can one-two hit most low-mid tier enemies, but I also put all my ability points into my telekinesis throwing energy pool/effectiveness.

I thought the throwing almost worked “too” well, I could spam it near the end if the game by just picking up large objects (or even corpses) and one-hit/do major damage to other enemies. And when my energy had to recharge, I just switched to the pistol until it came back, rinse repeat.

Aiming

The enemy faction is called The Hiss, or at least thats what Jesse coined them. The Hiss are for the most part, infected/chaotic beings. There are infected soliders with guns, zombie-like guys, invisible/spooky boys, flying guys you HAVE to shoot, kamakaze guys, etc. I think the enemy pool is actually pretty diverse, incentivizing combat puzzles most of the time. Though like I said before, once you master the throw/gun back and forth combo, most fights (even bosses) can be over with before you realizing that they ARE bosses, at least for me.

Monster

Final Thoughts

Once I beat the main game/quests, I didn’t feel like going through the DLC content/extras. It’s a great game with lots of content, but near the end I was just going through the motions to complete the story so I could get on with other games. It’s not a BAD game by any means, and not even a JANK game. Control just didn’t have enough staying power for me to CARE after a while, and for a game that centers on exploration/constant quests all within the same map, that combo of not caring/exploring doesn’t do it for me.