Control (video game)

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Control
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Developer(s)Remedy Entertainment
Publisher(s)505 Games
Director(s)
Writer(s)
  • Sam Lake
  • Anna Megill
  • Brooke Maggs
Composer(s)
Platform(s)
Release27 August 2019
Genre(s)Third-person shooter, action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Control is an upcoming action-adventure video game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by 505 Games. The game revolves around the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), a secret U.S. government agency tasked with containing and studying phenomena which violate the laws of reality. As Jesse Faden, the Bureau's newest Director, players explore the Oldest House - the FBC's paranormal New York headquarters - and utilize powerful abilities in order to defeat a deadly enemy known only as the Hiss, which has invaded and corrupted reality. Control is set to be released on 27 August 2019 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

Like Remedy's previous projects, Control is played from a third-person perspective, and is built using Remedy's proprietary Northlight Engine, which was first used on the company's previous title Quantum Break. As Jesse Faden, players wield the Service Weapon, a supernatural firearm that can be adapted into a variety of different forms with different combat applications.[2] In addition to the Service Weapon, Jesse also possesses a variety of supernatural abilities, including telekinesis, levitation, and the ability to control certain enemies. The Service Weapon and Jesse's abilities both expend Jesse's energy, necessitating a balance in their usage. Both the Service Weapon and Jesse's abilities can be upgraded throughout the game via a skill tree; in order to expand the skill tree, players must locate various Objects of Power - ordinary items acted upon by supernatural forces - hidden throughout the Oldest House. Due to the versatility of the game's loadouts, Control's combat system can be customized and balanced to each player's personal preferences.[3] Health in Control does not recharge automatically, and must be picked up from fallen enemies.[4]

Control is set within the Oldest House, a featureless Brutalist skyscraper in New York City, which is referred to in-game as a "Place of Power." The Oldest House's interior is far larger than its exterior, an enormous, constantly shifting supernatural realm that defies the laws of spacetime.[5] Control is built in the Metroidvania format, with a large world map that can be explored at a nonlinear pace, unlike Remedy's previous titles, which were primarily linear. As the player unlocks new abilities and clearance throughout the game, new areas of the Oldest House can be explored, opening various side-quests. Certain areas known as Control Points can be used to fast travel throughout the building after they have been cleared of enemies. A new A.I. system known as the Encounter Director controls interactions with enemies based on the player's level and location in the Oldest House.[6] Enemies in Control are predominantly human agents of the FBC possessed by the Hiss, an otherworldly force. They range from standard humans carrying firearms to heavily mutated variations which possess a variety of superpowers. Some of Jesse's abilities allow her to seize control of enemies' minds temporarily, turning them into her allies, and allowing their abilities to be used for the player's benefit.[7]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

Control revolves around a clandestine United States government agency known as the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC). The FBC's goal is to contain, study, and ultimately control objects and phenomena which defy scientific law. To that end, they seek out such phenomena across the world, including "Altered Items", ordinary objects acted upon by otherworldly forces, and "Altered World Events." The FBC contains Altered Items within the Oldest House, a featureless Brutalist skyscraper in Manhattan that acts as the agency's headquarters. The Oldest House itself is considered a "Place of Power," and is vastly larger on the inside than on the outside, breaking the laws of reality. The Oldest House is connected to alternate dimensions which are studied by the FBC. Occasionally, otherworldly forces leak into the Oldest House, including the Hiss, an unidentified force which acts as Control's main antagonist. During the events of the game, the Hiss invades the Oldest House and the FBC, and Jesse Faden is tasked with regaining control of the supernatural building and restoring order to the Bureau.

Plot[edit]

After a traumatic childhood experience grants her unexplained supernatural powers, Jesse Faden (Courtney Hope) seeks answers about her past at the Federal Bureau of Control, a clandestine government agency tasked with studying and containing supernatural phenomena. However, as Jesse arrives at the FBC's headquarters, the Oldest House, it is suddenly invaded by a paranormal force known only as the Hiss, which kills FBC Director Zachariah Trench (James McCaffrey) and begins to possess agents of the Bureau, turning them into its slaves. In the chaos, Jesse picks up Trench's fallen sidearm, the Service Weapon, which she discovers is a supernatural Object of Power that "chooses" its wielder via a mysterious ritual. Due to the Bureau's rules, Jesse is deemed to be the new Director, and is suddenly thrust into the role of retaking the Oldest House and defeating the Hiss in order to restore order to the FBC. Along the way, she explores the deep and shifting halls of the Oldest House and seeks answers about her past, aided in her endeavor by the FBC's surviving agents - including the agency's Head of Research, Dr. Casper Darling (Matthew Porretta) - as well as Trench's ghostly presence.

Development[edit]

The game is being developed by Remedy Entertainment. Mikael Kasurinen, who has worked on Remedy's previous project, Quantum Break, is the game's director and Sam Lake served as the game's writer and creative director.[8][9] Development of the game began before the release of Quantum Break.[10] Previous Remedy games, including Quantum Break, made references to some of Control's story elements, including Altered World Events. Instead of focusing on creating a large and complex story, the game's writers put more emphasis on creating a game world and universe that is rich enough for players to craft their own stories.[10] Another goal for the team was to create a game that has high replayability.[10] Lake assured players that the game will nonetheless feature a strong narrative, one that is "narrowly focused" according to Kasurinen.[11]

In May 2017, Remedy announced that they had partnered with 505 Games to publish the game, then codenamed "P7". 505 provided marketing and publishing support and a fund of €7.75 million to assist the game's development, while Remedy retained the intellectual property rights to Control. In the press release, Remedy revealed that the game will have complex gameplay mechanics and that it will be a "longer term experience" than its previous games.[12] P7 was being worked on by Remedy alongside two other projects.[13] The game was officially revealed at Sony Interactive Entertainment's E3 2018 press conference.[14] It will be Remedy's first game on a Sony platform since 2003's Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.[15] The game's main cast was announced at New York Comic Con in 2018, consisting of various stars from Remedy's previous games. Courtney Hope, who played the character Beth Wilder in Quantum Break, stars as Jesse Faden, while James McCaffrey, known for his roles as the titular character of Max Payne and Thomas Zane in Alan Wake, plays the role of Zachariah Trench. Matthew Porretta, famous for his role as the titular character of Alan Wake, is also featured as the character of Dr. Casper Darling.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jeff, Cork. "Control Is Coming Out This August". Game Informer. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  2. ^ Vader, Leo. "Remedy's Control Only Has One Gun. Here's Why It's Awesome". Game Informer. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. ^ Shea, Brian. "A Look At Every Supernatural Ability In Remedy's Control". Game Informer.
  4. ^ @@bacon_sandwich (15 March 2019). "I think you'll be happy to learn in Control, player health does not regenerate automatically. It is dropped from enemies as you damage them, and you have decide when to collect it" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Shea, Brian. "Uncovering The Mysteries Of Control's The Oldest House". Game Informer. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  6. ^ Favis, Elise. "How Control's Gameplay Differs From Past Remedy Games". Game Informer. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  7. ^ Shea, Brian. "A Look At Every Supernatural Ability In Remedy's Control". Game Informer.
  8. ^ Takahashi, Dean (July 5, 2017). "Remedy's Sam Lake on 21 years of game storytelling and transmedia". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  9. ^ Shea, Brian (June 11, 2018). "Remedy Announces Gravity-Bending Shooter, Control". Game Informer. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Purchese, Robert (May 26, 2017). "Remedy on life after Xbox exclusivity". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Crecente, Brian (December 18, 2016). "Why Alan Wake's creators want to make you the storyteller". Polygon. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  12. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (May 3, 2018). "505 Games will publish Remedy Entertainment's new game". Gameindustry.biz. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  13. ^ Horti, Samuel (February 18, 2018). "Remedy's upcoming third-person action game, codenamed P7, will be out in 2019". PC Gamer. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  14. ^ Russell, Bradley (June 11, 2018). "E3 2018: New Remedy Game Control Announced at Sony Conference". Game Revolution. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  15. ^ Handrahan, Matthew (April 11, 2017). "Remedy eyes PS4 development after 20% revenue rise". Gameindustry.biz. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  16. ^ Dwan, Hannah. "Alan Wake and Max Payne's voice actors are going to appear in Remedy's next game, Control". VG24/7. Retrieved 15 October 2018.

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