The funniest thing about
Control is how I came to have it. I thought I’d give it a spin on Xbox Live for PC. In about two hours of gameplay, I experienced more crashes to desktop than my entire gaming career. So I bought it on Steam, at full price, to see if it’s Xbox or just my PC. It was Xbox Live. So that was the story of how I paid full price for Control on Steam because Xbox Live sucked, while this is a very short review of that game.
Don’t expect battle footage in this review. Battles in Control are hectic, and between movement, shooting, and using powers, you don’t really have time to F12.
One of the most unfortunate features of this excellent game is the upgrade loot system. Simply put, you’ll stop caring about the loot you find within hours. Just recycle anything that’s bellow the highest rarity that you have now. It’s doubly sad because exploration is usually awarded with boxes that spit out these upgrades rather than anything genuinely interesting.
Now this is the good stuff to loot in Control! There’s a whole lot of lore scattered in files, correspondence, memos, and so on. Wish they ended up as those exploration rewards rather than populating a room three at a time. Of special note are the intercepted letters from folks that like accessorizing with tin foil hats. The world of Control (and, spoilers, Alan Wake) is crazy enough that the Time Cube guy might actually have actionable intelligence, so all those rants have to be read.
Control also delivers quite a bit of its lore via live action videos, which… actually amazingly well. It helps that you don’t encounter those characters rendered in the game (with minor exceptions), so there’s no whiplash. There’s, like, so much video and audio content in Control you guys.
Aside from the general “go there, kill something – possibly a boss” missions, you can get ones that are a bit… quirky. They usually come from Ahti, the best character in the game. On the other hand, even with the extra helpful maps, I had to rely on guides to get at some of the stuff. Oops!
I bet this model was included in the game because somebody really loved the PBY Catalina. In general, Control really loves to go to small detail in every sense of the word. And I’m not just talking about having a staggering amount of physical objects everywhere – even though I’m amazed how my computer doesn’t melt into slag when I dash charge through three sets of office desks. There’s stuff like random detritus starting floating when Jesse is flying or when she’s picking up things with her powers. There’s a lot of environmental detail, like the posters telling employees to not eat the Mold. The game’s great.
Control also features purely cosmetic outfits and a photography mode. That’s why I took this picture of the only golden skin in gaming history to look any good. All in all, from combat to exploration to voice acting to lore, Control is a good game, and I paid full price for it because Xbox Live for PC sucks, lol.