Finnish video game developer Remedy Entertainment has specialized in making cinematic single-player action games since its inception in 1995. During the next 23 years, it has churned out commercially successful games such as the Max Payne series and more recently, Quantum Break. The firm’s latest project – Control – is set for release in 2019, and features complex gameplay mechanics that aims to elongate the playing experience altogether.
Control – a third-person shooter action-adventure game – is being published by 505 Games, after they partnered with Remedy in May 2017. The Northline engine, which was used to power Quantum Break, is also being utilized to power Control. In June 2018, the game was officially revealed by Remedy at the Sony Interactive Entertainment’s E3 2018 press conference. Critics noted the stark similarity in the aesthetics of the game as compared to Quantum Break. However, the trailer featured a female character as the lead protagonist – a shift from Remedy’s previous games where the protagonist was predominantly male.
The female lead is Jesse Faden, who gains unexplained supernatural powers after a traumatic childhood encounter. While seeking answers to explain her abilities, she stumbles across Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), a clandestine government agency tasked with studying and containing supernatural phenomena. When the Bureau’s headquarters, the Oldest House, is invaded by an extra-terrestrial force called the Hiss, she is thrust into the role of the director of FBC. Using her supernatural powers and haunting childhood memories, Faden embarks on a mission to defeat the Hiss and in the process, uncover the answer she seeks.
Remedy’s developers have emphasized on creating a rich game world instead of a large and complex storyline. The foremost weapon to fight against enemies is The Director’s Pistol, a firearm that transforms into different shapes. Thanks to the non-linear storyline of the game, players can take up side quests to explore the game’s world – and acquire Objects of Power that can enhance the combat efficiency of the Pistol. Objects of Power can unlock new skills, one of them allowing Faden to levitate in the air. In addition, players can also utilize Faden’s supernatural and telekinetic abilities to hurl objects towards enemies. Overall, the aim of the player is to be in control and guide Faden towards defeating the nefarious Hiss.
Another goal for Remedy was to create a game that has high re-playability. “I want to retain the way Remedy tells stories and creates worlds, but present that in a way that gives the player more agency,” says Mikael Kasurinen, Control’s game director. “We want the game to have the feel of a sandbox. The world is a key element in Control, and everything revolves around it. That’s the biggest difference between this and our previous games.
Overall, Control introduces new concepts into its gameplay while holding onto Remedy’s classic tropes – a strong narrative-focused game situated in a dark, surreal atmosphere setting. Control is set to release in 2019, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms.