Control Video Game Review

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Control is a third-person shooter game from Remedy Entertainment. You can know Remedy from projects such as Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break. Control was released on August 27, 2021. The game got many rewards. IGN gave the best game of the year award to Control.

The story before the main game

But enough about the studio. Let’s move on to the game’s plot itself. The game tells us a story about Jesse Faden. She was born in 1991 in Ordinarium City, Wisconsin. Jesse was close with her brother, Dylan Faden, and often played with him at the Ordinarium junkyard. In August 2002, the siblings lived through a turning point that divided their lives into before and after. Later this situation would be named “Alternate world event in the Ordinarium”. They found out that the junkyard, where they usually play, had changed. Jesse and Dylan were able to walk deep into the landfill. There they found an old slide projector, which they discovered was capable of opening doors to other dimensions by projecting images visible on individual slides.

Jesse and Dylan use it for entertainment and travel to parallel universes to play there. After a while, they start taking their friend named Neil along, who has often suffered from the school bullies. But soon, the same bullies knock out Neil’s secret about the slide projector and use this information to steal it. After that, Neil disappears.

The thieves also begin to travel to other dimensions, but prefer a world called “Temple”. The “Temple” is a kind of ruin made of concrete in the likeness of a warehouse or bomb shelter, in which it is very dark. Also in this world, there lives a certain entity called Not-Mother and her cubs. Once in this world, the hooligans began to drink Non-Mother’s milk, which made them more aggressive and even began to turn into something inhuman.

After some time, due to excessive aggression, hooligans brutally kill a math teacher. Jesse and Dylan realize that something is wrong and follow the killers, who lead them to their headquarters in a cave, they’ve hid the missing slide projector. Soon, the police arrive because of the teacher’s murder and try to take control of the case. They catch the killers, and during the capture, the leader of the gang shouts that Not-Mother will kill everyone. The next morning, almost all adults disappear from the city, and children left without parents begin to join a gang of hooligans.

In an attempt to save everyone, Dylan and Jesse go to the cave of the killers and take the slide projector that was turned back on. But they were noticed. The chase begins. On their way to escape, Dylan falls and injures his knee. Because of this The mutated killers almost catch them. But at this moment Nile, who while gone missing was somehow changed into a dog-looking beast, suddenly comes to the rescue. While Neil distracts the enemies, Dylan and Jesse try to turn off the slide projector but fail. Then they changed the slide in it to slide number 36 with a world called Hand. “The Hand” is a seemingly lifeless desert of red sand, in the distance of which five tall columns can be seen. As soon as the portal to this world opens, another paranormal entity turns into the brother and sister from there. Jesse named her Polaris because she looks like a star. Next, we learn that there is a certain bureau called FBC. Agents followed Dylan and Jesse, so the siblings took them right to the slide projector. The FBC tries to apprehend the children, but Jesse manages to escape. Dylan, on the other hand, was unable to escape and the slide projector is taken by agents to the place called the Oldest House.

Already in the bureau, scientists found out that Dylan is the ideal candidate for the role of the future FBC Director. The current Agency Director decides that under the head of the science department, Dr. Darling authority, Dylan will be trained to be the director. With the help of power items, they give him paranormal abilities. But, perhaps because of his young age, he cannot always control them, which causes a series of accidents that result in the deaths of agents of the bureau. The FBC begins to understand that Dylan cannot be a director and, to protect others, they decide to put him in one of the cells of the panopticon, a prison for everything paranormal.

Now for the main plot

The place where it all started

Not much is known about Jesse and what have happened to her between the time of the incident at the Ordinarium and the beginning of the game. All we know is that she has been working as a cleaner for a while, stealing from stores, and staying in a psychiatric hospital. Also, Jesse was always trying to find the secret government agency that stole her brother, but of course, these attempts were fruitless.

The FBC had been following her for some time but did not interfere in her life, although it has been assumed that Jesse, like her brother, was an excellent candidate for the position of director. And so, while Jesse was in the asylum, Polaris, whom Jesse had not heard from since the incident at the Ordinarium, began to approach her again. Polaris told her where the headquarters of the agency that kidnapped her brother was located and asked her to go there at a certain time because something terrible was going to happen there. Jessie trusted Polaris and traveled to New York where she found the FBC headquarters, Oldest House.

At first glance, it looked empty inside, but as Jesse moved deeper in, she met a janitor named Ahti. After their conversation, Ahti appoints her as his assistant. As the game progresses, we see that Ahti is far from an ordinary janitor. We are not told directly who he is, but we are given hints that he is a deity. After talking with Ahti, Jesse moves on through the building. She finds the director’s office and finds the director’s body there. He committed suicide. There, Jesse also finds the Director’s service weapon, and Polaris tells Jesse to use it. As soon as she picks up the weapon, she is taken to a test to wield the weapon, which she successfully passes. Passing the test gives her the director’s position as well.

Director Jesse at work

Already in her role as head of the agency, she goes deep into the Older House on reconnaissance and soon finds the surviving agents of the FBC, led by Emily Pope, Dr. Darling’s assistant. From her, Jesse learns that the agency has been attacked by creatures Jesse calls the Hiss. They can infect people without a protective device called Hedron Resonance Amplifiers (HRAs). For some reason, however, they were unable to infect Jesse. After talking to the Pope, Jesse goes to get a direct communication phone, an object of power that allows the Director to contact the Council without having to visit the astral dimension. But to get to the direct communication phone, she has to go through the Oceanview Hotel.

The Oceanview Hotel is another place of power featured in the game. And this one, we will have to visit several times. To get there, you have to find one of the switches in the Oldest House and pull it exactly three times. One of the main features of the hotel is that it connects the places of power, which allows you to move quickly between them if you perform the right rituals. But the hotel works by dream logic, so it’s not always easy for someone in their right mind to figure out what it takes to open the right door.

During the game, in the hotel, we have to get behind the door with the pyramid and into the janitor’s room. The first room sends us to certain places in the Old House. And the janitor’s room helps us find Ahti, who, through the foundation of the Oldest House, went to another world to spend his vacation there. Where the rest of the character rooms lead is unknown, as no one has yet been able to open any of them. After walking through the hotel for the first time, Jesse gets to the direct phone and ties it to himself. In the following missions, we are slowly introduced to the world of Control. Soon we learn about former CIA agent Helen Marshall, who is the head of Operations. Marshall is a rather secretive person and knows a great deal about the Oldest House. It is from Marshall Jesse learns that her brother is being held like a prisoner in a panopticon. So, of course, Jesse goes there to see him. But when she gets to Dylan’s cell, all she finds instead of her brother is destruction and dead guards. Immediately, the main character is contacted by Emily Pope. She informs Jesse that Dylan has come to them and surrendered, but that he is infected with Hiss. However, his symptoms don’t show up like the others.

Jesse goes back to Pope and learns that Dylan, apparently because he’s special, hasn’t completely lost control of himself, unlike the others infected with the Hisses. Jesse goes to talk to her brother, and he tells her that the Hisses are making their way into the Oldest House thanks to the bureau turning on the slide projector, which in the distant past her brother and sister had turned off. Dylan blames all the trouble on the FBC and suggests that Jesse learn about the perfect candidates. But the little brother tells us it’s all for a reason. The only thing that separates the Hisses from an unhindered spread is Hedron’s signal. And because Darling has set up a huge HRA at the entrance to Hedron, the Hisses can’t get close there. So they need someone uninfected on their side to take down the amplifier protecting Hedron. Jesse is best suited for that role. So Dylan and the Hisses hope that when she learns the truth about the bureau, she’ll get mad at the agency, pledge her loyalty to the Hisses, and destroy Hedron’s only defense.

But of course, this plan doesn’t work out. Jesse gets to the ideal candidate selection department and learns that the bureau has been considering her for the role of director and has been keeping tabs on her. This doesn’t make her very happy, but she doesn’t accept that it’s worth it for the whole world to be infected with Hisses. By all means, Jesse decides to find the slide projector and shut it down. She begins a search for it and soon learns where it is supposed to be. But to get there, she has to go through a maze created with an object of power, the Ashtray and Cigarette.

And of course, it’s not easy to overcome, so Jesse will need help from Ahti, a janitor who can get in anywhere. The protagonist goes in search of him and soon finds him in another dimension, on vacation. Ahti gives her his Pony player, which helps her get through the maze. Jesse gets to the place where the slide projector is supposed to be, but she doesn’t find it there. Instead, she finds Hedron nearby and thinks she has found Polaris’ body. But as we remember, to get to Hedron, you have to remove a huge HRA. Jesse doubts whether to do this, but Polaris convinces her that it is necessary.

Hedron’s only protection is gone, which causes the Hisses to immediately infiltrate and try to destroy him. Jesse struggles to save him, but despite her best efforts, nothing works. Hedron dies. And with his death, the resonance amplifiers stopped working. In the end, everyone who was in the bureau, including Jesse, gets infected with the Hisses and we see the fake credits.

And is this the end?

But this, of course, is not the end. The credits break, and Jesse ends up as an errand girl working in the bureau. But it’s only an illusion. Jesse realizes this and takes control of her mind. Thanks to this, she finds Polaris inside her mind. Jesse learns that Hedron is only a conduit of signals, not a source, and merges with Polaris, becoming a conduit instead of Hedron. Jesse breaks free of the mirage and finds that the illusion lasted no more than a second. Thanks to this, the Hisses don’t have time to infect the remaining humans to the point of no return. Jesse’s Resonance Amplifiers start working again and protect the humans from the Hisses.

Meanwhile, Dylan escapes his imprisonment and heads to where the slide projector is. Jesse, thanks to hearing the previous headmaster’s thoughts during the obsession, knows where the place is and so she follows her brother there. Upon reaching the slide projector, Jesse discovers that Dylan, along with the Hisses, has entered into the astral dimension and is trying to infect the Council. To save him, Jesse also travels to the astral dimension. She makes her way to Dylan through the hordes of infected and cleans him off, risking his death in the process. But Dylan doesn’t die thanks to being special; he only falls into a coma.

Following his brother’s cleansing, Jesse turns off the slide projector, thereby closing the door through which the Hisses entered. But this is not the end. The infected are still flooding the corridors of the bureau, and coping with them is a challenge for the director. Jesse accepts the role of head of the FBC and intends to make the agency better in the future.

This is where the main plot of the game ends. We may see a sequel in the future, but there is no information about a sequel at this time.

Gameplay videos and reflections

As for gameplay, it’s a very dynamic 3-person shooter. I was impressed by missions like Ashtray Labyrinth and Swift Platform. The music and color scheme combined with the gameplay makes you have a good time and immerse yourself in this dynamic world of Control. If you haven’t played it yet, I highly recommend you give it a try. The game will not disappoint you!

Ashtray Maze Mission

Swift Patrol Mission(Foundation DLC)

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