Control Review - IGN (2023)

Control Review - IGN (1)

ByJonathon Dornbush


Apr 28, 2020 10:14 pm


Aug 26, 2019 1:00 pm

(Video) Control Review
I wish Remedy could make even more games, because Control reminded me of this studio’s knack for crafting engrossing, oddball worlds with an incredible sense of place. Control is perhaps Remedy’s weirdest yet, with the talking upside down pyramid who’s also your boss being about the sixth-strangest part. But thanks to sharp writing, a set of awesome and varied psychic combat abilities, and an impressively thought-out world, it was easy to wrap my head around what made this adventure tick.
Infiltrating the Federal Bureau of Control as Jesse Faden and her blue wavy spirit buddy, I found myself fascinated. The Bureau’s headquarters seem like a drab, nondescript office building at first, and Jesse’s search for answers to events in her past were equally mundane. But Control quickly reveals what lies behind those concrete walls: within the first chapter I became both the janitor’s assistant and the new acting director of the Bureau.

Jesse’s search is then sidetracked by solving everyone’s problems. And while taking over the bureaucracy of a federal institution may sound like a dull time, when it’s filled with as many weird and distinctive characters and overrun by an inter-dimensional force known as the Hiss, it rarely ever is in practice.

Mind Over Matter

As a kid who grew up on the X-Men, I’ve always wished I’d discover some latent psychic powers, or at least the ability to grow my fingernails super fast or something. Control’s lineup of moves is the closest I’ve gotten thus far to wielding supernatural abilities, and Remedy has made each of them fun to use. There’s enough variety for most of the 10-hour story campaign to make almost every move feel important.Jesse’s telekinesis is the best of the bunch. With a wave of her hand a crate, table, or ever-reliable chunk of concrete snaps to your side with satisfying urgency, followed by being hurled at foes and the destructible environment, with just as much of a thrilling zoom. I easily relied on this form of attack the most, and while it’s not quite the same level of tactile satisfaction as Kratos’ Leviathan axe in God of War, the oomph of hurling heavy objects around with my mind is as close as I’ve felt since.

The other abilities aren’t quite as handy but mostly still fun to use. Late-game hovering allows for even more mobility, and Jesse’s shield is great when enemies with telekinesis of their own force you to go on the defensive. Control’s combat encourages constant movement, and finding cover is frequently necessary to survival, even if you have to summon it yourself. The standard difficulty level isn’t unfairly hard, but I died a fair number of times when I didn’t think to balance both offensive and defensive skills and got too cocky with jumping into the fray, for example. Getting up close and using the psionic wave force melee ability can be advantageous when you’re down to just a couple of foes, but anymore than that and short-range combat usually led to a swift death, in my experience.

Jesse's telekinesis is the best power of the bunch.

(Video) PS5 DualSense Edge Review
Instead, hanging back and finding a balance of when to strike and when to defend brings a nice rhythm to combat, and also lets you make good use of Jesse’s sole firearm – the Service Weapon. “Sole” is a bit of a misnomer, though, because the Service Weapon has several unlockable modes that shift it from a standard pistol to a fast-fire revolver to a more shotgun-esque spread shooter, and more. I eventually settled on the fun rhythm of the revolver and sniper-like pierce gun combo to keep enemies at bay for both short and long range.

When it comes to enemy variety, however, Control doesn’t match the variation of Jesse’s combat options. The Hiss-controlled members of the Bureau who are now fighting against you, typically have one or two of your own moves and ammo options. It's fun to see how Control mixes and matches them in the early goings, but by the end of the story’s 10 chapters there was little challenge to these encounters, other than fighting Control’s performance. When too many enemies were on screen firing at me and getting blown up by my explosives at any given time, I ran into some huge hitching issues – even on my PS4 Pro. They’d only persist for a few seconds, but those seconds are often crucial and led to frustrating deaths. Those were mitigated by Control’s forgiving checkpoint system, at least, and it hasn’t stopped me from continuing to explore the Oldest House – which is Control’s main setting and the headquarters of the Bureau – even after completing the story.

A House Divided

Remedy has somehow made all of this gray concrete consistently fascinating. The Bureau is divided into a number of distinct business sectors, and though there’s certainly an overriding “corporate” theme, each area feels different enough that I wanted to know about the work being done there and how I could save it.

And, thanks to the Oldest House’s ability to change its shape and internal structure at will, it can keep pulling the neat trick of rebuilding locations. It’s as if the paranatural forces at work treat cement and rebar like Lego bricks. It’s always impressive to watch how the various new sectors will conform to the nefarious presence and my attempts to stop it.

Control E3 2019 Screenshots

The charm of the place comes, in part, from Control’s eclectic main cast. From Ahti, the janitor with serious Log Lady vibes, to Emily Pope, the information delivery service-slash-researcher – every character feels original and right at home in the Oldest House. Each sector brings with it a new character with a distinct, engaging personality, and yet they all absolutely made sense for someone who works in a secret government agency focused on paranatural forces beyond our understanding. In short, they’re all distinctive weirdos.

Every characters absolutely makes sense as someone who works in a secret government agency focused on paranatural forces.

Remedy’s sharp writing extends from the dialogue into the collectibles and their descriptions or text. Control is not a story to just blaze through as you go — if you pick items up, you should absolutely take the time to examine and read them. They’re not only well written and frequently funny but often contain context that sheds new light on Jesse’s current point in the story.

I could have done without some of the hokier thoughts from Jesse’s inner monologue, which often explicitly blurt out how she’s feeling rather than letting lead actress Courtney Hope’s strong performance convey that on its own. That said, there are enough winners (in which she often says what I was thinking) among those lines to make her constant asides worth it.

Of course, alongside the main story, Jesse is pursuing a very personal goal as well, and she’s always looking to explore the Bureau for clues tied to her past. Without giving away why or what that translates into, I really enjoyed how Remedy tied Jesse’s personal story into the weirder corners of the Bureau through most of the journey.

The ending of the 10-chapter story sadly doesn’t quite stick the landing, though, due in part to what felt like a bit of a rushed final chapter that left some of the most interesting aspects of Jesse’s personal stakes to be uncovered in collectibles. And the ending’s anticlimactic final moments don’t work nearly as well as the highs of the couple of chapters that precede it. That last-minute fumble certainly didn’t ruin Control for me, but Remedy lays such a solid foundation that I wished those final moments were as impactful as the rest of the story.

Thankfully, there’s plenty left to explore in the Oldest House after the conclusion. Control’s fascinating cast have left me with plenty of side missions that offer fights more unique and fun than most of what’s in the main campaign, plenty more great dialogue, and a continued reason to explore every nook and cranny of the bureau. Add to that a host of kill-based objectives to earn crafting materials, the upgradeable Service Weapon forms and skill trees yet to fill out, along with the ever-present Bureau Alert side missions (timed opportunities to tackle extra objectives) and Control has conjured up plenty of reasons to stay on my mind.
(Video) Control: Ultimate Edition Console Performance Review (PS5 & Xbox Series X|S)


Control is set in an engrossingly weird paranormal world that I couldn’t help but explore. Jesse’s versatile psychic skills and main weapon make for thrilling ranged combat. And thanks to a strong supporting cast, a well-written script, and plenty of intriguing breadcrumb trails, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my adventure through the shifting rooms of Oldest House. Jesse’s personal story feels like an afterthought next to that, but there’s enough to Control’s world that I remain invested in uncovering every secret, even though the story’s over.

In This Article

Control Review - IGN (2)
(Video) Control: AWE Expansion Review




StadiaPlayStation 5Xbox Series X|SNintendo Switch


(Video) Control: The Foundation DLC Review


Is control 2 being made? ›

Remedy Entertainment has officially announced Control 2, one of many upcoming projects for the studio. Remedy Entertainment has officially confirmed Control 2, a major sequel to surreal hit Control, is currently in development. The game will be co-developed and co-published by Remedy alongside 505 Games.

How long does it take to finish Control game? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Control is about 11½ Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 28 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Is Control a great game? ›

Very Positive (657) - 86% of the 657 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive. All Reviews: Very Positive (25,935) - 89% of the 25,935 user reviews for this game are positive.

Is Control a big game? ›

For a game that takes place in a single building, Control is incredibly large, and even with elevators littered all around, it can be exhausting to travel all around the Oldest House.

Was Control a flop? ›

“We're really happy with the success of Control,” said Virtala. “It won Game of the Year awards, it has sold over two million units and continues selling, but two million is not yet a major hit in our industry.

How old is Jesse in Control? ›

If the Federal Bureau of Control's official status as an organ of the U.S. government is taken at face value, this gives Jesse Faden the unique distinction of being the youngest head of a federal agency in U.S. history (At 28 years old in 2019).

Is Control a difficult game? ›

It's enough to make anyone want to play it! But hand in hand with that discussion always comes the caveat about its difficulty: Control is a hard game. It didn't ship with an Easy Mode, and there was no way to set the difficulty at a lower level.

Does Control have multiple endings? ›

Right, so as you probably know (assuming you've finished Control), the game has not one, but two credit sequences.

Is Control a AAA game? ›

AAA Third-person Action Game 'Control' of 2019 Announces the Development of Its Sequel Has Finally Started - EssentiallySports.

Is Control a slow game? ›

As revealed by Digital Foundry's analysis, Control suffers from some serious slow-down on console. The Xbox One X offers the smoothest experience overall, as you'd expect, but even that version sees hitching and stuttering interrupt the flow of the game.

Is Control worth playing? ›

Control is a great action-horror game that was well worth the hours I put into it and it managed to win me over despite the fact that I'm a proud hater of the horror genre… This video game taught me more about parenting than I expected…

Is Control game inspired by SCP? ›

Control is inspired by paranormal stories about the fictional SCP Foundation created by an online collaborative wiki fiction project, based on the genre of the new weird.

Is Control a sequel to Alan Wake? ›

Alan Wake shares continuity with Control within the Remedy Connected Universe, a larger shared universe of games created by Remedy Entertainment. Control contains various in-universe references to the events and characters of Alan Wake, including cameos by the titular character.

Can you make Control easier? ›

Control has no difficulty settings, but by using Assist Mode you are free to create your own – don't worry, it won't stop you from unlocking trophies and achievements.

Is Control a GPU heavy game? ›

Control is a GPU-intensive game that requires a very strong GPU for the higher settings, even if only on 1080p and aiming for 60 FPS. The extra power does not go to waste, as the game combines years of graphical techniques to create an impressive looking image (even before considering ray tracing!).

Who was Kendrick dissing in control? ›

"Control (HOF)" is a song that was cut from Sean's album due to licensing issues and it features an extended verse from rapper of the year, Kendrick Lamar. The "Poetic Justice" artist takes the opportunity to "call out" some of his closest industry friends likes Drake, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, A$AP Rocky and more.

What club is best for a flop shot? ›

A flop shot is typically played with a high-lofted wedge called a lob wedge. A lob wedge has around 60- to 64-degrees of loft and was originally created specifically to play lobs, also known as flops.

What gender is Jesse? ›

Gender: Jesse is primarily a boy's name, but it could also be another spelling of the female name Jessie. Origin: Jesse has both English, Dutch, and Hebrew roots, as the name of the shepherd father of King David in the Bible. It is an English version of the Hebrew name “Yishai.” Pronunciation: “JESS-ee.”

What gender is Jesse Story mode? ›

Jesse is the playable main protagonist of Minecraft: Story Mode developed by Telltale Games, whose gender and appearance is decided by the player. The male version of the character is voiced by Patton Oswalt, and the female version by Catherine Anne "Cat" Taber.

Are Jesse and Dylan Faden the same person? ›

Dylan Faden (known to the FBC as Prime Candidate 6 or P6) is the younger brother of Jesse Faden and a powerful parautilitarian.

What is the hardest game to finish? ›

We believe we have the ultimate list of difficult video games that factors in all variables.
  • Ninja Gaiden. ...
  • Super Meat Boy. ...
  • I Wanna Be The Guy. ...
  • Cuphead. ...
  • Elden Ring & any other Soulsborne game. ...
  • Devil May Cry 3. ...
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins. ...
  • Contra. Konami Be prepared to die, die, and die again.
Mar 4, 2022

What is the most difficult board game? ›

12 Most Difficult Board Games For Adults
  1. 1 Twilight Struggle.
  2. 2 Advanced Squad Leader. ...
  3. 3 The Campaign For North Africa. ...
  4. 4 Dead Of Winter. ...
  5. 5 Eldritch Horror. ...
  6. 6 Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization. ...
  7. 7 Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective. ...
  8. 8 Scythe. ...
Dec 15, 2022

Can you eradicate all hiss in Control? ›

Eventually, you will kill all the Hiss on this platform, allowing you to cleanse the last Siphon. It's time to journey into the mysterious Federal Bureau of Control.

Are Control and Quantum Break connected? ›

The Remedy Connected Universe is known to include Alan Wake and Control. It is known to not include the game Quantum Break. The official status of Remedy Entertainment's other games, Death Rally and Max Payne, within this universe is not yet known.

Is there an actual end to Control? ›

Control “ends” when Jesse learns about her brother's role in the Hiss takeover. At first, it seems like Jesse fails to save The Oldest House and becomes corrupted by the Hiss herself.

Did Control game sell well? ›

Since its launch in 2019, Control has sold over three million copies,” said 505 Games co-CEOs Rami and Raffi Galante. “Control is the biggest investment 505 Games has ever made, so it has a special place in our hearts.

Does Control game have blood? ›

Large splashes of blood are frequently depicted as enemies are shot and killed; a handful of sequences depict large pools of blood underneath corpses and bodies hanging from ropes. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the game.

Is Control a dark game? ›

It's really creepy, but it's not necessarily intended to be frightening. Still, from the atmosphere and the model designs of the building and units to the story's insane concept, it is definitely one of the creepiest and unnerving games in the last few years.

Is Control short? ›

It seems feasible that someone could basically 100% Control in less than 15 hours. Of course, skill factor will also play a role, not to mention how often players get lost when trying to figure out where they need to go next. It's true that Control is short, but its length doesn't really matter all that much.

Is Control a stand alone game? ›

A separate post on Remedy's website reveals that Alan Wake and Control are part of a long-planned connected universe where "each game is a stand-alone experience, but each game is also a doorway into a larger universe with exciting opportunities for crossover events."

How many levels are in Control game? ›

Control has 46 missions in total, including 1 mission exclusive to the PlayStation version. 17 of these missions are added by a free update that introduced Expeditions and by the paid add-ons The Foundation and AWE. All missions except for the PS-exclusive are included in the Ultimate Edition.

Should I beat Control before DLC? ›

To start The Foundation DLC in Control, you must first complete the main storyline for Control.

Is Control kid friendly? ›

Parents need to know that Control is a third-person shooter for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Players use guns and special mental abilities to shoot human enemies, smack them, and throw things at them, resulting in some bloodshed that includes seeing them explode.

Why was Control removed? ›

The song was originally intended to be included on Big Sean's second studio album Hall of Fame (2013) or Jay Electronica's debut album, but was ultimately removed from the final track-listing due to sample clearance issues.

What year is control set in? ›

1878. The town of Bright Falls, Washington is founded by Hubert Biltmore and Amos Gunderson.

What SCP is IKEA? ›

Turns out the IKEA is in fact SCP-3008; and this young man's journey is just beginning, as this store is much stranger, and more dangerous t...

Is there a real SCP game? ›

SCP: Containment Breach is a horror video game developed by Joonas Rikkonen ("Regalis") and is based on fictional stories from the SCP Foundation website.

Which is better Control or Quantum Break? ›

Quantum Break's story is easier to understand, while Control's story requires some more effort to understand and it still has a lot of mysteries. You will never figure out completely what is going on in Control but some may say they like it more like that.

Who is Jesse talking to in Control? ›

Seventeen years later, Jesse remains in psychic contact with Polaris, who guides and protects her and is the primary source of her parautilitarian powers.

Is Max Payne in the same universe as Control? ›

Max Payne Series

Many Max Payne references are made in Alan Wake. In one of his dialogues with Jesse Faden, her brother, Dylan Faden, implies that Max Payne exists in a separate parallel universe from Alan Wake and Control, a world possibly influenced by the writings of Alan Wake.

Why does being in Control feel good? ›

That is, the more in control we feel, the more efficacious we feel about achieving the outcomes we desire, and this sense of competence boosts well-being. Control also feels good because it makes us believe that we aren't under someone else's control.

Can you max out abilities in Control? ›

All up, there are 43 ability upgrades to unlock, which will cost you a total of 132 ability points. This sounds like a lot, but don't worry, you get plenty from completing missions and every time you find a hidden area, you'll get more points.

What is the hardest game to run on PC? ›

The 20 Most Graphically Demanding PC Games
  • 2 Far Cry 6. Minimum. (30 FPS)
  • 3 Dying Light 2. Minimum. Recommended. ...
  • 4 Metro Exodus. Minimum. Recommended. ...
  • 5 Final Fantasy XV. Minimum. (720p, 30 FPS) ...
  • 6 Red Dead Redemption 2. Minimum. ...
  • 7 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. Minimum. ...
  • 8 Forza Horizon 5. Minimum. ...
  • 9 Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Minimum. ...
Nov 2, 2022

What game has the best graphics ever? ›

So, here are the most realistic games to ever be released:
  1. Ghost of Tsushima. IGN. ...
  2. Red Dead Redemption II. Rockstar Games. ...
  3. Call of Duty Mobile. Call of Duty: Mobile. ...
  4. GTA V. ...
  5. Death Stranding. ...
  6. Control. ...
  7. Cyberpunk 2077. ...
  8. The Last of Us: Part Two.
Aug 3, 2022

What's the most demanding PC game? ›

The Most Graphically Demanding PC Games (2022)
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake (December 16, 2021) ...
  • Halo Infinite (December 8, 2021) ...
  • Far Cry 6 (October 7, 2021) ...
  • Forza Horizon 5 (9 November, 2021) ...
  • Resident Evil Village (May 7, 2021) ...
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (December 10, 2020) ...
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator (August 18, 2020)

How many DLCS will Control have? ›

Control has two different DLC storylines for you to explore - The Foundation and AWE. Before you start playing either of these DLC adventures though, you need to know how to start each one.

Is Control coming back to Apex? ›

Apex Legends is set to bring back its Control limited-time mode (LTM) on January 10 as part of the Spellbound Collection Event. In Control, teams of nine players face off in a respawn-friendly, point-capture mode, with set loadouts and the ability to switch between Apex on the fly.

What game has the most DLC ever? ›

10 Franchises With The Most DLC, Ranked
  • 8 The Sims.
  • 7 LittleBigPlanet.
  • 6 Truck Simulator.
  • 5 Microsoft Flight Simulator.
  • 4 Dead or Alive.
  • 3 Monster Hunter.
  • 2 Rocksmith.
  • 1 Train Simulator.
Nov 16, 2022

Is the Bigsnax DLC free? ›

The first Bugsnax DLC titled The Isle of Bigsnax is available to all players as a free update. Below, you'll learn how to start The Isle of Bigsnax including all prerequisites, as well as how to begin the DLC's main story quest.

Who was Kendrick dissing in Control? ›

"Control (HOF)" is a song that was cut from Sean's album due to licensing issues and it features an extended verse from rapper of the year, Kendrick Lamar. The "Poetic Justice" artist takes the opportunity to "call out" some of his closest industry friends likes Drake, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, A$AP Rocky and more.

Who did Kendrick mention in Control? ›

Kendrick surveyed the game and plucked J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha-T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electronica, Tyler, The Creator, and Mac Miller as his 11 equals and issued a decree fit for a king.

Who made King Kendrick diss? ›

Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden of the rap group Slaughterhouse responded to Kendrick Lamar for leaving them off his list of rappers on "Control" when they responded with two separate diss tracks of their down.

Why did apex get rid of control? ›

Control is being removed so that the Respawn Entertainment team responsible for it can make a few adjustments, improvements, and overall make it better. At least, this is the reasoning according to Respawn Entertainment Producer Josh Medina.

Why is Apex closing? ›

Update or downgrade your graphics driver. This is the most common issue that will cause your game to crash. Check your driver for updates, or if you recently updated it and the game begins to crash, try downgrading it. Reinstall Apex Legends and Origin or the EA app.

Is Apex losing popularity? ›

Despite the release of Warzone 2, Overwatch 2, and other free-to-play titles, Apex Legends continues to be one of the most popular FPS games out there in 2022.

Is Quantum Break mentioned in Control? ›

The Remedy Connected Universe is known to include Alan Wake and Control. It is known to not include the game Quantum Break. The official status of Remedy Entertainment's other games, Death Rally and Max Payne, within this universe is not yet known.

Is Quantum Break referenced in Control? ›

Remedy's storytelling spreads across its recent games, and although previous titles Quantum Break and Control are stand-alone games, both are said to be set in the same universe and contain small references to each other.


1. PS5 DualSense Edge Controller Unboxing
2. Control PS5 Review - The Final Verdict
3. Control: The Final Preview - IGN First
4. Wii U Pro Controller Video Review - IGN Reviews
5. Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Review
6. DualSense Edge: The First Hands-On
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