I recently picked up Control during the Epic Sale, it’s been a game I’ve had my eye on for a while, snaking into my field of view via the various architecture blogs, podcasts, and videos I occasionally visit.

All these screenshots were taken ingame with no added filters, and not during any cutscenes, only using the ingame photo mode which allows free camera control.

It’s a mint game, letting you explore The Oldest House, a monolithic piece of brutalist architecture located somewhere in New York, but can only be found by people looking for it. It’s exterior (as well as the design philosophy of the enterior) is inspired by the Long Lines Building, which itself has mysteries revolving around it. People think it might be the location of an NSA mass surveillance operation codenamed TITANPOINTE.

But back to the game, you play Jesse Faden, a girl who’s just showed up to the Bureau of Control to chat to them about why they ran off with her brother when they were kids. It’s an X-Files style government agency which is doing it’s best to keep the oldest house and it’s denizens contained. I’m geeking out about the mythology of this place because it’s honestly the greatest part about the whole game. The Oldest House is one of those rare but beautiful examples of the world itself being a character.

The game does a good balance of upgrading your character without getting bogged in menus, and over the course of your playthrough you pick up the ability to throw things around the room (possibly the most OP ability, especially when you’re catching rockets and grenades out of middair and hiffing them back), mind control, flight, shielding, and a couple others I may have forgotten.

Combat is generally fun up until a boss fight, where you can expect to be severly punished for being shit at games. Your health bar isn’t the most resilient thing in the world, and you’re just a cute redhead, you can’t take many hits. And if you do, the only way to regen health is by killing dudes and grabbing the health pickups they drop, forcing you to be aggressive in your movement.

The storyline for the main campaign (prior to the DLC story stuff which picks up directly after where it leaves off) is a bit rushed. It feels like you do a big finalle and then you literally get a voiceover going “and then all the shit sorted itself out and also there’s a bunch of questions we dangled in front of you that we’ll never answer, lol.”

Soundtrack is so-so, with only one exception when a decent track comes on during a run and gun delve through an infinitely shifting hotel.

But apart from that, it’s a greatride, which I can recommend to anyone who likes the idea of the potentiality of everyday objects being the portals to other worlds.