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drahkon

CONTROL (XB1, PS4, PC)

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Just nabbed the platinum. I was worried that it was going to be one of those games that has missables but I was happy to see that wasn't the case.

I needed 6 ability points to get 100% competition but I just couldn't find any more side quests or hidden areas. I did think maybe I had missed something earlier in the game and that was prevent me from getting my last points but I eventually managed to find another mission ( just required me to sit on a chair and fall asleep :p ) and then I found another two hidden areas. Success!

Going for the plat easily doubled my time with the game and in doing so I got to do some interesting missions and crazy boss fights. 

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I was intending to write some impressions earlier through the week for this but with the missus being off work, we had some game days together so I buckled down with this after getting drawn in and she sat playing Ocarina of Time for the first time on the 3DS (so jealous she's getting to experience it for the first time). So I ended up wrapping things up on Friday night and while I really enjoyed the game, it's not ended up besting Alan Wake as my favourite Remedy game.

The moment to moment gameplay was fantastic and while I know some people have found navigating the Oldest House to be frustrating, I really enjoyed it and loved trying to work out how go get into every nook and cranny of that place in search of all the documents and audio recordings and such, especially as they add so much back story to everything going on and contained within the Oldest House.

The story from Jesse's perspective was perhaps the weakest part of the game and I felt like it was really dragging it's feet there. Whether that's because they'll explore more on the two upcoming expansions or they'll wait for a sequel, I don't know but there could have been more substance there. The overarching narrative with regards to the Bureau and the Hiss was something that I thought was really interesting, especially when you started digging in to all the documents and got all the hints as to the wider picture stuff, but I felt that they didn't really nail the story for Jesse and so when it came to the end of that, it fell flat which is a shame because everything else really is interesting if you take the time to sit down and read all the documents and case files (and boy are there a lot of them).

The story beats away from Jesse's main narrative focus were so much more interesting I felt. Some of the missions surrounding items were fantastic and have put interesting spins on the general run of things rather than leaving you having to fight through waves of enemies.

Spoiler

I particularly liked the Traffic Light item and having to play the game to be able to cleanse it. Similarly the beginning part of the Flamingo item, though the boss that follows is awful, especially considering it's the same boss you have to fight when cleansing the Refrigerator and it feels like it's a bit of a spike in terms of difficulty compared to everything else but that goes for all the bosses I've fought so far.

The mission with the mirror and having to cleanse that was really well done, especially if you went back to one of the audio recorders in the room as it played it backwards.

Even some of the non story elements that were simply item files or Easter eggs tucked away were brilliant. Sam Lake has done a great job again of creating such a built up world. Which is made all the more amazing by a certain character and the person playing them in game as well as documents referencing:

Spoiler

Dr Darling being played by the same actor as Alan Wake was just dyna-mite :p that would've been enough of a tease but to have all the mentions to Bright Falls, both Alice and Alan Wake and the events of that game and then placing them all in the same world, it's making me want more than anything to be playing a sequel. If they don't go on to do one off of the back of this, it would be such a waste of all the time tying the two together. Finding the hidden room in the Panopticon with the manuscript pages and having the overlay of Alan narrating was so good.

The combat really is superb and, having had the chance to finally play through all of Quantum Break a few months back, it was a nice change of pace over that game, building upon the framework they'd put in place with your powers there. Where Quantum Break gave you more defensive offers, this was all about keeping on the move and managing your service weapons recharging ammo supply and your energy for your powers, making use of them as efficiently as possible to quickly dispatch foes and get out of dangerous situations. I loved just picking up items and sending them flying into foes and causing as much chaos as possible.

I really liked the simplicity of the service weapon in that it was your only weapon but could take multiple forms, though I do think they could have allowed you to have all forms available at all times rather than having to pause and rearrange what weapons forms you wanted in the menu. I suppose it was to make the game more manageable on the go as you do need to be very aware of your surroundings, especially with some of the side missions bosses (which were sadly one of the game's downsides I felt as they made it feel far more game-y than previous Remedy games did).

I played on a base Xbox One and yeah, there's some noticeable performance issues which I think have been even blown out of proportion by some parts of the community, who are labelling the game as unplayable which it is far from. The drops in frame rate during combat were noticeable but they didn't bother me as much as the ones that would occur coming out of the pause or in game menu. That's where it really stuttered and became really jarring. Remedy have at least been up front and are promising patches so hopefully they'll get ironed out. But beyond that, I had no real issues with the game.

I've been keeping an eye on the spoiler thread for this over in Resetera and it's great seeing all the deep dives into what things mean. The best one is how the game is one big metaphor for Remedy and their situation over the years, with the Hiss being an outside influence they thought would help but hindered them and Ahti representing the help they've had recently from certain places (not so suitably referencing Sony in particularly) in grabbing control of their own destiny (for instance, in getting the licencing back for Alan Wake).

Some of the interesting things that have come up that really add a whole different layer to the story and game that I found interesting were:

Spoiler

I love that the Oldest House seems to be an allegory for the World Tree, Yggdrasil, and that Ahti is referred to by Trench as an old God in one of his mumblings during the part where Jesse is trying to take control back from the Hiss. There's a carving of the tree in the Foundations during one of the side missions and with all the dimensions linking to the Motel, it seems like a plausible idea 

I also like that the designations for Dylan and Jesse under the prime candidate program are references to Remedy's games. The actor playing Dylan was supposedly originally in line to play the lead in Quantum Break but got changed last minute, with that game being their sixth game (hence P6 for Dylan) and Control is their seventh (hence the P7 on the outfit for Jesse that you unlock). It's a nice theory that adds into the overarching metaphor for the game representing Remedy's situation.

Perhaps the creepiest thing that I missed but others caught, the previous director mentioned in documents, Northmoor, is in the game. It's just that he is hidden away powering the Bureau in the power plant as a thermal scan in the control room shows a body in the power plant that's referred to as the Northmoor Sarcophagus Containment in a document and it's also mentioned that he had pyrokinesis powers. Really creepy.

The game did throw up one of my favourite sections in a game all year:

Spoiler

The Ashtray maze was brilliant. That whole sequence with the music, on the Pony walkman (the not so suitable nod to Sony and the likes of Shuhei Yoshida and such being frequent visitors at the studio), and the shifting made and fighting enemies was amazing. Just as good as the fight with the Taken on the stage with the Old Gods of A Asgard in Alan Wake, who are present here as well.

So yeah, I really enjoyed it inspite of some of the story being flat in places and some performance hitches. Really interested to see what they do with the narrative threads left hanging in the expansion but definitely one of my favourite games of the year.

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2 minutes ago, Ganepark32 said:

I played on a base Xbox One and yeah, there's some noticeable performance issues which I think have been even blown out of proportion by some parts of the community, who are labelling the game as unplayable which it is far from. The drops in frame rate during combat were noticeable but they didn't bother me as much as the ones that would occur coming out of the pause or in game menu. That's where it really stuttered and became really jarring. Remedy have at least been up front and are promising patches so hopefully they'll get ironed out. But beyond that, I had no real issues with the game.

Did you happened to watch the DF video about the game's performance? The game seems to be really weird in that it will run better on some consoles that are the same make ( base PS4 vs base PS4 ). I know some of the framerate drops I was experiencing cleared up when I started a new session on the game and then got progressively worse as I continued to play it. They said that some drops went as low as 10fps in some cases, which is pretty shocking.

Happy to see you enjoyed it though. You were pretty excited for it and it seems that you got value out of your purchase.

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2 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Did you happened to watch the DF video about the game's performance? The game seems to be really weird in that it will run better on some consoles that are the same make ( base PS4 vs base PS4 ). I know some of the framerate drops I was experiencing cleared up when I started a new session on the game and then got progressively worse as I continued to play it. They said that some drops went as low as 10fps in some cases, which is pretty shocking.

Happy to see you enjoyed it though. You were pretty excited for it and it seems that you got value out of your purchase.

Yeah, I watched it at the weekend there and it's quite a shock how bad it drops on some of the consoles, especially the base PS4. Obviously they point out that the base Xbox One version is the worst version visually but don't get into too much detail on the performance side but by and large, I didn't have any frame rate drops that went down as far as some of the base PS4 ones they show in their technical break down. Sure, there were times when it clearly went into the teens but it looked to me to be running at at least 20+ for the most part and that was fine for me.

The biggest drops, as I say, where coming out of menus as that was like a full blown slide show. Trying to turn the camera or move, the game would just freak out and stall. I ended up waiting a couple of seconds each time I resumed playing to let it catch up to itself. I also had those weird issues with the cutscenes/FMV section where it would stutter and stop playing the visual but keep playing the sound, only for it to lurch ahead a couple of seconds and catch up.

I do find it weird they let the game out in such a state performance wise as it's something that should surely have come up in testing. Unless they thought they had to get it out before the September rush of games hits and that they could fix it afterwards but I don't know whether damage will have been done already in terms of sales and no doubt people will end up waiting till it's dropped in price (which I suspect will sadly happen soon). Do agree with the DF guys that it's probably they're most ambitious title with a slightly less linear style. I wonder if having such a loose framework gave rise to a lot of these issues but we'll never know.

I do hope it ends up doing well for Remedy as there's clearly more they can and want to do with the game, though they are the prime example a niche western development studio and given that their games can be very weird (a brand of niche that I think even goes beyond the likes of Platinum Games which has a lot more sway and has a more established library of games in a far shorter time period) I just feel this will end up flopping somewhat for them. They may want to be independent but I think a guiding hand from being part of a bigger collective, whether that's Sony or not, would do them good especially for ironing out performance issues as they're clearly tech savvy going by the DF video.

My partner said that as well, that I was very excited for the game. I guess Remedy's work and their brand of weird just works for me as I know by and large what I'll get from their titles (in a larger sense, whether I grasp everything narratively is a different story) and I'd say they're probably one of a small number of developers who I don't feel have let me down game wise, much like Supergiant Games.

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I accidentally bought a year of PS Now instead of PS+, this game was on it.

So far I'm pretty amazed by it. I knew very little about it. The story is extremely intriguing, and I'm finding myself reading every note I can find. Gameplay is a lot of fun and I like the basic "Metroidvania" aspect of it. I'm always hunting the "wrong way" to find as much as possible before progressing.

I'm not too far into the game, but the graphics (while wonky at times) are very impressive, especially little touches like projectors projecting.

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Quote

Will Control Ultimate Edition give me access to Control on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5?
We will offer a free next-gen digital upgrade for those who buy Control Ultimate Edition on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more information on eligibility, stay tuned to our website and community channels.
 
What if I purchased the original version of Control previously?
The free upgrade path to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 version of Control is only available for Control Ultimate Edition.

Source

Fuck you, then ::shrug:

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9 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Source

Fuck you, then ::shrug:

In what way? Not once did I buy the original Control thinking "I'm going to get an upgraded version on next gen consoles for free".

The disk will still play in next gen consoles (well, it will on XBox, Playstation are being so unclear on backwards compatibility who knows) it just won't be the enhanced version.

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Terrible move in 505 Games part (presuming and hoping its a publisher move and not a decision that Remedy have come to themselves). I've bought the game twice, once on launch day on Xbox One (PS4 was on the fritz then) and then the digital deluxe version on the PS4 earlier this year so don't really see why I should have to purchase a third time for the upgraded experience on next gen, especially when the next gen upgrade will have the game run as intended and without as many of the hiccups as there are in the console versions still.

I love the game and I'm so excited for the AWE expansion in 2 weeks but unless this is like at most a fiver upgrade from the digital deluxe edition then I'll leave it. As much as I love the game and would love to see it running more in line with the PC version, not paying a third time.

Though, given the backlash to this, I suspect this might change in the coming day to be for anyone who has the digital deluxe and ultimate versions. Can only hope.

Anyway, teaser trailer for the new expansion to take that bad taste out of our mouths:

Gameplay reveal is happening tomorrow afternoon/evening. Just excited to have the crossover with Alan Wake and see if it'll tie up anything there or set up the wide Remedy Connected Universe that they've announced they're doing with this and their next game.

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1 hour ago, Ronnie said:

In what way? Not once did I buy the original Control thinking "I'm going to get an upgraded version on next gen consoles for free".

The disk will still play in next gen consoles (well, it will on XBox, Playstation are being so unclear on backwards compatibility who knows) it just won't be the enhanced version.

I don't think we can argue that they should be forced to provide a free update to everyone, but it certainly seems misguided that they have taken this approach. And certainly bad PR.

Like you said, early adopters who bought this on PS4/X1 can just pop their disc in or redownload the game onto their next gen consoles at no extra cost, presumably with a graphical boost as well. So it seems very unlikely that they would go out and spend another 50 quid or whatever buying the PS5/Series X optimised version. It's a fairly recent game too that will be fresh in their minds.

Which leads to the point that if people who already have it probably aren't going to buy it again, why not just give them the upgrade for free? There won't be much lost business if they weren't going to buy it again anyway. And it would be good PR, and rewarding loyal day 1 customers.

Giving a free upgrade would have been an easy win for them.

Edited by Sheikah

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Awesome news and perfect timing. Its leaving PS Now so this makes it cheaper for me.

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I played the game with Raytracing on PC and it looks great. Probably what caused some crashed, but oh well.

On one hand it's impressive how much detail they go into, but on the other, most people aren't going to notice most of the stuff highlighted in the video.

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Gave this a whirl last night.

First things first: It looks beautiful on PS5. Graphics Mode is gorgeous. But it's 30fps so I naturally switched to performance mode. 60fps all the way for me. And the game still looks good.

DualSense support is great. It's funny, in the past I've usually turned off vibration, especially on the Switch as the HD rumble is ass but DualSense's haptics are just something else. Feeling each and every one of Jesse's steps feels just right.
Adaptive triggers are still transformative, yet feel weirdly natural. I keep being amazed at how well they work (when done right...they are crap in Demon's Souls when you use a bow, for example).

Sound is almost immaculate. Music occasionally cuts out, which is a little irritating.

So...how's the rest? Here's a mostly accurate representation of me last night:

tumblr_nj0545qz041smcbm7o1_500.gif

Narrator: "He was scared."

Control is creepy, which is something I did - not - know.
As you all know, I'm a brave, brave man which is why Horror is my favourite genre EVER so...no big deal.

Narrator: "It was a big deal" (yeah, this joke's never been funny).

What I've played so far kinda builds up to a jump scare but it hasn't come...yet?
I can deal with psychological creepiness. I actually really like that (I'm serious). But as soon as something comes out of nowhere, screams in my face and JUST SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME...I'm out :p

I'll keep playing, though. Gameplay is fun, if very limited so far, but I've just completed the first mission. Lots of new skills/abilities/weapons to come, I would assume.
The world building is also pretty cool. It throws you in, you get a few bits and pieces of information/characters/lore but generally it's: You're here for something, shit went down, you're the one, deal with it. I like that blunt approach to set the stage.
The mystery is intriguing and I can't wait to see where this is all going.

Well...got a few responsibilities to take care of IRL but I'll get back to Control pretty soon. :peace:

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I’m not sure what I think about it at all. Everything currently feels like it’s trying way too hard to be weird. 

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1 hour ago, Happenstance said:

I’m not sure what I think about it at all. Everything currently feels like it’s trying way too hard to be weird. 

I could never get away with the narrative and stopped caring about it a few hours in. The gameplay is great though and that's what kept me hooked.

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2 hours ago, drahkon said:

What I've played so far kinda builds up to a jump scare but it hasn't come...yet?
I can deal with psychological creepiness. I actually really like that (I'm serious). But as soon as something comes out of nowhere, screams in my face and JUST SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME...I'm out :p

There's no jump scares, don't worry.

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1 minute ago, Ike said:

There's no jump scares, don't worry.

giphy.gif

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1 hour ago, drahkon said:

giphy.gif

 

48 minutes ago, Ike said:

wVb3BuX.gif

giphy.gif

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Whenever I hear Zachariah Trench talk I just have to imagine it's Max Payne...

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Just started mission 7 and I have to say: It's not the gameplay that keeps me going, it's the narrative and mystery.
I find the gameplay, i.e. battles to be very repetitive and not challenging enough to be enjoyable after a while. It feels like after the first fight you've seen/played them all ::shrug:

The setting, narrative and the ongoing mystery, howeveer, keep me engaged. I look for all the extra information I can get, read everything, listen to everything, watch everything (Threshold Kids is a favourite...NOT CREEPY AT ALL)...still no clue what exactly is going on.

The Oldest House's layout/changing/warping kinda reminds me of Mark Z. Danielewski's masterpiece House of Leaves. Navigating the building is difficult and intentionally confusing, just as reading/navigating the book is. I like that a lot.

My current rating:
Gameplay - 2 Hiss Snipers out of 5
Everything else - definitely not Ordinary/5

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Started a side quest and...

Spoiler

...looks like it ties into the Alan Wake series

Never played those games meaning most of the story might fly over my head, I guess? Pretty annoying...

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I don't think that's a side quest, I think you're playing the DLC. 

Spoiler

Also, as Jessie is unfamiliar with the events of Alan Wake (other than knowing he's an author), you're learning about the events from her perspective.

 

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2 minutes ago, Cube said:

I don't think that's a side quest, I think you're playing the DLC. 

After completing mission 7 I got a new mission and thought it was just a side quest. You're right, it is actually the second DLC which ties in to what we've put into spoilers.

I'm gonna watch a summary and keep going with the DLC.

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23 hours ago, drahkon said:

keep going with the DLC.

Halfway through the DLC (I think, given how I've played through half of the "DLC map") and it's boring as all hell...the gameplay never changes (which in this case is bad, as I've mentioned before...after the first battle you've seen it all) and the collectibles/lore you can read through/watch/listen to is not interesting at all...

Will finish it, but I'll be happy to get back to the "actual game" again. At least the lore is interesting there.

Edited by drahkon

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