More than a year after its publication, Control continues to “haunt” my gamer memories. The immeasurable spaces of the Oldest House remain among those that most captivated me, and the surreal oddities hidden within it still sting my imagination. Just like Will Navidson’s Indecipherable House, the building in which the Federal Bureau of Control stands exercises its inescapable magnetism, envelops you without escape with overwhelming geometries, flatters you with the promise of endless distances, while the powerful notes of a tango finnish dripping out of nowhere onto the infinitesimal surface that stretches between your eardrum and the labyrinth. I’m sorry if the phrases I use to tell Control are mysterious, complex, allusive, but to give credit to Remedy’s work, I couldn’t do anything else other than this; after all, Control is perhaps the first example of a New Weird story made into a video game (we suggest you read ourspecial Control and New Weird literature ). If Alan Wake was an introspective, crepuscular and dreamlike thriller, Jesse Fayden’s adventure adheres more decisively to the logic of genre, recovering (from House of Leaves as well as from the Area X Trilogy) a sprawling, obsessive narrative, in a strongly intimate and in any case allusive science fiction.
The science fiction of Control tells of a department that aims to supervise, inspect and stem the paranormal, observing the Altered Events that happen in the world and confining the Objects of Power, human artifacts that have ” made the leap ” and are now traveled. from a tremendous and sublime power. This is the framework in which Jesse Faden moves, established as the unwitting director of the Bureau, who came to that place to shed light on the mystery of her life and on the disappearance of her brother. Control, however, is not just the story of Jesse, but a swirling museum of oddities, exhibited to the player in the form of documents, dossiers, side quests, recordings, artifacts: an impressive world building work , which cannot leave anyone who loves indifferent. the style of Remedy and sci-fi stories in general.
Playfully speaking, Control is also an intense and dynamic third-person shooter , finally able to go beyond the paradigm of the cover shooter, to focus on a new weapon management system and interaction with the environment. The combination of bullets and telekinetic powers takes the form of a mixture that has the flavor of the action of yesteryear, but the agility of a modern and current product.
On the qualities of the Remedy title, in any case, we can not delay any longer: the review of Control published at the time of the release goes into details, explains the narrative value and that of the gameplay, and still today manages to photograph a more how brilliant. At the center of this article is the Ultimate Edition, which ultimately has a double function: for users who frequent PS4 and Xbox One it is a sort of complete edition of the product, which includes all the DLCs distributed in the Season Pass; for those who have switched to the new generation of consoles, this version represents a technical update, which brings with it – alternatively – support for Ray Tracing (in Graphics mode) and 60fps (in Performance mode) .
The commercial operation
Before moving on to the technical analysis, it seems only right to enter into the merits of the commercial choices that affect the Ultimate Edition of Control, regardless of whether they were made by Remedy or by 505 Games.
In the context of a generational shift in which the updates have been offered free of charge by many software houses, Control represents a strange exception . Which, to be honest, should not be condemned a priori: especially in the event that the patches introduce new technologies for the console version (such as Ray Tracing), the publisher has every right to assign a value to the work and commitment of the development team.
The DLCsThe Ultimate Edition of Control also includes the three additional content published in the season pass. First of all, we therefore find the challenges of the Expeditions mode, time trials that integrate only marginally with the story and unfortunately leave the time they find. The Foundation is the most interesting piece of content, not only because it adds an unprecedented power to Jesse, but also because it delves into the myth of the Oldest House and its foundation (whether it is outside time or the origins of time itself). Altered World Event (AWE for short) delves into the now known link between the universe of control and that of Alan WakE, but it does so with little conviction and paradoxically less effectively than some documents already present in the base game did. Played in parallel to
It remains to blame , however, the choice of forcing the players interested in the update to buy back the whole game, instead of allowing them to pay only the update. Just as inexplicable is the desire to keep the framerate of the old gen version blocked, probably to incentivize the purchase of the Ultimate Edition: PS5 and Xbox Series X have already shown that they can run many titles of the past generation at maximum fluidity., from Monster Hunter World to the unsuspected The Last Guardian, and the update work, in this case, is certainly not too intense (on the contrary, it seems that the console basically does it automatically). The smoky statements of the publisher do not help to look favorably on an operation that is purely commercial, and the only – partial – compensation for the public is the inclusion of this definitive edition within the PS Plus (at this link you can find out what are the free games for PS4 and PS5 in the PlayStation Plus of February ). A temporary sop granted only to a part of the audience of players , which does not change the state of things and does not allow us to promote the economic and communicative management of the matter.
The Next Gen
It remains true that many players could take advantage of the publication of the Ultimate Edition to discover a title they have not yet played: we do not feel like extending the above objections to them . Also because, on Next-Gen platforms, Control is a pleasure to play.
Selecting the Performance mode we will find ourselves faced with the old-gen version of the production, however able to run at 60 frames per second generally constant. The native resolution of Control is fixed at 1440p , and in some cases the upscaling artifacts are noticeable concretely, like some less defined shadows, as well as a series of “ladders” at the edges of objects and polygonal models. When Jesse is shrouded in the white of the alternate dimension, for example, the graphic artifacts really stand out. On the other hand, the experience comes out extremely reinvigorated by the increase in fluidity: 60fps, especially in such a snappy title., guarantee a feeling of truly excellent responsiveness, and the clashes are much more rewarding. Although the texture filtering and shadow quality are not at the levels of a PC version pushed to the maximum, the work done by Remedy on the front of physical interaction is still impressive today. Almost any piece of furniture can be shattered, split, broken into pieces. Jesse’s telekinetic powers then allow him to lift the specific fragments detached from the walls with a few pistol shots, and to hurl them against furniture and windows.
Nothing like this had been seen in the past generation , and even today the complexity of the interactions calculated by the Northlight Engine is astonishing.
The reflection simulation technologies are also extremely advanced, which even without disturbing the Ray Tracing (exclusive prerogative of the Graphics mode) make the lighting more realistic and credible, projecting certain elements of the game environment onto some surfaces. It must be said, to be honest, that in some situations the framerate shows some drop, never too pronounced or systematic.
The best Ray Tracing on consoles
The activation of the Graphics mode, however, makes it clear what the impact of full Ray Tracing can be in a modern production, literally changing the face of Control. By selecting this option, the native resolution does not change , remaining fixed at 1440p, and the framerate resets itself to the values found on old gen hardware: 30 frames per second.
Yet, in certain environments, Control transforms, nimbly surpassing the achievements of Spider-Man: Miles Morales . Pipes and pipes are reflected in the maintenance sector pits, and new shapes and colors emerge on the metal surfaces. Just position yourself in front of a window to observe the reflection of the protagonist, but also the management of transparencies and refractions: a spectacle that is difficult to give up, after observing it for a few minutes. Ray Tracing, in Control, is a disruptive addition (on Everyeye.it you will also find a special dedicated to Control Ray Tracing on PC), capable of concretely amplifying the visual wonder of a scene already dense with details, fragments, particle effects. Even more amazing is the number of surfaces to which Ray Tracing is applied: if in Spider-Man’s New York or in the corridors of the Niwa Hotel the development teams had been very selective, in the Oldest House almost every surface reflects and diffracts the light: be it the floors polished by Ahti, the briar walls of the administrative sector or the metal ones of the lower floors.
The DualSenseThe PS5 version of Control takes advantage of the new Sony pad in an extremely virtuous way. The DualSense confirms itself as a peripheral capable of maximizing immersion and transmitting unprecedented sensations to the player in the gaming field. A few moments of play are enough to be amazed by the haptic feedback, which here replicates Jesse’s steps with a series of localized vibrations, noticeable but never too invasive. The use of adaptive triggers is also more than good, the behavior of which varies according to the transformations of the service gun. Also in this case Remedy has not opted for an energetic solution like that of the last Call of Duty (the trigger does not reach the same tension), but has found the right balance between simulation and immersion. In the basic form of the weapon, for example,
Control allows you to seamlessly switch between Performance and Graphics mode, observing the changes that the two rendering options bring about in real time. These changes also extend to the interlude scenes, and are so conspicuous and important, due to the fullness of certain views, that it becomes really difficult to prefer one or the other setting. Who knows that Remedy will not be able to find, just as it happened for Miles Morales, a middle ground , presenting an optimized option to extend Ray Tracing only on certain surfaces and push the framerate to the maximum. In general, the work done by the development team seemed really good to us, especially if we keep in mind the considerations we made regarding the complexity of physics simulation and special effects (when an enemy is neutralized it releases a dense cloud of smoke that generates spectacular visual distortions).
It is true that even in Graphics mode the title moves away, in certain situations, from the threshold of 30fps, and that the resolution is locked at 1440p, but we are always talking about one of the most massive applications of Ray Tracing in the console field , in a context in which the team does not have any really effective upscaling techniques available.
Probably in the future also on “home” hardware we will be able to see the application of some technology similar to DLSS, which pushes up the resolution, but in this phase of the life cycle of PS5 and Xbox Series X, Control is probably one of the best results we can aspire to .