The Area 51 raid may still be weeks away, but if you’re itching for some government conspiracy and paranormal activity, this upcoming release should do the trick. Next week, Control launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and we’ve got an exclusive first look at the absolutely batshit launch trailer.
Hailing from Remedy Entertainment, which brought us titles like Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break, Control is a new brain-breaking adventure. The title focuses on Jesse Faden, who finds herself at the Federal Bureau of Control while investigating the disappearance of her younger brother. As seen in the trailer, the fast-paced gameplay melds Jesse’s own supernatural and telekinetic abilities with a gun, called the “service weapon.” The service weapon has the ability to transform and evolve, lending exceptional versatility to the game.
The completely bonkers trailer also shows off really intense scenes, crazy monsters, and best of all, some badass abilities from Jesse herself. From flying to ground-smashing, she kicks serious behind fending off both the paranormal and the normal.
The trailer may not go very in-depth story-wise, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t intrigue the hell out of me. I got the chance to play parts of Control earlier this year, and it was one of the smoothest and most exhilarating games I’ve seen in 2019, with stunning environments and a remarkably compelling story right out of the gate. The plot promises to be a wild, twisty ride from there.
In addition to the bananas trailer, we got the chance to speak with Industry veteran Sam Lake, the Creative Director at Remedy Entertainment, about what else we can expect as we approach the games launch.
ESQUIRE: What are some new features in control that your most excited to share with fans?
Sam Lake: Control is something new for us in many ways. From the very beginning, we decided to go where our passions take us, to fully embrace the ideas that excite us, and not second guess what the reception would be like, to trust that there are like-minded gamers out there who’d enjoy the same things that we enjoy. I really hope that genuine sense of love for the material shows in the end product. The tonal inspiration for the experience is the literary genre of New Weird. It is out there, it’s strange, it’s deranged, it’s stylized.
Control is more player-driven all around. It’s a sprawling, twisted world. There is a lot of mystery to explore and discover and be scared about. If you want to go deep, you can go deep, trying to piece it together. When it comes to pure gameplay features, there are incredible abilities to use tied to physics, such as telekinesis and levitation, and dynamic destructibility of the world around you. I’m eagerly waiting to see how people will enjoy our new brand of crazy.
ESQ: What are some mainstays from past games like Alan Wake and Quantum Break that fans of the series can look forward to?
SL: There’s gorgeous action gameplay, we are pushing that further than ever before. In Quantum Break we had time-themed super powers. In Control, we’ve taken the idea of powers—we have supernatural abilities—and we’ve pushed that as much as we could.
There is a story, and if you’ve liked our stories in the past, odds are, you’ll like this one. We have a strong new hero character, Jesse Faden. Jesse is the narrator of this story, as our past heroes have been. But the stylization for the narration is new and fresh. You can hear her thoughts and there’s a mystery there as well, as she almost seems to be speaking directly to you, the player. There are a lot of mysteries to chase in this one. We have a gallery of other interesting characters around her.
If you’ve liked the strange dream-sequences in our previous games, you’ve seen nothing yet, in some ways Control is one continuous fever dream. As before, we’re using music as a storytelling tool in Control, discovering new ways of doing that. More than ever before, we’ve filled the world with optional narrative elements for you to find and enjoy.
ESQ: What were some inspirations especially around the government and paranormal focus?
SL: There are many different sources of inspiration we’ve been excited about along the way. Mr. Robot is a wonderful show about alienation and paranoia. Legion is wild with dreamlike quality, David Lynch is sublime with the unexplainable and nightmarish elements. Christopher Nolan’s Inception for bending reality.
From new weird genre, Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, and the first book, Annihilation especially, was great. For government conspiracies, X-Files is definitely there, but we felt we had a strongly unique approach to a clandestine agency dealing with the unexplainable. In some ways we wanted to push the nostalgic, mundane, even dreary and bureaucratic nature of a government agency and contrast that with truly out-there strangeness of otherworldly threats.
Control is all about that contrast
Control marks the first time a Remedy title has been available on PlayStation since Max Payne 2 came out years ago in 2003, and us Sony fanboys welcome it back. This title should definitely be on the radar of gamers everywhere, as it takes us backwards to a time when gameplay and story were what sold. Grab your aluminum hats and board the windows. Control will be released on August 27.