The 20-minute demo didn’t reveal any of the story, but I got a good taste for the gameplay on the PlayStation 4. Publisher 505 Games will launch the game on August 27 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a simultaneous digital launch on the Epic Games store for PC.
Control is a supernatural third-person game, and it feels similar in its gameplay to Quantum Break, which debuted on the Xbox One and Windows in 2016. On the PS4, the game doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles when it comes to PC graphics powered by the Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards with lifelike lighting and real-time ray tracing.
But the PS4 version still looks good to me. The demo had a big stamp on the screen that labeled it a “work-in-progress.”
The entire game takes place inside the setting of the demo in a place called The Oldest House. You play as Jesse Faden, the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control, which is housed inside the house. This so-called house is a big multistory building with marble floors and staircases.
The Federal Bureau of Control is in charge of studying supernatural phenomena, and the game combines a familiar reality with the strange and unexplainable. The bureau has been invaded by some otherworldly threat known as The Hiss. Jesse has to deal with the aftermath of that. Bodies float in the air, and government soldiers with heavy weapons and special suits try to attack Jesse.
She fights back not only with guns but with supernatural powers of her own. If you hold the right bumper of the PS4 controller, you can pick up something that you’re pointing at. Then you can aim at an enemy soldier and releases the object, sending it flying right into the enemy. That’s a lot like what you could do in Quantum Break by manipulating time.
You can also levitate into the air by holding down the X button on the controller. If you push down on the right stick, you can attack others with a powerful ground pound. But you are not invulnerable. I got shot enough times by the enemies that I died and had to respawn.
If you do enough damage to an enemy, a box will appear by the enemy. If you hold the square button, you’ll be able to take over the enemy and have them fight for you. That makes life easier.
I had a few tasks to do like defeat the enemies, break into an upstairs office, and find a way through a “mirror maze” in one of the rooms. Once, to get an elevator working again, I had to find a green box and plug it into a kind of socket. The game didn’t really tell me how to do that, so I had to ask for help.
There were different kinds of enemies in the basement, which I accessed via the elevator. And there were a variety of boss characters to beat as well. My demo ended before I was able to figure out the mirror maze.
You can tell that this game is built on the same Northlight engine that Remedy used for Quantum Break. Much of the combat resembles the fighting in Quantum Break, and the controls were very simple to learn. So far, Control looks good, has an intriguing story, and it’s easy to play. Let’s hope it really plays that way when it comes out in August.