[Unpopular Opinion] Control's game-logic nonsense makes it unplayable.

Sep 22, 2020
I started out really enjoying Control. It draws a lot from Twin Peaks, and not the most obvious stuff, more from the Return season and Fire Walk with Me, making the game feel like a blue rose case. It's nice seeing FMV sequences actually work for a change, and there's an unusual amount of interiority from the main character. I especially like the way it gradually reveals the player's role--and that it's not Jesse Faden. That causality itself has broken down seems to make game-logic work where it's usually immersion-breaking, which felt refreshing at first, but that ultimately proved to be the downfall of the whole experience.

Here's the thing: While it's fun sometimes to face puzzles, as opposed to pretend-puzzles that are blatantly obvious, like in Horizon Zero Dawn, I have to give a **** about solving them. Finding out what happened to Dylan was cool, finding out how to get out of areas I'd entered for no reason was not. If the only reason to solve a puzzle is that I'm stuck until I do, and especially if the puzzle makes no actual sense, I'm reaching for a walkthrough. The act of solving the puzzle has to be more interesting than doing random things in random order until something happens, like in the hotel sequences. I was repeatedly reminded of that one door early in Resident Evil 2 that you can't open until you have a shotgun, like the shotgun is a key somehow? I may not even remember that detail right, but I'm still angry about it to this day. Control is full of that kind of game-logic.

If the lore texts had contained more clues (I only recall the material being relevant a couple of times), or if dialogue options did more than unnecessary exposition, I might have been more interested in revealing Control's secrets. For example, if I could have asked somebody about the jukebox. It's right there, early in the game, like the tantalizing armor in Horizon Zero Dawn, but there's no clue as to any kind of mystery you can solve. Then--and I can't stress this enough--I made a terrible mistake by activating the jukebox. I got sent off to another random world where the rules of reality don't apply, where there's no mini-map, where I'm supposed to find some irrelevant people in an unnecessary and clearly optional side quest that I don't give a @%&# about. "Okay, I've looked around and didn't find them, guess those rangers aren't coming home." Except, there's no exit. There are other areas you could clearly reach by levitating to them, but there are invisible walls. Just show me some bright yellow like in Horizon Zero Dawn, for @%&#'s sake. Make it a pretend-mystery that's really just crawling through a tunnel with no branching paths. This is where, if Control were a movie, the nerds would tell me I'm dumb for not appreciating how "deep" it is, like the Fountain or Matrix II. At this point, I didn't even feel like reading a walkthrough, I quit.

Honestly, I'd rather watch a Kojima cutscene for 30 minutes than play some sequences of Control. At least there are no wrong turns or repetition in cutscenes, and you can usually skip them. Sometimes, they even make sense. If you enjoy random game-logic crap, have it, but Control just is not for everyone.
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Yeah I never bit on Control. I liked Remedy's Max Payne and Alan Wake games, but even with their American Nightmare addon for Alan Wake, I could see Remedy was losing their touch for quality gameplay. American Nightmare was more ridiculous arcade crap than horror really.

The reasons I never took interest in Control was due to it looking very repetitive, and taking place all in the same environment with no variety in level design. Aside from that, after expressing such opinions, I read that another common complaint about it is the ridiculously punishing save system. Apparently it's a fairly difficult game to play, and because of the checkpoint system, you often have to play huge segments over, which only adds to the feeling of repetitiveness. We can only hope Remedy's next game is more interesting.
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Jan 14, 2020
The Hotel Parts in Control are awful, even with the rule of 3 clues. However the rest of the game I really like. It can be difficult in parts because it's not clear that the easiest way to play it is to rely on Grip and Launch. I just used no other gun types. I only used addons that improved those. Also once you get other powers later on it gets even easier.
Another game I totally forgot about, which Remedy also made, was Quantum Break. It was a pretty decent game really. So I take back what I said about their gameplay quality declining after Alan Wake American Nightmare.

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