Control Impressions - Starting the Year with a Yawn.

So I'm starting 2020 on clean up duty of the games I missed that have gotten high praise. I did Devil May Cry 5 and wasn't super keen on it, and now I'm into Control.

Control is about a girl with a power in her mind that leads her to what amounts to a super natural government organization building ala Men in Black. Only to find that the building is under attack by a mind controlling entity of some kind. Within minutes of being there she becomes the Men in Black's new leader and is tasked with saved the crazy building from whatever force is trying to rip it apart.

Control is one of those stories that thinks it's smart than it actually is. But it is actually rather mundane and filled with fake mystery. For example your character Jesse hides the mind entity from the Control agents only to reveal it without much fan fare later.

AS you progress as the new director of the Agency of Control, you will cleanse the corruption of the building and discover "objects of power" that give you super powers. Force Push, Force Grab and throw, Force Dodge, flying eventually. All of it becomes this core of a third person shooter with really really stupid enemies. The second boss of the game stopped fighting me entirely after I broke his shields and he stood there while I murdered him.

Later enemies become sponges for no reason other than to get in your way. And other enemies can kill you in two hits if you aren't running around like a crazy person taking pot shots when you can.

The building in which the game is set is cool, it magically shifts around and genuinely makes for an interesting dungeon. However the story is trying to hard to be mysterious, and the combat is sloppy and annoying. It's not a terrible game, but it isn't a game anyone should pay full price for.

I'm glad I missed Control when it was new and got a good deal on the Epic store for the game.

Also I don't understand why the game teases you with a boss fight complete with Souls-like health bars early on, but then doesn't give you another boss for hours afterward. That first boss was genuinely interesting and excited to fight, but now hours later I've not seen anything to give me the same excitement.

Also whenever you find an Object to give you a new super power, you are teleported into a void training course which is so disjointed and most of them are way too easy for their own good. For example when you learn how to force grab and throw shit, you can just run to the goal and never use the power it is training you to do. It's things like this, and the excessive enemies just thrown in your way that show just how much Control is trying to waste your time (and perhaps pad out its runtime).

The game difficulty is "adaptive" what that means is that it constantly crank up the difficulty until you die, at which point it lowers it. That's why enemy become bullet sponge and take you out in few shoot toward the end. Get killed a couple of time to reset things to normal values. Yeah it's a stupid features.

Meiam:
The game difficulty is "adaptive" what that means is that it constantly crank up the difficulty until you die, at which point it lowers it. That's why enemy become bullet sponge and take you out in few shoot toward the end. Get killed a couple of time to reset things to normal values. Yeah it's a stupid features.

Funly enough i die more to falling off stupid shit than i do to badguys because they are mostly dumb.

Meiam:
The game difficulty is "adaptive" what that means is that it constantly crank up the difficulty until you die, at which point it lowers it. That's why enemy become bullet sponge and take you out in few shoot toward the end. Get killed a couple of time to reset things to normal values. Yeah it's a stupid features.

Ick. I have no idea why devs in 2019 would think this is a good move. Either give people options or have a set difficulty. I can't think of a single example where adaptive difficulty has turned out well in a video game.

Elfgore:
I can't think of a single example where adaptive difficulty has turned out well in a video game.

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Elfgore:

Meiam:
The game difficulty is "adaptive" what that means is that it constantly crank up the difficulty until you die, at which point it lowers it. That's why enemy become bullet sponge and take you out in few shoot toward the end. Get killed a couple of time to reset things to normal values. Yeah it's a stupid features.

Ick. I have no idea why devs in 2019 would think this is a good move. Either give people options or have a set difficulty. I can't think of a single example where adaptive difficulty has turned out well in a video game.

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Special mentions to almost any Capcom arcade brawler and Metal Gear Solid V.

iirc, most of the other example of adaptive difficulty don't modify enemy health/damage, they do thing like change the amount of item you find in the world or amount of enemy.

From what I understand control also doesn't really care how you build your character, ie if you crank up your character health, it'll just increase the enemy damage to match. Personally I'm interested in playing control but I'll only do so if there's a mod to disable all that nonsense.

Can't say I noticed the adaptive difficulty at all in Control. There weren't any difficulty spikes or luls that I was aware of.

Casual Shinji:
Can't say I noticed the adaptive difficulty at all in Control. There weren't any difficulty spikes or luls that I was aware of.

I just don't like the game, if I'm honest. I put 6 hours into it, and got reasonably far and it was just never fun for me. I can see how there is a game people can enjoy here, but it just doesn't land at all with me.

CritialGaming:

Casual Shinji:
Can't say I noticed the adaptive difficulty at all in Control. There weren't any difficulty spikes or luls that I was aware of.

I just don't like the game, if I'm honest. I put 6 hours into it, and got reasonably far and it was just never fun for me. I can see how there is a game people can enjoy here, but it just doesn't land at all with me.

You're really only there for the specific atmosphere and the notes, and if that doesn't grab you then that's that. I liked the action well enough, but it never really progresses beyond the first couple of enemy encounters. Not until you get the ability of flight, which does pull all the combat moves together quite well, but by then you're already halfway through the game.

Casual Shinji:

CritialGaming:

Casual Shinji:
Can't say I noticed the adaptive difficulty at all in Control. There weren't any difficulty spikes or luls that I was aware of.

I just don't like the game, if I'm honest. I put 6 hours into it, and got reasonably far and it was just never fun for me. I can see how there is a game people can enjoy here, but it just doesn't land at all with me.

You're really only there for the specific atmosphere and the notes, and if that doesn't grab you then that's that. I liked the action well enough, but it never really progresses beyond the first couple of enemy encounters. Not until you get the ability of flight, which does pull all the combat moves together quite well, but by then you're already halfway through the game.

I got the flight shortly before I called it quits. Glad I'm not missing much else then.

I like poltergeisting things all over the place. It's endlessly enjoyable for me to keep throwing stuff at people.

If that doesnt excite you, I can understand why it doesn't mesh with you. Jessie is a completely boring character, and you only find out her backstory through text and it doesnt effect her decisions... so it's pointless adding backstory in

Meiam:
iirc, most of the other example of adaptive difficulty don't modify enemy health/damage, they do thing like change the amount of item you find in the world or amount of enemy.

From what I understand control also doesn't really care how you build your character, ie if you crank up your character health, it'll just increase the enemy damage to match. Personally I'm interested in playing control but I'll only do so if there's a mod to disable all that nonsense.

You also don't really have bullets either... so you cant adapt that

Hm, weird. I didn't play too many new games this year, but i really liked Control.

Like all Remedy games (Except Max Payne) it is a bit weak in the game-department, but the structure, story, atmosphere totally makes up for it. The game is interesting, tells its story very well. Isn't padded too much with senseless "Activities" (Looking at you, Witcher 3... and all those damn Ubisoft games since... 2009?).

I am just waiting for the exclusivity to run out to buy a copy officially. The game has character, is fun and you see it's the product of the thought "Hey, lets make a cool game about..." instead of "Marketing tells us to make a game about..."

Thoroughly enjoyed it. (But yeah, the fighting could have been better)

Summerstorm:
The game has character, is fun and you see it's the product of the thought "Hey, lets make a cool game about..." instead of "Marketing tells us to make a game about..."

Thoroughly enjoyed it. (But yeah, the fighting could have been better)

This is why I like and respect Remedy. Plus, it's a shooter with movement and not another cover shooter. You how much of a rarity that is today. 3rd person shooters that are not about using chest high walls, and actually has vertical movement. Hell, Gungrave Gore was announced a few months ago, and that game is looking better than most 3rd person shooters from this generation or last gen. I'll pick up Control at some point. There's some games I've got to finish first.

The only Remedy game I have genuine dislike for are Max Payne 1 due to an ever worse dynamic difficulty system, and the frustrating as fuck nightmare sequences, and Quantum Break. QB was just a weaker version of Vanquish. It's cooler ideas removed (look at the original E3 Demo), and what we got were shitty live-action, Bourne Z-rated wannabe cut-scenes with gameplay that should have been better. Honestly, I lay partial blame to Microsoft in Xbones early years when they had this obsession of sports and television. Reaching audience who most likely wanted nothing to do with theirs or other games in general.

 

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