Control Director Says Players Now Demand More Gameplay Complexity In Games

Mikael Kasurinen thinks players have moved past the “30 second gameplay loop”.

Posted By | On 06th, May. 2019 Under News


With Remedy’s next title, Control, well on its way, we’ve been getting a lot of information about the game, like the recent video showing off the game’s dynamic and reaction environments. What’s maybe equally as interesting as the gameplay itself, though, is that a lot of people behind the scenes have been talking about the state of the industry and its future.

Recently, for instance, the CEO of the company talked about how he thought the next few years would be a “golden era” of sorts for single player titles as new consoles enter the market and demand for new and unique experiences grows. Now, the director of Control, Mikael Kasurinen has given his own thoughts about how players’ evolving tastes have altered the industry, and how it specifically influenced Control.

Sitting down with the Official Xbox Magazine in their June 2019 issue (Issue 177), Kasurinen said that players nowadays expect more than the “30-second gameplay loop” that Bungie popularized with Halo: Combat Evolved back in the day, which he feels perfected that loop in that generation of consoles. That said, he thinks now people look for more complex and overlaying systems, and gameplay systems like the ones seen in previous Remedy titles, Alan Wake and Quantam Break, just wouldn’t cut it nowadays. Control, as such, goes way farther for current players’ matured tastes.

“You look back on our previous games, Alan Wake had a flashlight, and that’s all he did; with Quantum Break we went a step further with the time mechanics… but there was also a little bit of a limit to how far we could go,” Kasurinen said. “Essentially, there are no limits in Control – we don’t say that it’s just time, or it’s just light and shadows, we open up possibilities. Which allows us to manoeuvre and find what’s fun without being limited by the context we set ourselves. We like strong themes. ‘Okay, this is all about bullet time or this is all about light,’ it helps us to have a focus on the game, which is always healthy and good, but it maybe also comes from a different age and time.”

“It was a common philosophy in the early ’00s: perfect that 30-second loop,” he continued. “Like what Halo did, perfect that one loop, make headshots feel good, and then you repeat that endlessly. It was a common strategy, and it was a good strategy, but I don’t think that’s enough anymore. You have to have that, but then you have to have other layers to the experience – progression, strong characters, an interesting world to explore. Even when they don’t play the game we want people to think about it, ‘Okay what will I do when I get back in the evening and return to playing Control? Will I tackle a side-mission?’ It’s a different age, I think. Our philosophy looking at game design needs to change as well, so it can’t be just fight with light, it needs to be more than that and that’s what we are doing with Control.”

Control releases August 27th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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