Remedy Entertainment are trying a lot of new things with Control, which is a game that promises to be a lot less linear than their previous titles have been, with things such as side missions, systemic gameplay, and a metroidvania level design potentially looking to turn it into an experience that has gameplay that requires a lot more user engagement than something like, say, Quantum Break.
We recently sat down for an interview with Mikael Kasurinen and Brooke Maggs, director and narrative designer on the game respectively, and asked them about what lessons they’ve taken from Quantum Break going into Control, and the developers ended up mentioning a lot of the aforementioned things, calling the gameplay “more aggressive, more involving” and possibly much more challenging, especially in the beginning stages as players get to grips with its systems.
“With Quantum Break, we tried to find a good balance between cinematic style and gameplay,” they said. “But it often led to compromise we wanted to avoid. In Control, we, for instance, kind of rethought how to capture animation in the sense of the control you have over the character, and so on. Everything is way more responsive, immediate, clean and clear. The gameplay is more aggressive, more involving, you need to really pay attention and learn, invest yourself into the experience to succeed. Initially it could be a challenging game, but once you respect what it’s putting in front of you, it’s a lot of fun. I think that’s one thing that we wanted to make more, something that demands participation from the player— so it’s not just something that you run through and you’re done.”
It’s not just with gameplay, though, that Control differs from past Remedy efforts. It expands upon their narrative formula as well. With things such as audio logs, optional side missions, and other avenues to be able to expand the story and the game’s world, with Control, Remedy are employing more and new narrative techniques- which also includes a lot more environmental storytelling than ever before. That said, the game will still have some live action storytelling, if not nearly as much as there was in Quantum Break.
“We also explored new ways for Remedy to tell stories,” said the developers. “So there’s a lot more environmental storytelling, audio logs to uncover,
documents, we have side missions in Control, which is new to Remedy games. [Previous games have] largely been tailored, beautiful, linear, single-player games. Where is with Control, we have this open-ended world, which means you can come across side missions earlier in the game, documents point you towards things to investigate.
“We also have a story where you can ask characters more about aspects of the world, and how they’re involved in them. So I think Control’s a different game in that sense. There is more storytelling that was live-action in Quantum Break. We still have live-action in Control— that is a part of Remedy games. But we’ve used it in a more specific way, I think. It’s more integrated into the world than what we did in Quantum Break.”
Control launches August 27 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. We recently got a look at nearly thirty minutes of gameplay footage, which you can view through here. In this same interview, the Control devs also spoke to us about how long an average playthrough of the game will be, and about how they think the inclusion of SSDs in next-gen hardware will impact game development. Read about both through the links.
The full interview will be going live soon, so stay tuned.