Control Interview: Horror Elements, Reactive Environments, Sandbox Gameplay And More

Control wants to take your world and turn it upside down.

Posted By | On 31st, Jul. 2018 Under Article, Interviews | Follow This Author @ZootPlays


Control from Remedy Entertainment was one of the many surprises at this year’s E3. With melodrama, crazy transforming weaponry, and a world that is never what it seems, Control is looking to be a game unlike anything we’ve seen so far from Remedy. You take the role of Jesse, a FBI director who has to take out her enemies and discover the Oldest House’s secrets before it’s too late. Luckily we had a chance to sit down and talk with Thomas Puha, Head of Communications at Remedy, to find out more about this very weird game.

The reveal trailer for Control had a very distinct surreal and supernatural tone. Does that maybe hint that the game is going to be a cross-genre one? Can we expect it to have horror elements?

Right. The trailer’s intention was to give a glimpse of what the game is, and especially what the demo is. And yeah, there are some horror elements. It’s not a horror game, by any means though. There are elements of horror in there. I mean, we’re inspired by a lot of things.

The game takes place in the Oldest House, which is this transforming building. You can kind of think of it like the core of the building is kind of stable.The further you travel into the building the crazier it gets, more organic, more unpredictable. It will have a combination of those things.

Let’s talk about combat for a bit. The trailer obviously showed some third-person shooting, but it also seemed to be mixed with telekinetic abilities. Can you explain just how much these abilities will affect and impact the game’s combat?

Control is more of a sort of sandbox game compared to what we’ve done before. So, when it comes to the weapon that Jesse you can use it in several different forms, and you have the abilities, it’s kind of up to the players how they want [to play]. If you just want to use the gun, you can; if you just want to use the abilities, you can. But you really need to use a mixture of both. There’s a good variety of enemies that are going to act in very different ways. You’re really going to have to learn to use both. We put a lot of care in trying to make the abilities feel really physical. We want it to feel impactful. We’re still working on that, but there should be a pretty good mix.

"We like to use the term “reactive” because that’s what it’s like. When we use the term “destructive environment,” that’s a very loaded statement. That makes you come to a conclusion that you can destroy everything. So, the environments react to what you’re doing."

You’ve said in comments to the press that the game will have reactive environments Can you give more details on that — in context of the game itself, how are its environments going to be reactive, and how are they going to affect gameplay?

We use the word :”reactive” because basically it means — I mean, when you use your power — when Jesse uses the shield — let’s say when you’re near objects like the table and there’s a bunch of debris, it becomes your shield. Like you are impacting the environment. We like to use the term “reactive” because that’s what it’s like. When we use the term “destructive environment,” that’s a very loaded statement. That makes you come to a conclusion that you can destroy everything. So, the environments react to what you’re doing.

What kind of world will Control take place in? Is this a semi-open world or will it all take place in the Oldest House?

The game is not open-world. Let’s be very clear about that. It’s a sandbox and more open ended. It’s not linear, but people tend to think when you talk about open world, you think about Far Cry and GTA. We’re not that. The game takes place entirely in the Oldest House. Let’s say that the Oldest House is a very large, transforming environment that will surprise you. But maybe there’s something else. I have to be vague

What can you tell us about the main protagonist Jesse?

We’ve been keeping quiet about that but Jesse’s sort of an outcast. She’s had a troubled past, something happened to her in her youth, something very traumatic. These are all the things that lead her to the Oldest House. She’s definitely got a bit of attitude, very kind of do-it-yourself. The way we designed her back at the studio: all of her clothes have been made in real life. All of that is very important to give Jesse a lot of personality, but we’ll talk more about that later.

Visually speaking, Control looks very similar to Quantum Break. How deep do these similarities go?

t’s the same engine, same people. So it’s going to have some similarities, but they’re very, very different. Quantum Break was very linear, and Control is a lot more open ended. It’s a lot darker. Our art direction is complete different from Quantum Break. I mean, yes, they’re third-person, and, yes, there’s powers and abilities in both games, but rest assured, they’re very different.

"And of course levitation is not unlimited. Because as you can imagine you could break everything in the game, and also it wouldn’t be fun for the players."

Remedy attempted something bold with Quantum Break’s narrative, with its episodic television storytelling approach. Can we expect something similar for Control as well?

Control‘s a very different game. No, in short. In Quantum Break, the game and what we did in the game affects the show, which was pretty incredible that we were able to pull that off. But now we’re a lot more focused and making a very gameplay-driven experience, telling what’s happened in lots of different ways.

You saw a little bit of the superimposed live action in the closed-doors demo. There’s lots of tricks we’re doing. It’s a lot more gameplay driven, so there should be a lot less interruption. Players can play the game at their own pace. That’s really important for us.”

Is there any altering of time like we saw in Quantum Break?

No. The game is work in progress, but there is no time travel.

We saw in the demo that Jesse can fly to practically anywhere at anytime; but are there any limitations or penalties for her flying?

Of course there are. We aren’t showing everything in the demo. In the demo we’ve also removed a lot of the UI; but there are resources for abilities. And of course levitation is not unlimited. Because as you can imagine you could break everything in the game, and also it wouldn’t be fun for the players.

Is Jesse’s only weapon the transforming gun?

Yes. That’s the only weapon, but I don’t know if you noticed that it has two forms. There will be other forms but we’re only talking about two right now. And you can customize it as well.

The game will feature Xbox One X specific enhancements, but what can we expect from the PS4 Pro?

We aren’t talking about any of that right now. Rest assured that Remedy has always done technically really, really good games. So we’ll make sure we’re taking care of all the different platforms.

Any comment on 4K, 60FPS?

We’re not going to be 60FPS.

How is Control running on the original Xbox and PS4?

Too early to tell. Rest assured that it will run at 30 frames-per-second, and it will be fine.

Do you have any plans to release Control for Nintendo Switch? If not, why?

No comment on that. That’s a publisher decision from 505. Rest assured everybody at Remedy likes Switch a lot. That’s the only answer I can give you.

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