Remedy, the game studio that developed games such as Quantum Break and Alan Wake among others, released a third-person action-adventure game titled Control on 27 August on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The game follows Jesse Faden as she combats an enemy known as the Hiss in the FBC’s (Federal Bureau of Control) headquarters Oldest House.
The FBC is a secret U.S. government agency tasked with containing and studying paranormal phenomena. The game, which features a nonlinear world map (a first for Remedy), is set within the Oldest House skyscraper whose interiors are larger than the building’s exterior and in a constant supernatural shift. Jesse advances through the game with the help of her firearm the Service Weapon; a supernatural firearm which can shapeshift into a variety of weapons. She also has supernatural abilities, such as telekinesis and levitation.
Since its release, the game has been garnering positive reviews from critics and fans alike; some have already begun to consider Control as Remedy’s best game yet.
For all its praise, Control does have its share of performance issues. A lot of these problems, which prominently plague the older console versions (such as the slim and base PS4 and Xbox One, respectively) have been somewhat linked to the game’s sophisticated graphics and prominent use of ray tracing technology.
Control is considered to be one of the first games to successfully implement this very recent technology. So much so that PC Gamer perfectly paraphrased the implication by saying, “Control is the best, most complex implementation of ray tracing in a video game so far”. Forbes has even branded Control a “Next-Gen Game,” because of its sheer graphical beauty.
According to Digital Foundry, at its worst, on older console models frame rates can drop down all the way to 10fps, basically making the game unplayable. Even when the cases aren’t that bad, frame rates still tend to fluctuate intensely, especially during battle. Another widespread issue impacts navigation: the in-game map sometimes fails to load entirely resulting in a map that doesn’t show enough to aid the player to get to a destination that’s visible on the map. Some players aren’t fond of the game’s always-on film grain and motion blur and would prefer to do away with either or both entierly.
Remedy has seen the complaints and felt the frustration, and two days after the release of the game, the studio released a statement addressing the situation. The studio assured fans that developers are hard at work at trying to optimise the game’s console performance, fix the slew of problems that players have been facing, and creating all the content they have planned for the game. Remedy confirmed that they’re working on improving the map so it can better prioritise information and display correctly. The next update of the game, which they’ve said is slated for mid to late September or so, will almost definitely introduce toggles for motion blur and film grain.
Remedy has pledged to make Control better as time passes, but they’ve told fans that things don’t get better in an instant; so they also asked for some patience and understanding. Remedy ended their statement positively by assuring, “This is just the beginning.”