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Control game release date, trailer and pre-order

If you're looking for something a bit out of the ordinary with your gaming experience, then you probably want to keep an eye out for Control. It will release in August 2019, and it has some pretty good pedigree behind it: a veteran studio and developers, an interesting concept, and some unique gameplay hooks.

On top of that, Control will also be one of the first games to utilize full support for the new gold standard in GPU performance: ray tracing. If you always need to have the newest and best in graphics technology, Control will be one to show off the capabilities in your newest card.

That said, Control has managed to fly a bit under the radar. Today, we're bringing you up to speed on what to expect from the newest game from Remedy Entertainment. Read on and see if this is one you want to stay up to date with.

Check out the gameplay trailer

"This is gonna be … weirder than usual."

If you want to know what you're in for with Control, then you should probably check out the gameplay trailer. It focuses on some of the disturbing imagery you'll see as you journey through the Oldest House, reveling in the creepy settings and enemies the player will face. It quickly gets to the goods, however, showing just what kind of abilities you'll have in Control.

Fly through the air, rip machinery out of the ground before tossing it at your foes, manipulate debris to form shields: it looks like players will be able to use a variety of powerful techniques to solve the mysteries of Control. And that's before you even get to the Service Weapon, the "Object of Power" that changes shape, size, and ability as you see fit. If Control is able to give the player the sense of power portrayed in the trailer, it should be a no-brainer pickup.

If you'd like to see a bit of the tone the story will be taking, here's a decidedly creepy story trailer for you as well. There aren't any spoilers, but Control does look like it's shooting for "extremely unsettling."

That said, we all know you can't always trust trailers, so IGN First released a gameplay video of Control which showcases the first 13 minutes of the game. So far, it's looking exactly like they promised.

Control release date and platforms

Here's the nitty-gritty on Control: a character named Jesse Faden will explore a large environment called the "Oldest House" using a variety of magical abilities and weapons. In the process, you'll battle a supernatural force known as the Hiss.

Rock Paper Shotgun describes Control as "Max Payne meets David Lynch." It also sounds like Control has some Metroidvania and Dark Souls elements to it: players will need to pay attention to their environment and remember what abilities are needed to reach certain parts of it. Once those new abilities have been discovered, the player will be able to backtrack and open up even more places to explore. It will also feature a surreal story and plenty of bizarre imagery to go along with it.

Control is scheduled to release on Aug. 27, 2019 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. There are no plans for Control to come to Nintendo Switch at this time.

Developer Remedy has a good track record

Control is developed by Remedy Entertainment, who have a small but fairly high-quality lineup of games to their name. Their first ever game was 1996's Death Rally, but it was really the Max Payne series that put them on the map. After Max Payne came the critically acclaimed Alan Wake games (and a rerelease of Death Rally). Their most recent effort was the ambitious but rocky Quantum Break.

Quantum Break did not do quite as well as Remedy was hoping it would, so Control seems like a bit of a course correction, taking some of their ideas from Quantum Break but melding them back into the comfort zone of Alan Wake.

Control is also being published by 505 Games, who have taken some fliers on ambitious, non-AAA games that have gone on to huge success. Rocket League, No Man's Sky, and Don't Starve all fall under their umbrella. Not everything 505 has published has worked out, but the company tends to pick ambitious, under the radar titles with serious potential: a good place for Control to be.

Control wants to push video game physics to the limit

One of the central draws of Control comes from the extreme power of both your character and your enemies. You are both in control of insane, physics-dominating abilities, and Remedy's goal with the game is to let the player feel that. One early impression likened it to Remedy's past work, stating that Control is like "Max Payne's movement is combined with Quantum Break's time-bending telekinetic powers, combining to create a third-person control scheme at the top of its craft."

Control will task players with manipulating their environment in order to survive. Nearly anything can be destroyed or used as a makeshift weapon, allowing for some spectacular set pieces and all manner of experimentation. For it to work right, Remedy have made a game engine that allows for the spectacular destruction they are aiming for.

The story is really out there

Remedy doesn't just make pretty games; they've always been focused on pushing the narrative in unexpected directions. Alan Wake had a bizarre but impressive bit of storytelling attached to it, drawing influence from all manner of horror. There were bits of Stephen King, Twin Peaks, The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock, and many more interspersed through its narrative. Quantum Break and Max Payne also wove interesting stories, so it's understandable that Control will take some narrative risks.

Control tells the story of Jesse Faden, who visits the headquarters of the United States Federal Bureau of Control, a fictional agency that investigates the paranormal. While there, the building is attacked by an entity known as the Hiss, which takes control of many of the people there. The massive building holds many secrets, and Jesse must use her powerful abilities to fight the Hiss and discover the truth about her background.

Also, there is a magical, shape-shifting gun that you can adapt to best serve your current situation. So that's awesome.

Your weapons are psychic abilities and a shape-shifting gun

The game's main character, Jesse, heads to the Federal Bureau of Control to try to piece together information about her past: specifically, why she has psychic abilities. Once she arrives and the Hiss crashes the party, an "Object of Power" called the Service Weapon essentially chooses her, amplifying her abilities and granting her all sorts of new ones. This powerful artifact and your own abilities will be all you need to battle the forces of evil.

You can watch a pretty enlightening video on the Service Weapon and how it works, but here's the gist. There are a variety of forms you can unlock for the gun, and you can assign two different forms to switch between at any given time. Some are similar to traditional weapons you'd find in most shooters: low damage with rapid fire rates, a form that excels in close-quarter battles, and a long-range, accurate style. Others play into the otherworldly power of the weapon; for example, a form called "Pierce" ignores walls and objects, allowing players to fire at enemies behind cover or kill multiple foes in a line. It sounds like the Service Weapon will allow players to approach battles in many different ways.

There will be side missions, a first for Remedy

There has been some debate about whether or not Control is an "open world" game. You definitely aren't running around something like Los Santos or Skyrim, but the world of Control is much bigger and has much more to do than previous Remedy games have. Their previous missions served the core plot alone, whereas Control will feature exploration and sidequests, allowing you to do extra work to uncover more.

Kotaku writes about this shift in philosophy: "The aim is to have it be a continuous world that players can explore, finding hidden secrets and using new abilities to overcome previously impassable obstacles. This could mean getting lost in a mirror maze in an abandoned research wing or leaping into the Astral Realm to traverse a distance before popping out somewhere else in the real world. Control has a main story, but the world is full of sidequests and secrets to encourage exploration."

Sounds tricky, but also an absolute blast if Remedy can pull it off.

Rituals and repetition will play a big part in the narrative

Remedy has always had an interesting way of telling their stories: Alan Wake's fourth-wall breaking meta-commentary, Quantum Break's divisive live action segments, etc. With Control, Remedy is again swinging for the fences: they are focusing on environmental storytelling and the concepts of ritual and repetition to hammer home their themes.

The Verge writes that main character Jesse will frequently repeat mantras and incantations to help keep her grounded as she explores the otherworldly setting of Control. She will gain new powers through rituals, and will see similar symbols and situations repeated in her exploration.

Since Control is also opening up its world a bit, much of the story is hidden in the background; Remedy will task players with piecing things together themselves. This is another area where a game like Dark Souls seems to have influenced Control's development. For some, it can just be a fun action game. For others, there could be a deep well of lore to dive into and pore over.

Control's voice cast has some familiar names

With a focus on storytelling, Control will need to have a few things. Besides having a good story to tell, it will also need some talented actors to tell it. Luckily, there are plenty of veterans who voice characters in the game.

Courtney Hope voices Jesse, and she has experience working in several television shows as well as doing voice work in several games. She has worked with Remedy before, as well; she played Beth Wilder in Quantum Break.

Max Payne himself, James McCaffrey, has a role in Control as well. He also appeared in Alan Wake, and has acted in several movies and television shows.

Speaking of Alan Wake, Matthew Porretta also makes an appearance in Control. The voice of Alan, who also played Will Scarlett O'Hara in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, will play the awesomely named Dr. Casper Darling.

Other notable names in the cast include Jennifer Armour and Martti Suosalo. There's a good cast here to help tell Control's story.

Control will trust the player to pay attention

As game worlds expand, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Quest markers, loot markers, Riddler trophies … it can be tough to even know where to start. Control's director, Mikael Kasurinen, has a unique way of combating that.

Even though Control isn't a massive open world, Kasurinen still thinks the player should be responsible for how to approach puzzles and figuring out what to do next. He told Kotaku: "One of the core philosophies was no hand holding … No quest markers. We want players to take information and internalize it. You have to look at the world, the signs. You need to perceive the things around you."

Sounds refreshing, doesn't it? A game that credits the player to figure out where to go next? Kasutinen realizes it's a bit of a risk, but that's part of the fun: "I want to see things I don't expect. People might break the game even, but we shouldn't play it safe. People should be able to experiment. Making it unpredictable is what makes it fun and we need to accept that and let it go."

Early reports praise the combat and bizarre story

There's a lot on the line for Remedy with Control, but it does seem like they are headed in the right direction with it. Many different outlets have gotten their hands on it, from Kotaku to GameSpot to PC Gamer, and they all seem to echo each other: Control feels good. They each praise the way it showcases the characters' powers and portrays the bizarre story within the game. Jesse's powers translate well, and each ability carries a reward and impact that allows players to feel powerful, regardless of how they approach the game.

These same outlets praise Control's ambition and storytelling. GameSpot said they "can't wait to experience Jesse's journey from the beginning and to see how strange and unpredictable it becomes." PC Gamer called the story "intriguing and cryptic" and stated that developer Remedy are "masters of reality-bending intrigue" and "are weaving their most intricate web yet." It sounds like they've found that sweet spot.

On PC, Control is going to be an Epic Games Store exclusive

Alright, so Control sounds like a winner. What are your options for buying it? It's releasing for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For consoles, it's a pretty simple solution. One thing you'll want to watch out for if you're planning on picking up Control on PC, however, is that you won't be able to get it on Steam, at least for a while. For the first year, Control will be an Epic Games Store exclusive. After that, you can expect it to show up on other platforms.

Publisher 505 Games announced this exclusivity at GDC 2019. 505 also announced a few other games in their lineup with one year Epic Games exclusivity, indicating that they may have struck an accord with Steam's competitor. Considering the issues that Remedy's last game, Quantum Break, faced on its PC release (delays followed by game-crashing bugs and glitches), hopefully they have worked things out for the PC version of Control.

Pre-order bonuses

If you're planning on picking up Control on the console of your choice, then strap yourself in. You have a lot of options on how to buy it. In fact, there are so many different versions, pre-order bonuses, and exclusive items available for Control that there had to be two separate charts to understand it all: one for PS4 and one for Xbox One.

The PS4 will have four versions of Control: Retail Standard, Digital Standard, Retail Deluxe, and Digital Deluxe. The Xbox One version will only have three of those: no Digital Deluxe for Xbox One owners. However, each PS4 version of the game includes exclusive content, so what you get with, say, the Digital Standard PS4 version of Control will not be the same as what you get with the Digital Standard Xbox One version. The PC version only has the Standard Digital version listed for pre-order, which is probably the same as the Xbox One version.

Oh yeah, it's frustrating.

The PS4 version seems to be the best bet if you have the choice, but bear in mind that many of the "exclusive" items are little cosmetic additions.