Review: Control Ultimate Edition

About this Game

Publisher

505 Games

Developer

Remedy Entertainment

Release Date

August 27th, 2019

Console

PlayStation 4, Playstation 5

How long does it take to unlock all trophies in Control?

~25h

How difficult is it to unlock all trophies in Control?

Easy (3/10)

Does Control have online trophies?

No

Does Control have difficulty-specific trophies?

No

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Regaining Control of the FBC

I already earned the Platinum Trophy for Control on PlayStation 4 way back in 2019. I even reviewed the platinum journey here on PlatGet too, but admittedly those were the early days and it’s not very well-written!

Once word got out about an Ultimate Collection for PS5, featuring a Performance mode in 4K 60FPS and a Fidelity mode making the most of the game’s lighting via raytracing… Well, I was already shuffling in my seat in impatient anticipation for the release.

That pile of clocks is actually behind Jesse, reflected in the glass. The reflection clarity is insane!

Colour me shocked, then, when Sony announced that Control’s Ultimate Edition would be free on PlayStation Plus from the very same day it released. I was over the moon, we haven’t seen a month this good on PS Plus in a long time, at least for me.

Unfortunately for some, though, Sony kept this a pretty close-guarded secret. Allowing PS Plus users to pre-order the game (paying up-front) without any sort of indication that they would be pissing that money away for no reason. Not really the best thing they’ve done, is it? At least it looks like many of those customers were able to refund the pre-order.

On top of that, Remedy were asking people who already owned Control on PS4 to pay outright for the PS5 version, where most developers would have offered it as a free upgrade…

Enough about all that, though, let’s talk about the game!

Control Ultimate Edition Platinum Review

Re-assuming Control

Getting back into the swing of things with Control was not difficult for me at all. Usually when I start up a game for the first time in a while, I’ll spend ages wrestling with my own brain as I start trying to use the controls for the last game I played. Other than trying to sprint with for a short while (Thanks Hitman 3) it wasn’t long before I was launching desks and fire extinguishers like it was second nature.

One of the things I remember from my original playthrough of the game was how overpowered I often felt, especially with some of the boss fights. However, for my second playthrough I knew I would want a lot of health and a powerful Launch so I pretty much exclusively spent Ability Points on these two things.

My skill tree towards the end of the base game.

I also knew what Personal and Weapon mods I would want for my ideal loadout and which weapon forms I’d be using. So I didn’t waste any resources upgrading the Shatter or Spin weapon forms that I knew I wouldn’t use. Instead I focused on making the Grip and Pierce forms formidable and used mods which would increase my health and Launch attack power.

Suddenly, I felt completely OP. I breezed through battles which previously took me multiple attempts and I reached the end of the game so fast that I couldn’t believe it.

This thing had me retreating during my first playthrough, but I tore it a new one in my first attempt on PS5!

One contributing factor to this, I believe, is that in my original playthrough on PS4 I completely overlooked the Board Countermeasure objectives and ended up having to farm them at the end in a multiple-hour-long grind. In an effort to avoid having to do that again, I prioritised Countermeasures, going out of my way to complete them whenever I could.

This meant that I had my pockets filled with useful resources and powerful mods that would aid in making Jesse a force to be reckoned with.

The last issue I struggled with on PlayStation 4 was navigating the Oldest House. This time around, I still got lost quite a stupid amount and the Ultimate Edition didn’t improve on this in any way. Thanks to the amount of time I spent getting lost in my original playthrough, though, I found myself quickly remembering the layout of the map and overcoming this issue the majority of the time.

Re-discovering the Oldest House with visual and lighting upgrades was a pure joy.

PlayStation 5 Features

The first and most immediately noticeable change from the PS4 version to the PS5’s Ultimate edition of Control is the load speed. I remember staring at the rorschach-like Hiss formations on the loading screens for minutes at a time while the game loaded in the past, but on PS5 it’s near-instant. Sometimes it is instant, when fast-travelling between Control Points which are close together, there’s no loading screen at all.

This isn’t that surprising, though. The PS5’s SSD has shown us what it’s capable of in this way multiple times before in games like Spider-Man Miles Morales.

The real awe-inducing moments come from the lighting. The lighting in Control was always one of it’s most striking features. The use of red light, shadows, and god-rays always inspired some truly mind-blowing reactions but with the addition of Raytracing and real-time reflections, that blowing of minds is just about as powerful and instant as the game’s loading speeds.

This walkway has it all. Multiple character models. Contrasting light sources. Both textured and clean reflections. I could have stared at this corridor for hours… But I had a platinum trophy to earn!

That isn’t all, though. The developers went all-out in ways that nobody else will at the moment. You can feel every impact and footstep in the Dualsense’s haptic feedback. You can feel the snap of the Service Weapon’s trigger in the adaptive triggers. Finally, a game is using all of the amazing features of the Dualsense that no game except Astro’s Playroom has bothered with.

Honestly, with the game being free this month on PS Plus, making full use of the Dualsense, and heavily featuring the power of Raytracing… Control is the best way to experience your PS5 right now, and you need to make the most of it.

Another impressive shot of the game’s lighting in action.

Director of the FBC

Earning the Platinum in Control for the second time was a wholly enjoyable experience. Having the blessing of hindsight allowing me to get trickier trophies such as the Board Countermeasure and Bureau Alert trophies made things go much smoother.

I remembered the solutions to main and side missions, including where I’d find them, meaning I spent way less time aimlessly wandering around the Oldest House scratching my head. I was a director with purpose, blazing through the Oldest House solving problems left and right.

The story in Control was just as gripping as ever and I lavished the opportunity to do it all again. This time I took a little more time to look at the Lore and Altered Item/Object of Power stories hidden throughout the collectibles. Learning about and experiencing the effect of the game’s many Altered Items is certainly the coolest way to experience the warped world of Control.

I even learned of a connection between this game and another one; Alan Wake. It turns out that Remedy have merged the worlds of the two games, and the events of Alan Wake have a direct connection to the lore of Control. This was something I discovered while uncovering all of the Hidden Locations in the game once again so that I could earn the Master Parautilitarian trophy, and the platinum alongside it!

I wouldn’t understand until later, though, how the Alan wake discovery I made became a much more important piece of the story until I then delved into the DLC…

Wake-ing Nightmare

The AWE DLC is actually the second DLC, but without knowing this I went into it first. It’s a good job I did, because the Foundation DLC has some real issues, but I’ll come onto that later…

Immediately upon starting this DLC I understood that it had some deep-rooted connections to the Alan Wake game. Something I was unfortunately unable to appreciate because my time spent on Alan Wake was minimal, and a long time ago.

Given that I don’t want to spoil anything for Alan Wake fans, and don’t know enough about the series to speculate, I won’t comment much on this connection. Only that the Darkness goop from Alan Wake makes its way into the game, though not so much as to become a nuisance since we don’t actually have a flashlight…

My favourite moment in this DLC came quite early on, and it received a strong reaction from me. As I was exploring the early areas of the new Investigations department, I rounded a corner towards a new Control Point and heard the usual Hiss chanting.

However, something was wrong with it. The voice was warbled and demonic, enough to give me an uneasy feeling… That is when I saw it. Behind a grate, shifting in the darkness, and my heart skipped… A tall and distorted humanoid shape, hunched over and shuffling through the pipe beyond the grate.

This creature makes more appearances, though always hidden in shadow.

I’m not one to enjoy horror games, I think they’re tacky and the lack of emphasis on story or gameplay is a result of cheap jump-scares and a complete absence of agency. They’re also just not scary. So, naturally, a part of me was worried that this DLC was trying to turn Control into a Horror game, which would suck.

However, another part of me just realised the strong reaction I’d had to that moment, and became excited at the idea of a horror game which would actually frighten me.

Through gritted teeth I pressed on, moving more cautiously, terrified of what I’d find in the engulfing darkness around each corner.

In the end, though, the game stayed as it was. New light and dark mechanics freshened up the gameplay, but it was nothing too far from what I was used to and in time I knew the Investigations Sector as well as I knew the others.

Darkness swallowed many rooms, and light became a vital tool of survival.

The story was pretty damn good, even if I didn’t understand the Alan Wake connection, and there were some pretty cool Side Missions too (even though they are not required for the trophy).

Earning all of the trophies in AWE was a pleasant experience once again. You don’t need all the collectibles or anything too ridiculous. The Hidden Locations were a bit of a chore to find but most of them were made obvious via use of framed photos indicating a breakable wall and you only need to find 4 of them.

There were two trophies that took most of my time. The first was for an Arcade game called SHUM, in which you had to survive against an enormous number of enemies, either against the clock or just pure survival. It took me a good few tries but I was eventually able to beat the against-the-clock “Deadline” mode which I found to be easier than “Crowd Control”.

The other tricky trophy was one which required you to shoot at vending machines. There are various vending machines hidden throughout Investigations, and if you shoot one it has a completely RNG chance of turning red and literally running away. To earn the trophy, you need to chase it down and kill it, but on 4 different Vending Machines.

From what I saw online, I got extremely lucky in my attempts at this trophy, despite it still being a chore. I found two of the red vending machines in one room, and then within only a single lap of the Sector I was able to find the other two I needed.

Before that, though, I’d been shooting Vending Machines throughout my entire playthrough and never saw a single one until the two I found towards the end of my time on the DLC.

The other trophies were related to the story, a enemy type, a new ability, and the new “Surge” weapon form. Surge is actually a pretty fun weapon, it fires up to three sticky grenades at a time that you can then detonate remotely.

By loading it up full of Blast Radius mods I had the time of my life blowing Hiss to kingdom come. I did actually struggle with the trophy for upgrading the gun to max level, but it was out of my own stupidity.

Two of the three resources needed to upgrade it were exclusive to the Investigations sector, so I had assumed that the “Hidden Trend” resource was too. I wasted an hour and a half running laps of Investigations, killing everything I could get to spawn, and not one of them would drop a Hidden Trend.

In my defence, I’d seen them drop here before, they’re just a very rare drop. It turns out you can get them anywhere. But most frustrating is that when I gave up and moved on to the Foundations DLC, it turns out they’re super common in the Foundation Sector and I had picked up 9 within my first 30 minutes there!

Weak Foundations

The Foundation DLC was the first DLC to come out for Control, but it was the last one I played during my time on the game. And I did enjoy it at first…

There’s some really trippy weird stuff going on underneath the Oldest House, which is the best kind of Control content. The Astral Plane is bleeding into the real world and something’s up with Marshall; our Head of Security.

The storyline involved here delves deeper into the history of the Board, and we even find out more about our old enemy “The Former”, and with a new tough enemy type to face and some very interesting areas to explore, there’s plenty to get excited about.

The new environments make the game feel fresh, while some familiar environments seep in to make things feel more familiar at the same time.

All in all, it’s an enjoyable and action-packed addition to the already fantastic Control experience… If you’re not a trophy hunter.

In this DLC pack, Remedy went the route of all other Developers in making a trophy list which is padded out to the nines with an irritating collectible grind. In this DLC, you will need to find; 5 hidden ID Cards, 8 extremely-well hidden Maneki Neko figures, 10 brand new Hidden Locations, and all 57 of the new Collectibles.

These guys were by far the hardest to locate.

So, if/when you come to 100% the game’s DLC and earn all the trophies, bear in mind that the majority of this experience will be marred by an excruciatingly long collectible grind.

Part of what made Control so great for me was that the developers made a really strong trophy list that encouraged you to get the best out of the game without ending up boring you to death or making you spend hours traipsing around checking every little corner for the hopes at finding a collectible, but they threw that out of the window with the Foundation DLC.

Because of that, I can’t recommend that you go through with getting 100% on this game, but if you do… This Hidden Locations Guide and this Foundation Collectibles Guide will help you see it through.

Time Breakdown

Base Game Missions and Side Missions

Base Game Cleanup

AWE DLC

Foundation DLC

Control Trophy Guide

So, if Control sounds like the game for you, then don’t face the Hiss without being properly prepared. Check out the collection of Trophy Guides below which will see you through the game and all of its fantastic DLC.

With that, my Control Review draws to a close and it’s with great sadness that I move on to my next game, so we can keep the Reviews and Guides flooding in. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, screenshots, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

Verdict

Plat

With a trophy list perfectly crafted for getting the most out of the game, and plenty of extraordinary gameplay in store, Control's experience is remarkable whether you go for the Platinum or not. But with a game as fantastic as this, how could you not dig a little deeper to secure the platinum waiting just under the surface. However, I don't recommend getting 100% on the Foundation DLC.

Pros

  • Astonishing art direction and use of lighting emphasised by the PS5's Raytracing capabilities
  • Varied and exciting combat facilitated by unique array of abilities and weapon forms
  • Completely one-of-a-kind world to explore
  • Captivating mystery and lore around every corner

Cons

  • It's still very easy to get lost in the Oldest House
  • PS5 version not a free upgrade
  • Foundation DLC features awful collectible grind

Platinum Trophy

One of my favourite games, this insane roller coaster of trippy visuals and psychological horror wrapped in a Metroidvania-flavoured coating is just as good on the PlayStation 5 as it was on PS4. However, with ray-tracing to exacerbate the game's artistic use of lighting, and faster load times to keep you in the action, the game goes from perfect to beyond. I really hope we see more of Control in the future.

About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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