Remedy Entertainment’s Control is out now, and it’s an absolute stunner. Weird, mysterious, spooky, compelling, and thrilling all at the same time, it’s a game that, with its excellent narrative, solid exploration, and top-notch combat, is probably one of Remedy’s finest works yet. As you jump into the bizarre confines of the Oldest House, you’ll be thrown right into the deep end though, so to help ease you into things, we’ve prepared this list of fifteen basic tips and tricks to keep in mind while you play Control. Without further ado, let’s get started.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE STORY
Control’s story is complicated – especially in the early goings – and the world it builds is unbelievably dense, and as such, there will be many questions you will have that won’t be answered directly by the game’s immediate narrative. To get the most out of the game’s story, make sure you explore thoroughly. Scattered throughout the Oldest House are dozens upon dozens of texts, audio logs, and video files, and each of them contributes significantly toward building up Control’s world and explaining its rules and intricacies.
You can get through Control by just following the main questline without too many issues- but we wouldn’t recommend it. Jesse’s supernatural and telekinetic abilities are the star of the show here, and some of these abilities are gained by completing side quests- and they can actually be very useful in combat. So any time you get a side quest relating to an Object of Power, make sure you don’t ignore it.
Speaking of abilities that you get through side quests- one such ability is Seize, which sees Jesse taking control of an enemy and making them fight for her for a limited period of time, and in especially hectic fights or tough boss encounters, it can be incredibly useful- so always be on the lookout for opportunities to Seize enemies. When you do get those opportunities, make sure you’re behind cover, because Seizing enemies can take a couple of seconds, and you don’t want to be exposed to enemy fire while you’re doing it.
Board Countermeasures are other side objectives which can be picked up at Control Points (which are save points, or fast travel points), and give several rewards. Picking these up is usually a good idea, because they amount to objectives that you’ll likely end up completing during regular gameplay anyway, such as killing some enemies in a particular area, or killing a certain number of a specific enemy type. When accepting these missions though, make sure you only pick up those that fall in the area of the Oldest House that you’re headed to, since you can only have a set number of Board Countermeasures active at any given time.
UPGRADING THE SERVICE WEAPON
The abilities are one pillar of Control’s combat- the second is the Service Weapon, for which you can purchase new forms for it to take completely new shapes and act as different weapon forms. You also get the chance to upgrade your weapon forms- but we’d recommend holding off on that. Doing so is costly, and uses the same currency as unlocking new types. So unlock all the weapon forms first, see which ones you like best, and then work on investing into upgrades for those forms.
IDEAL WEAPON COMBO
But which forms are the best? Grip is your standard pistol form, but you’ll find it to be incredibly useful for the entirety of the game. It doesn’t do too much damage, but has large ammo capacity, and decent range, and serves as a true jack-of-all-trades weapon. Pairing it with either Shatter (which is the shotgun) or Pierce (which is a deadly, long-range sniper rifle form) is a good idea, depending on how you approach combat. Another form is Charge, which fires explosive projectiles- this one is excellent for boss fights.
Oh, and there’s also Spin- ignore Spin.
INVEST IN HEALTH
Jesse’s health bar and her energy bar (which governs your abilities) are both upgradable, but in the early hours of the game, it’s best to focus on upgrading your health first. To begin with, you don’t have too many abilities to use anyway, and enemies don’t pose enough of a threat for you to have to rely on them in any case, so investing in health in the early stages is a smart option in the long run.
Jesse can also equip personal mods to buff herself up in various ways- of all these mods, the ones that boost your health, one way or another, are generally the best option. Whether it’s giving your health bar an extra chunk or giving you additional health regeneration upon elemental pickups (which is how you regain health), these buffs are super-useful in combat, and equipping two (or even three) of these at the same time can turn the tide in many combat scenarios.
DON’T CRAFT MODS
Control allows you to craft both personal and weapon mods, but frankly, it’s a waste of precious resources. The mods you find through regular gameplay are plenty useful, and are usually better than the ones you craft. So instead of crafting new mods, just save your resources and spend them on upgrading and/or purchasing weapon forms instead.
DISCARD OLDER MODS
Control hands out mods freely, so make sure you keep checking to see which ones you have- and don’t hoard them. If you have any repeats, or if you have lower-tier versions of the same mods, just start discarding those. They give you stuff that you can use to purchase and/or upgrade weapon forms, while also freeing up space in your inventory for better, more useful mods down the line.
INVEST IN MELEE
Jesse’s melee ability, a powerful Force Push-style move, can be very useful in combat, and we’d recommend investing some ability points to upgrade it. As we mentioned earlier, investing in health in the earlier stages of the game is a great idea, but once you’re a few hours in and have done some upgrades on both your health and your energy bar, make sure you start buffing up your melee attack too. In tight situations when you’re being swarmed by enemies, it can be a real life-saver.
STAY ON THE MOVE
Control might be a third person shooter when it comes to combat, but don’t make the mistake of playing it like a regular TPS. For starters, there’s no traditional cover system. More importantly, staying on the move is extremely important. Combat is frenzied and frenetic, and staying in one place and trying to pick off enemies is a sureshot way of getting yourself killed. Your enemies never stay still and attack you in numbers, so make sure you’re always moving around. Dodging using the Evade ability is key in most combat scenarios.
Speaking of enemies- you’ll encounter several different kinds throughout the game, and you need to be aware of which ones you’re up against in any given fight, and what attacks they like to do and what they’re weak to. Shield enemies are weak to Launch, while Launch has no effect levitating enemies at all. Certain enemies like to fire explosive projectiles at you from a distance, and picking them off from a safe distance using Shield is a smart tactic. Then there are enemies that will explode as soon as they’re near you, so- you know, don’t let them get near you.
Later on in the game, you’ll also come across a unique enemy type known as the Hiss Cluster- it’s unique because it doesn’t really attack you. It’s just a big red orb, but it can heal any and all other enemies in the area. When you spot these, kill these first, or else the fight will become much harder. Hiss Clusters also like to zip around to avoid taking damage, so make sure you don’t lose sight of them.
As you’re exploring the Oldest House, you’ll find certain sections that are blocked off by a wall of red Hiss mist, and while you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ll get an ability later on that’ll help you get past it, that’s not really the case. In the rooms where you spot these Hiss walls, you’ll also spot spot similar, smaller red Hiss blocks scatter about. Use Jesse’s Launch ability to throw objects at these blocks to destroy them, and when all of these are gone, the Hiss wall will dissipate as well.
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