“Fair warning: This is gonna be weirder than usual.”
The first line spoken in Control isn’t a story introduction – it’s a mission statement. Remedy Entertainment has always trodden a shivering line between ordinary and outlandish, taking contemporary settings and distinctly human characters, then throwing them through an unnatural, often supernatural, wringer. Control is a little more bold.
Granted, it starts similarly – Jesse Faden visits the headquarters of the mysterious Federal Bureau of Control in search of answers about a childhood trauma. She meets a curious janitor, Ahti, who mistakes her for a job applicant and sends her into the bowels of the building. But then the director of the Bureau mysteriously dies, his magic gun binds itself to Jesse, we learn the building’s under lockdown because of the encroachment of a hostile resonance nicknamed The Hiss, and absolutely everything gets very strange indeed. Remember that short section of Max Payne when he was dosed with high-grade hallucinogens, got stuck in a world-warping nightmare and began realising he was in a video game? That’s the tone of Control, all the time.