It’s been a little bit over a month since Remedy released Control but is easily a Game of the Year contender. From its mysterious plotline to the surrealistic visuals, this is hands down one of the most memorable titles to launch in 2019. Anyone who is a fan of the developer’s work, this is a sure-fire hit. However, those that haven’t played a game from them before, you’re in for an absolute treat as this is one of their best works yet. A Surrealistic Dream Control makes its case as a candidate for this year’s Game of the Year thanks in large part to its visuals. Does this title have the best and most realistic graphics this year? No, but that’s not what you’ll notice when playing. The color schemes, surreal images, and the way everything else is presented are exceptionally done. Remedy is known for crafting their own genre of “weird horror” at times and this is where they push it to the next level. It takes aspects of Salvador Dalí and Twin Peaks in order to create a genre rarely seen in gaming. Other titles attempt to replicate Surrealism into their titles yet none are as well-done as Control. Gamers who have played Alan Wake are sure to recognize its influences yet it moves it to a new level. Instead of wandering around a small, eery town in the middle of the woods, you’re trapped within a federal building that possesses strange energy to it. Despite this whole game taking place within one building, never does it feel too small or too redundant. Areas all have completely different tones and, thanks to the nature surrounding it, incredibly varying landscapes. In fact, it’s such a big map that fast travel and exploration are often required to get around. Quickly zooming around the map isn’t essential but it can help in finishing up story and side missions. Remedy’s Best Since Alan Wake This isn’t like other Remedy titles in that the experience is over once the story wraps up. The main issue found with Quantum Break was that there was no reason to continue playing unless you wanted to figure out what alternate choices lead to. It was also an issue with Alan Wake in that there is no point in going back into the world. The developers learned from this and made Control much more necessary to continue forward with. In addition to the main story, there are side quests that carry their own plots and aren’t just simple fetch quests. There are also randomized events that pop up which task the player with clearing out a particular sector of the building from enemies. On top of this, the game features contracts that grant rewards for completing specific challenges, for example, “Eliminate 25 enemies in the Maintenance sector.” Having extra content, in addition to an upcoming season pass, isn’t the only reason why this is Remedy’s best. It also has to do with the incredibly fun and varied gameplay. Jesse Faden, the titular character, possesses the ability to use her mind to alter the world around her. She can levitate, perform telekinesis, possess enemies, and a range of other abilities. These make for intense battles where you can fling desk chairs and concrete at enemies, or use the enemies themselves, whatever you desire. Don’t worry though because there is also a gun that can take out the opposition as well. It’s only one gun, though, but it’s able to be customized and transformed into a multitude of different types (ie automatic, charged, etc). Captivating Premise Adding to the already great game is its storyline. Everything about it oozes mystery and intrigue which the player has to really pick up on. The story tasks the player with uncovering what truly happened during a traumatic childhood event that saw the disappearance of her brother. It isn’t so cut and dry though because the Federal Bureau of Control is truly a secret government organization that has been involved in numerous strange and world-altering events. Players are moved along learning about the inner workings of the Bureau and about the protagonist but there’s still so much to be uncovered. Seeking out clues and a vast array of collectibles are key to answering may questions that seemingly go unsolved. Control places the information in the game but it’s up to the player whether they fully want to uncover it. Uncovering new areas can lead to more story information, as well as modifications to enhance the player too. Weapon mods, personal mods, and a skill tree help make this experience a bit more enticing. Hidden boss fights and locations can also make for some memorable experiences in the game. If you do end up exploring, keep an eye out for its connection to the developer’s other popular title, Alan Wake. These games appear to be incredibly connected and if you’re a fan of that title then this should help make this even more appetizing. No other game this year has been able to make me sit down and wonder “what the hell is going on?” but in a good way. Exploring this world and tripping out over the environment helped amplify this to one of the year’s best. Remedy Entertainment has outdone itself tremendously and deserves recognition for this release. Control is an experience that only Remedy can offer and for that, it demands to be nominated for Game of the Year.