What an amazing year to be trapped inside! For a lot of folks, this has been the year for playing loads of games and getting to experience everything on the menu. For me, it’s largely been just another year of juggling responsibilities and doing what I can to make time for games as they come, and probably spending too much time playing older games instead of newer ones. Priorities! This was also the year I finally invested effort into getting my Twitch channel off the ground (sorry for the shameless plug), which did end up driving my decisions to play some older games, and a lot of multiplayer ones.
It’s the one year anniversary (to the exact date) for CONTROL. And the release of the final expansion, AWE is the perfect way to close the book on this incredible game, with the help from Alan Wake. With all due respect to The Foundation, the first expansion for the game, the anticipation for this second expansion has had people guessing and hypothesizing for months on end now. After all the hints, the references, and sometimes overt mentions, it’s time to see what the connection CONTROL has to Remedy’s own 2010 game, Alan Wake. AWE gives new insight into what has happened to Alan Wake after all this time, and gives new mysteries to uncover. The Remedy Connected Universe is unfolding before us, and it’s already AWEsome.
A director’s job is never done. In the first expansion DLC: The Foundation, it aims to explore the depths of The Oldest House with the Bureau’s newest Director, Jesse Faden. CONTROL blew me away last year, and became my Game of the Year for 2019; which set high expectations for the expansions to follow, and The Foundation does not disappoint. Remedy’s weird, occult narrative-driven shooter is still very much present and accounted for here. It falls short in a few areas, but continues investing in and inventing bizarre problems for Jesse to solve. CONTROL – The Foundation in a lot of ways feels like the second season of a television show: some of the mystery is gone, but you know the characters, and now there’s a rhythm to it that keeps you interested.
Look, a lot of games come out each year. More games were released this year over last. A lot’s changed in this decade in gaming. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly harder to find the time to play them for review, or play anything else for fun. So yes, there’s going to be glaring omissions and other oddities, but at least understand there’s just a lot of fucking games right now. And a lot of them are good. So let’s kick this thing off!
Another year and another great batch of games to come along. When the end of the year rolls around, it’s always hard to encapsulate just how many games made their way into my rotation. Those that left a lasting impact. Luckily for me, it’s been time to sit down and finalize the list for 2019.
Remedy has always crafted excellent story driven experiences that excel at providing thrilling moments filled with cinematic flair. Their games have always felt rather linear though, yet filled with fantastic action thats become a staple of their titles. Yet, I always thought it would do them well to add some variety and interesting level design to give them just a bit more depth. Does Control take the prior expertise they had and innovate past that? That would be a resounding yes. Control is some of Remedy’s best work to date.