The observant reader might have noticed we haven’t published a review of Control’s first story-DLC, called The Foundation. While it is our very intention to do so, there have been various challenges that kept us at bay.
After completing my first playthrough of Control I was making steady progress in unlocking all remaining trophies and mysteries in the game. However, in the months that followed, I was continuously distracted by other activities that required my attention (and admittedly, got sucked into Destiny 2: Shadowkeep). Nevertheless, I was compelled to get that platinum sooner or later. On one faithful day, however, a friend came over for a visit and asked if he could see the Ashtray Maze section. He had been reading a lot of positive experiences and wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I used the level select option in the main menu of Control to go there straight away, assuming I could just load up my endgame save and continue where I left off. WRONG! Control overwrites your save file instantly. The game requires you to make use of the level select option again to go back to the moment you reached the endgame. The game will not, however, restore all the progress acquired since. Stupid mistake? Maybe. Frustrated? Very. And thus my attention went elsewhere rather permanently, telling myself I’d pick it back up just before the launch of the story DLC.
In the meanwhile, Control received a hefty amount of quality-of-life updates. The in-game map was improved and so was its readability. Overall stability and performance of the game increased, resulting in much smoother gameplay. These updates helped in rekindling my interest in picking the game back up. Then, right before the launch of The Foundation, COVID-19 struck the world. Moments before Remedy promised us early access to the expansion. But as Remedy started preparations to allow its personnel to work from home, that promise faded. Understandable, of course. We hope all of Remedy’s employees are safe and remain healthy!
Homestuck myself, I decided this was the perfect time to pick up Control again. I feared the steep difficulty curve of the endgame content might quickly put an end to my enthusiasm and so I decided a new, fresh playthrough was probably best. That way I could familiarize myself again with Control’s gameplay, while at the same time re-experience some epic moments and fights the game has to offer.
I’m currently halfway through the story. To my big surprise, I’m having a blast going through the campaign again. While Control’s story is no longer a mystery to me, it is making much more sense now. I already know to whom Jesse is talking when she’s mumbling in her mind. I’m familiar with the meaning of certain words or events. I already know my way around the Oldest House. I’m more prepared than ever and it feels good. It feels empowering to already know what mods to use and what weapons work best in certain situations. Usually, when finished with the main narrative, my interest in a game quickly fades. For me, it works better when you have a goal to work towards. Or a revelation waiting to be discovered. Perhaps now, knowing the DLC is waiting for me is that goal, my driving force to push forward. Either way, this second playthrough is fun. I’m hoping to finish it sometime next week and follow with the DLC soon after.
That review is coming. Mark my words!