As I muscled via The Foundation, the primary substantial marketing campaign growth to 2019’s finest shooter, Control, my thoughts shuffled via an inventory of all the opposite issues I may very well be doing. Vacuuming the lounge. Organizing my workplace. Washing the dishes. Playing Doom Eternal or Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
I adored the core marketing campaign of Control, a graphical showpiece that spliced Twin Peaks with cosmic horror. So why couldn’t I get enthusiastic about extra of what labored prior to now?
Control was Metroid trapped inside a Christopher Nolan movie. I might gleefully get misplaced within the brutalism-meets-origami structure of its New York City workplace constructing, the Oldest House. After so many shooters that despatched me on tidy, straight paths, I savored the sense of disorientation. It jelled with the sport’s weirdness. Where different shooters felt restrictive, forcing me to cover behind obstacles and land excellent headshots, Control felt expressive. I flew via the environments, weaponizing items of the world to clear a room of ghouls.
I had been so anticipating The Foundation that I burned hours within the recreation’s Expeditions mode, slaughtering a whole bunch of the identical enemies, grinding for upgrades so I’d be prepared for no matter monsters lurked beneath the Oldest House. I needed to be ready.
[Ed. be aware: This evaluate incorporates spoilers for the story of Control.]
The Foundation continues the place Control’s marketing campaign left off. Jesse has shut down the connection between the Hiss realm and the Oldest House, and embraced her position because the director of the Federal Bureau of Control. Something huge has cracked within the very roots of the power, and now the astral aircraft — with its huge, white, open areas crowded with obelisks and inverted pyramids — is seeping into our dimension.
At its finest, this implies a rest room door opens right into a white, countless void. At its worst, and most frequently, this implies wandering via comparable caverns coated in trillions of kilos of crimson sand. Gone are the gleefully disorienting quests that despatched you up, down, and across the mazelike structure of the Oldest House.
The Foundation spans a sequence of point-A-to-point-B missions through which you kill all the things in a linear path, ultimately amassing one of many 4 MacGuffins essential to unlock the ultimate boss battle. Sometimes this implies slowly working your manner up a freight elevator, whereas different occasions it means platforming via the astral aircraft. If your favourite bits of Control had been the fight, this can be sufficient! If you cared extra concerning the story and the scene-setting? Well, your thoughts could start to wander towards all of the chores you could possibly be doing, or the higher video games you could possibly be taking part in.
The new quests are too linear and too repetitive, hampered by the addition of two new talents. You shortly unlock the facility to terraform platforms and destroy partitions. But you possibly can solely terraform platforms in particular areas and might solely destroy particular partitions. Where the gravity-bending talents of the core marketing campaign permit for creatively weaponizing the whole lot of a room, the brand new talents largely exist to gate off components of the map. Want to get to that space up excessive? You’ll must unlock terraforming. Want to get that useful resource field coated in emerald stone? Time to unlock the destruction capability.
Both of the brand new powers have restricted fight functions, too. You can use terraforming to set off spike traps, and you may shoot the bottom in order that it collapses into lethal pits. But once more, there’s no freedom. Only particular areas can turn out to be traps, and solely colorfully marked plots of earth can turn out to be pits. Waiting for a careless enemy to stroll right into a lure doesn’t mesh with Control’s energetic, free-flowing fights.
Every so typically, The Foundation produces a spark of what made the unique marketing campaign so memorable. One facet quest has you carry a tv via a sequence of darkish corridors. There’s nothing particular concerning the enemies or the setting itself, however the world being lit by the comfortable glow of the tv is unsettling, and technically spectacular.
One firefight takes place in an enormous, sq. room with dozens of workplaces looming over a foyer within the middle. The fight isn’t particularly enjoyable — you’re surrounded by enemies with out clear cowl — however it seems unbelievable. These moments are uncommon, although.
I stay optimistic concerning the subsequent story growth, dubbed AWE. Remedy has confirmed many occasions that it produces among the most creative shooters and motion video games on the market. The Foundation isn’t the studio’s biggest work, however it’s hardly a depressing expertise. This growth jogged my memory of the Xbox 360 period of midtier shooters: not unhealthy, however not formidable. Playable, but in addition — and sadly — forgettable.
The Foundation growth for Control is now obtainable on PlayStation 4 and Windows PC, and shall be launched June 25 on Xbox One. The add-on was reviewed utilizing a ultimate “retail” PS4 obtain code supplied by 505 Games. You can discover extra details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.