Go into the depths of the Oldest House
Title: Control: The Foundation DLC
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Release date: Out Now
tl;dr: More of the (frustrating) same
Price: £13 / $15
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
The Foundation takes place after the events of the main game. After Jesse Faden has dealt with the Hiss invasion, she is summoned to the Foundation in a Hotline call from the Board. She learns of an emergency that needs to be dealt with in order to ensure the safety of the Oldest House.
The newest area reached by first going back to the Maintenance area first shown by Ahti in the main game. Upon her arrival, she touches the ancient etching of a tree that transports her to The Foundation; a labyrinth-like network cavern made of stone and iron sand. Close to half of the events of the add-on also brings Jesse to Astral Planes to complete challenges.
The Foundation add-on introduces a few new features to the core game. First off is a brand new type of Hiss known as the Hiss Sharpened. It is substantially more dangerous than any enemies encountered during the main game as it can throw its pickaxe and also move lightning quick meaning it can dodge bullets and items thrown at them or even get close real quick. It also does an insane amount of damage as, despite a fully upgraded life bar, I would die within 2-3 hits.
Along with this new threat, Jesse can learn additional new tricks with her weapon: Shape allows the protagonist to Create and Fracture. The former allows Jesse to create platforms from pre-determined rocks while the latter lets Jesse destroy certain blocks of rocks to either create a new path or complete puzzle. As with the main game, The Foundation has its fair share of optional side-quests to tackle.
Certain areas will also allow you to call for a single soldier back up. It’s a pretty neat thing as your A.I. companion can get the attention while you attack the enemy(ies). The final boss is definitely one of the hardest one yet. It dodges nearly everything you fire and throw at it. The boss’ area is designed so you’d use the surroundings with your newly Shape power-ups, but the A.I. is pretty smart so it manages to avoid the traps more often than not. If you manage to use the environmental traps, it does a decent amount of damage. Unlike your gun.
Now as we all know when developers create and release add-ons for their games, it usually goes hand in hand with a game update to “open” the path to the forthcoming DLC; some developers also take time to fix issues by the same token. Unfortunately, this is not how Remedy works.
If you’ve completed the main game (obviously you have if you’re interested in playing The Foundation), every major flaw from the core game is still intact. Going in and out of the pause menu and map causes the game to freeze, a lot of slowdowns if multiple enemies on-screen, one of the worst checkpoint system of all of gaming. This is unfortunate because this would be a great excuse to try and fix your game.
While the game’s checkpoint is pretty poor as it constantly throws you back to the lack Control point unlocked when you die (meaning a lot of doing the same path over and over), Remedy tried to improve things by adding a bit more Control point and have them less further from one another. Which is a nice way to correct the wrongs so to speak. Thankfully, when you die and have to re-do the same path done, enemies stay dead so you don’t have to relive the same frustrating encounters over and over.
The add-on, as with the game, looks great. Aside from the technical issues above, The Foundation looks the part and nothing was affected visually as it uses some assets from the core game. Courtney Hope still does a good and effective job as Jesse Laden; the voiceover is spot on.
To be honest, I really hated playing Control when I played it earlier this year. Along with the aforementioned problems, there are frustrating combat, technically useless weapon types (even if maxed out), it was a frustrating ride. However, while the Foundation keeps that trend going, those who thoroughly enjoyed Control will revel in the Foundation. It’s more of the same and the new Shape weapon upgrades are really interesting and used in unique ways at times.
- New interesting weapon upgrades.
- New enemies cause a lot of damage.
- DLC suffers from the same issues as the main game.
Control: The Foundation DLC is rated M for Mature and PEGI16 due to blood, strong language and violence.
This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher