Review – Control Ultimate Edition (PS5)
One thing I used to say about 2019’s Control, arguably the best game ever created by Remedy Entertainment, is that it was a next-gen game running on severely outdated then-current-gen hardware. It looked great, its gameplay was fantastic, its art direction was one of best I had ever seen up until that point, but it suffered from severe loading times and framerate issues. It was just too much for the Xbox One and PS4 to handle, regardless of whether you’re talking about the base or Pro versions of each console. Then the next-gen versions of Control Ultimate Edition, the package containing the base game and all previously released DLC, was announced.
I was excited for this PS5 port more than most early titles for the system, purely and simply because I knew I would finally tackle a game that is, for all intents and purposes, a next-gen title, with the hardware and performance it always deserved. Thankfully, Remedy delivered. This is the true way to play this masterpiece.
I’m not going to dive into details about Control‘s plot and setting again, but I will just say that yep, it’s weird and completely crazy. It will require you to read some file logs in order to understand what the hell is going on, but most importantly, it’s worth checking out.
We have it all in here, paranormal activities, X-Files nods, Lynch-esque weirdness, one of the best settings in recent memory (the gorgeous Brutalist Oldest House), and a great cast of characters, especially the protagonist, Jesse Faden. To be honest, the only design choice I don’t like about Control is the fact that Jesse constantly interrupts important conversations to explain the obvious in inner monologues. It’s almost as if Sam Lake thought we needed to be constantly reminded about what’s going on, as if we couldn’t piece everything together by ourselves. Other than that, this is still the fantastic game that wowed us back in 2019. I’m here to see the improvements added in this PS5 version of Control Ultimate Edition, and oh boy, are they delicious.
First of all, the most glaring issue about the PS4 and Xbox One versions has been mitigated: the framerate. I originally played vanilla Control on an Xbox One, and even though I loved it, I had to constantly fight against a terrible framerate that never managed to get past 25fps. In Control Ultimate Edition, you get two options, a performance mode, which already looks better than previous versions of the game and gives you a nearly constant 60fps, and a visual mode.
The visual mode locks the framerate at 30fps, albeit with some pacing issues, but adds a slightly higher resolution and one of the PS5 version’s main selling points: ray tracing. The addition of ray tracing makes the game even prettier than before, especially when you’re inside the Astral Plane, as well as any Hiss-infected room where red flashing lights will look even more impactful than before. Is it a game changer? No. I sincerely think that playing Control Ultimate Edition with a higher framerate makes the game way more enjoyable than before. Especially during sections full of particles and enemies to defeat, such as the Astral Spike puzzle during the Old Boys’ Club mission.
Other noticeable improvements include a drastically reduction in file size (just 25GB), near nonexistent loading times, and some neat implementations of the DualSense controller. Nothing too shocking, but I like how the controller reacts to each step you take, with different rumble effects depending on the kind of surface you’re walking on. The R2 trigger’s resistance will also depend on the kind of weapon you’re wielding. If your Service Pistol is set on pistol mode, the trigger will be a bit stiffer, just like with any semi automatic weapon. The opposite happens when you’re wielding it in machine gun mode, for instance.
The PlayStation 5 version of Control Ultimate Edition is one of the best, if not the best game available for the system so far. The game is finally available on a system with enough horsepower to handle its visuals, physics, and wacky gameplay. That, coupled with the near nonexistent loading times, multiple graphical presets, and small, but still welcome implementations of the DualSense’s features, makes this version the best and mandatory way to play Remedy’s masterpiece.
Ray tracing makes what was already a pretty game even more appealing to the eyes. However, the star of the show is the performance mode, which allows the game to run at a smooth 60fps, all while still looking better than last-gen versions.
Control‘s gameplay was already excellent back in 2019. It’s even better now that you can play it with a much more stable framerate and drastically reduced loading times.
Control features excellent voice acting, even if Jesse’s inner monologues get tiresome after a while. The soundtrack is also very good, whether you’re talking about the score or the licensed songs included in here.
Fun Factor: 9.5
A fantastic framerate, improved visuals, nearly nonexistent loading times, neat DualSense effects, and all previously released DLC make this version of Control the definitive edition of Remedy’s best game so far.
Final Verdict: 9.5
Control Ultimate Edition is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC ,and Switch (via cloud play).
Reviewed on PS5.
A copy of Control Ultimate Edition was provided by the publisher.