After a secretive agency in New York is invaded by an otherworldly threat, you must become the new Director struggling to regain Control as you fight your way through a deep an unpredictable world.
I really enjoy third person, singleplayer, explore-em-ups. Story revealed by adventure, exploration and good ol' combat. Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn is my current go-to example for this. I'd also include Drake from Uncharted and Lara Croft from, well, you know. Adventure, exploration, combat. Story. Great story.
In Control, combat via traditional guns is augmented by magical otherworldly powers. If you like Mage: The Ascension then the parallels between this game and the Technocracy are unavoidable. I do like Mage, and I loved deciding they were interrelated and it was brilliant to explore it this way. The way you get new weapons/ powers is interwoven brilliantly with the story and letting you explore and gather the way you'd like. The interface really supports this story exploration format, with lore revealed in tapes, dossiers and other '80s highest-tech references. Glorious. It was like Warehouse 13 had an aggressively 80's tech aesthetic.
Most of the combat feels fluid. Enjoyable.
Balance is absolutely rubbish. Maybe that's because I'm old and my reflexes are past their prime. But it feels like most of the boss battles I've had to face are "here's a thing, learn it. Good, here's maybe something else. Good! Now do that while I throw waves of mooks at you to distract you from doing the thing."
My first major frustration was the first Astral-otherworld-squid-thing encounter. OK, I'd just got levitation, I could dodge and throw things at the giant eye. Brilliant working through this. Oh... now it's destroying the ground and making holes. So I have to look up to dodge and shoot, but while dodging I'm likely to dodge into one of these new holes I can't see, fall and die. Even with levitation, levitation only lasts so long, so I inevitably end up back on the floor during dodging, looking up to shoot, and fall down a hole.
I did that a lot. And maybe I could see the point and enjoy the challenge if it didn't take SO LONG to load after death and the save points are SO FAR from the battle. Add in it occassionally throws a surprise group of new mooks between the save point and the battle, equals more frustration/ less life before you start the boss again.
So yeah, I could be bitter. I'm certainly not the type of person who enjoys the Dark Souls learn-through-frequent-deaths method. Not target audience perhaps. But still, it feels like it was a cheap way to make things harder/ more of a challenge. Get a good challenge, a fun challenge, and let me go against that until I figure it out/ get the skills to do it. Don't pollute it with meaningless extra waste-of-my-times.
If you're really into that sort of mechanic, you'll really enjoy this game. Apart from that, the world they've built is... ahem... magick and very well delivered. The closed-area doesn't feel claustrophobic, and the upgrades are sensible if bland.
I'd get it on sale. This is likely one of those games where I hit a point of frustration and decide that the game is no longer fun. Thus no longer serving its purpose so it can be deleted without guilt or completion.