When I took my week-long break from Apex Legends, I had no idea what I would be playing. Coincidentally enough the team behind Control offered me the DLC and the base game to get me caught up. I had been wanting to play the game since release so naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to play it. Nearly sixteen hours later, I no longer share that excitement.

I loved Remedy’s previous game Alan Wake which shares a lot of similarities to Control. This is so much so that the devs have alluded to them taking place in the same universe. So why did the main game feel like such a slog to get through? I had a ton of people tell me this game would be right up my alley, but upon playing it I couldn’t wait to get it off my hard drive. It may have been the time constraints, but having to power through the main game to unlock the DLC lessened the experience. Couple that with the frustrating combat, the scattered plot, and feeling forced to read every single note to try to gather any sort of direction of what to do/why things happen, the pieces all feel like they fall apart.

A Broken Foundation

By the time I got to Control‘s DLC The Foundation, I was eager to finish it. Not because I was excited to play more or see beyond the conclusion but I just wanted to move on. Jesse had already found her brother and put him into a coma, what more could they possibly explore? Did he awake and still want to unleash The Hiss (really?) onto the world? Is the hotel segment going to be a little more fleshed out?

Nope, we are looking for a side character that was so minuscule and not talked about in the main game that I forgot she existed. During the main game, the player comes across a gruff military woman named Marshall. She is literally in the plot for about ten minutes and then is never really brought up again. Apparently, at some point, she went missing during the main game. I’m not the only one who didn’t notice though because when Jesse brings it up in the DLC it takes another character several seconds to realize they haven’t seen her for some time. They also don’t seem interested at all that she is contacting Jesse from a channel supposedly only dead people can talk through.

Scattered Plot and The Illusion of Choice

The Hush is never really resolved at the end of the main game. The DLC revolves around reaching this new area called The Foundation and finding these keys that may or may not stop The Hush from getting out, so the lockdown gets lifted. I thought that was more so a plot point from the main game but I digress. Marshall somehow ties into all of this as it seems she went looking for a way to stop The Hush, leading to her disappearance. This is just what I have gathered through my many attempts at getting through the DLC. The sheer rage that came with the combat and all of the astral parts alone made me want to quit.

Speaking of the Astral Plane, why give the player a fake choice? During the opening hour of The Foundation, the player is sent to the Astral Plane and is shown a choice of new powers to get. One will make platforms appear and one lets the player destroy them. I chose the former thinking extra platforms that would help me progress through the agonizing flying/platforming sections of the game. That wasn’t exactly the case. There were still often parts where I had to sort of cheese the platforming a little bit. I often had to catch the tiniest little groves sticking out from the side of various tall platforms I was intended to fly to.

Moving back to the illusion of choice, about halfway through The Foundation, Control just lets the player have the other ability. Throughout the main game and into the DLC I never felt like Control had decent gunplay. Cardboard boxes dealt more damage as I whipped them at enemies. That isn’t an exaggeration. Even after I upgraded the gun several times and added different boosters I felt like I was running around hitting the enemies with corn flakes for the most part. So why they decided this next ability would buff the gun to break rocks is beyond me.

Sure the gun has unlimited ammo but it feels like it takes a decade to reload in the middle of a fight. So having to break things in the middle of a fight to either let the enemy fall into a void or try to break something to throw a needed item into the required location is a completely unnecessary aggravation to the player. I recommend just running through fights any time the game lets you. Avoid it altogether and just power through to the objective.

The Enemy of My Enemy is Still My Enemy

While I was playing Control as well as the DLC it felt like every time the game started to do anything interesting it had to trip over itself. It would often do this by adding in unnecessary combat. The second the story got interesting or I was starting to feel engaged with the game it was almost guaranteed the next room had a bunch of enemies. I felt like I could not go through a single set of rooms without finding some sort of enemy.

Fatigue with fighting got worse when the checkpoint system was shown to me. The first time I died I was sent back nearly an hour due to the game Dark Souls reminiscent save system. In Dark Souls, players visit a bonfire which acts as a catalyst that saves their game and has some extra features. In Control it does the same thing but also allows the player to fast travel and open extra menus. The problem is that at times these are insanely far away from where the player needs to be for the story.

I am all for not holding the player’s hand and guiding them every step of the way. It felt like the enemy of progress to have these checkpoints considering if I died I would have to potentially run through all the enemies and environment traversal again. Sometimes enemies would spawn, sometimes they wouldn’t. It felt like a coin flip every time I respawned which at times became a lot. This became especially true in the DLC as 90% of fights have some sort of flying enemies that the problematic combat system makes fighting all the more difficult.

I’m not sure if it was just floaty thumbstick on the Xbox One or hit registry issues in the game but it felt like fights took an eternity to get through. Given how often the player is in combat in Control it was more than a turn off to the game. Even when enemies would fight each other, which again would feel like a coin flip as to if that would happen or not, the combat was never any better off.

To Conclude

Control‘s The Foundation DLC doesn’t feel necessary or that it adds anything to the game. The story was uninteresting overall, the combat still had the stains of the main game, and I didn’t even mention the tech issues. Every three and a half hours the game crashed which is problematic with the games’ sparse save system. I was sent so far back at one point I considered prematurely uninstalling the game. Every time the game was paused or entered a menu it would stutter horribly when it entered normal gameplay again. I heard that was more so an issue with the Xbox version but it was still worth noting.

It feels insanely cliche to say that if you liked Control enough to finish it and recommend it you will love the DLC. That is exactly how it seems though, while I am overall put off by the thought of loading the game up again those who clicked with it will find The Foundation DLC a warm additive.

Control: The Foundation DLC Review
The Good
  • Fun bonus videos in collectibles menu
  • Solid small segments
  • Two interesting characters
The Bad
  • Bland Combat
  • Flimsy Story
  • Shoehorns in combat over story
4Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
1.1

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel