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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Saving the world, and the people in it, sometimes requires you to risk your own life and the lives of other people. But violence isn't always the answer.
Positive Role Models
Our hero is risking her life to save other people and the world. But she's also doing it for selfish reasons, while killing lots of people at the same time.
Ease of Play
The game's controls will be somewhat familiar to fans of the genre, but sometimes gameplay is too easy and sometimes it's exceedingly hard, and only has one difficulty setting.
Violence & Scariness
Players use a gun and special abilities to kill people, often resulting in bloodshed that includes seeing them explode. There's also a lot of disturbing imagery and sound effects, including pools of blood, bodies hanging from ropes, and people floating in mid-air in unnatural positions.
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Dialog includes frequent swearing with words like "f--k" and "s--t."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Control is a third-person shooter for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. Players use guns and special mental abilities to shoot human enemies, smack them, and throw things at them, resulting in some bloodshed that includes seeing them explode. This also has numerous disturbing images and sound effects, including distant muttering, pools and trails of blood, bodies hanging from ropes, and numerous people floating unnaturally in mid-air. The dialog frequently includes swearing as "s--t" and "f--k."
Is It Any Good?
While mixing scares and shooting has worked well in other games, a myriad of issues makes this action adventure feel dated. In Control, you're the new director of the FBC (Federal Bureau of Control), a government agency tasked with investigating and weaponizing the paranormal. Except that on your first day, you find that a supernatural power called The Hiss has taken over your office and the people in it. Helping you save them, and your job, are your Service Weapon, a versatile pistol with multiple forms that regenerates ammo automatically, and some special mental abilities that include being able to toss chairs and other things at enemies.
While this might sound like it has the makings of solid scary shooter -- something similar to the Resident Evil or Evil Within games -- this comes up a bit short by being shallow and lackluster. Sure, being able to alternate between guns and powers makes the combat interesting, as does the multi-layered approach of the battlefields. While Jesse can crouch, she seems determined to stand upright whenever possible. She can also momentarily generate a shield, but the shield and crouch move are poor substitutes for taking cover like you do in other games. Similarly, your powers can be upgraded, but this is essentially limited to making the effect stronger instead of more versatile for environmental situations. This can actually highlight how shallow the powers can be, even if they're visually striking. Using your dash move, for instance, gets you out of harm's way, but dashing into someone does nothing. Couple that with the game's rather loose controls, unhelpful map and navigation systems, and distracting live action cutscenes, and you'll understand why Control feels like a relic from the days of the PlayStation 2 that's not horribly bad but not terrifyingly good either.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.