Control: Ultimate Edition Review
Control shines on next-gen hardware.
Control is a great game that felt a bit constrained by its targeted hardware when it first came out. We loved the game in our original review, but there were just enough technical hiccups at launch to get in the way of Remedy’s stellar environmental design and excellent fast-paced combat. Frame rate dips, long loading times, and other minor issues like the minimap taking several seconds to load in made the original release of Control feel a little bogged down by consoles of the time, especially when playing on a base PS4 or Xbox One. Now, Control: Ultimate Edition brings the game to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, and Remedy’s latest feels right at home on next-generation machines.
Previously PC-exclusive features like high frame rates and ray tracing are now available for console players, and each of these enhancements makes the game feel much better to play. If you’re playing on a next-gen console, Control: Ultimate Edition gives you a choice between a Graphics and Performance mode. Graphics mode features ray-traced reflections but caps the framerate at 30 FPS, while Performance mode nets you a buttery smooth 60 FPS without any ray tracing. Both modes target a rendering resolution of 1440p. It’s a bit disappointing that the Graphics mode can’t manage a native 4K resolution, but the game still looks sharp on a 4K display. It’s also a bit disappointing that there isn’t a Performance RT mode that gives the best of both worlds similar to the one added to Spider-Man: Miles Morales in a post-launch update, but it’s hard to complain when the options that are present are this good.
Regardless of whether you’re playing on Graphics or Performance mode, the next-gen version of Control is a significant step up over its last-generation counterpart. If the 30 FPS cap didn’t bother you on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, then you can enjoy the same framerate but with enhanced effects and ray tracing. The Oldest House is filled with reflective surfaces that look excellent in Graphics mode, and the effect is especially noticeable when you enter the otherworldly Astral Plane. While the ray tracing is nice to look at, Performance mode makes a much bigger difference. I played on Performance mode for most of my playthrough, and Control’s combat is amazing at 60 FPS. Keeping track of enemies during hectic firefights is less of a headache, and landing precise shots with the Service Weapon comes much easier with a higher framerate. On top of that, the clutter and destruction that come with combat are beautiful at 60 FPS. You really gain an added appreciation for the furniture flying across the room and the countless papers floating through the air when they animate so smoothly.
Additional next-gen upgrades include faster load times, which make a huge difference when fast traveling between control points and other locations of interest within the Oldest House. Repeatedly dying during difficult sections is also less of an issue thanks to the SSDs in the new consoles. On PlayStation 5, the game makes excellent use of the DualSense controller. Normal vibrations are enhanced, and everything from Jesse’s footsteps to her powerful telekinetic abilities has unique feedback within the controller. There are even different trigger effects for each form of the Service Weapon. There’s the usual trigger resistance we’ve already seen in games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, but there are subtle differences to each weapon type. My favorite Service Weapon form is Shatter, the shotgun form, and the right trigger has a hefty kick after the initial trigger pull that really sells the power of the gun.
Next-generation enhancements aside, Control is still the same great game as it was in 2019. Remedy’s latest outing is just as stylish and bold as I remember, and the frenetic combat is as addicting as ever. The sense of mystery and tension as you explore new areas of the Oldest House and encounter new Objects of Power is incredibly engaging, and the game has a unique personality that only Remedy could pull off. Even if you’ve already played through the game, Control: Ultimate Edition includes both of the game’s two expansions. While we weren’t too hot on The Foundation or AWE when they first launched, they’re still good enough to provide a few hours of solid entertainment for anyone who needs a reason to jump back into the game.
However, there is one annoying drawback with Control: Ultimate Edition. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to transfer save data from the last-gen version of Control to the next-gen version, so you won’t be able to continue an in-progress playthrough. As much as I’d love to be able to transfer my PS4 save and automatically unlock the Platinum trophy on PS5, that isn’t possible with this game. You can transfer your save to the backward-compatible version of the game, but you won’t be able to take advantage of any of the next-gen improvements because you’d just be playing the PS4 or Xbox One version of the game. It’s frustrating, but the enhancements featured in Control: Ultimate Edition are thankfully enough to warrant a second playthrough.
Control absolutely shines on next-gen hardware. Every aspect of the game is raised to new heights thanks to the horsepower of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Whether you’re delving into the Oldest House for the first time or are revisiting the facility to get a taste of the new ray-tracing features or 60 FPS performance mode, Control: Ultimate Edition is a stellar experience that provides the definitive way to play Remedy’s latest title.
- This article was updated on:February 6th, 2021
Control: Ultimate Edition
- Available On: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch
- Published By: 505 Games
- Developed By: Remedy Entertainment
- Genre: Third Person Shooter
- US Release Date:
- Reviewed On: PS5
- Quote: "Control shines on next-gen hardware. Whether you're delving into the Oldest House for the first time or are revisiting the facility to get a taste of the new ray-tracing features or 60 FPS performance mode, Control: Ultimate Edition is a stellar experience that provides the definitive way to play Remedy's latest title."