Control, by Remedy Entertainment, will have been one of E3 2018’s surprise hits for many when it was revealed during the Sony conference but, so far, we’ve had very little to go on. We know we play as Jesse Faden, director of the Federal Bureau of Control and there’s a lot of throwing stuff about with your mind. Now we know, according to creative director Sam Lake, that the world we inhabit will draw some inspiration from Metroidvania-style games.
During an interview, Lake describes Control as being a “world within location” but, more than that, stating “Metroidvania is a good description in some ways. You are unlocking the world as you go and discovering new places.”
For those who’ve been living under a rock since 1997’s (!) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, upon which the phrase was coined, Metroidvania is essentially a style of play that presents players with one large environment (be it a castle or alien planet) but locks the majority of the areas off until you gain new skills and abilities to access said areas. It gives us a bigger hint as to how Control might build up the player, as well as revealing that Remedy are moving away from the more linear style upon which they made their name with the likes of Max Payne.
If you’re looking for a recent example of Metroidvania done right, then you needn’t look much further than God of War. If Control can craft a compelling, if segmented world with a similar sort of style then we could be looking at one of the leading contenders for 2019’s Game of the Year.