Narrative always rests at the forefront of Remedy Entertainment’s games. This won’t change with Control, either. However, the studio aims to take things in a different direction, one venturing beyond the linearity typically found in Remedy titles. One way the studio is accomplishing this lies in its newfound focus on environmental storytelling. Sure, previous Remedy experiences featured this kind of embedded narrative. Yet, it will be much more prevalent this time around, according to developers.
In an interview with GamingBolt, Director Mikael Kasurinen and Narrative Designer Brooke Maggs discussed what’s changed about the team’s game-making philosophy since Quantum Break. A major focus for Control was in discovering new ways to explore narrative. Apparently, environmental storytelling became especially integral to the experience. The developers told GamingBolt,
We also explored new ways for Remedy to tell stories. So there’s a lot more environmental storytelling, audio logs to uncover, documents, we have side missions in Control, which is new to Remedy games. [Previous games have] largely been tailored, beautiful, linear, single-player games. Where is with Control, we have this open-ended world, which means you can come across side missions earlier in the game, documents point you towards things to investigate.
Players will also be able to become more actively involved in the story. The option to question characters about their role in the world of Control is yet another addition to the Remedy formula. Kasurinen and Maggs briefly touched on this with the following statement:
We also have a story where you can ask characters more about aspects of the world, and how they’re involved in them. So I think Control’s a different game in that sense. There is more storytelling that was live-action in Quantum Break. We still have live-action in Control—that is a part of Remedy games. But we’ve used it in a more specific way, I think. It’s more integrated into the world than what we did in Quantum Break.
For now, it is not exactly clear how these supplemental bits of narrative will be presented throughout the game world. Surely, as the release date continues to draw near, Remedy will offer more information on this front and others.
Of course, the expansion of environmental storytelling isn’t the only way the studio is switching things up. The open world of Control’s Oldest House setting seems ripe with possibilities, particularly due to the Metroidvania-inspired nature of the game design.
Control Environmental Storytelling More In-Depth Than Other Remedy Titles
Control is scheduled to hit stores for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One later this summer on August 27th.