Control is a good game — no, a great game. We gave it a 9 out of 10 here at AiPT! and that is a score well deserved. Remedy has another hit on their hands with a third-person action/adventure game that has nearly everything going for it. An engaging story, empathetic characters, incredible combat, gorgeous visuals, a score that truly impacts gameplay, and deep RPG elements that give the player total freedom make Control a “Game of the Year” contender.
Sounds like a perfect game, right? If you have an Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, or a master-race PC, the answer is “yeah, it’s damn near perfect.” Unfortunately, those of us with lesser hardware have had a different experience.
Despite everything it has going for it, Control has been berated on Reddit for truly disappointing frame rate issues on base consoles. The incredible story, intuitive combat, and awe-inspiring visuals may be intact in these base editions of the game, sure, but downright horrific frame-rate issues have kept Control from reaching the “Game of the Year” status that it (for the most part) deserves. With the release of update 1.03 this week, many gamers hoped the game would be fixed. But is it? Well… kind of.
Despite having never played Alan Wake and barely dabbling in Max Payne, I picked up Control on launch day. Like many, I was entranced by almost everything the game had to offer…until I got into a huge combat-scenario and watched the game essentially turn into a computer-generated stop motion feature due to dips in frame-rate.
Rather than wax poetic about the frustrations I experienced during these segments, I’ll simply say that these frame rate issues were downright game-breaking. I wouldn’t blame anyone for ignoring the game after hearing about these issues — they’re undeniably frustrating. With the 1.03 update, however, Remedy appeared to be ready to fix the frame-rate problems experienced by players on base consoles, and they did an admirable job.
Is every issue fixed? No. Load times after death are still longer than usual and coming out of the map or pause screen still leads to a few seconds of choppiness. During large-scale combat situations, though, the game performs noticeably better. Don’t get me wrong, the frame-rate still dips. The dips, however, don’t reach a level that truly impacts the game or impedes the situation at hand.
What was once a game-breaking problem is now an incredibly minuscule annoyance. No longer is my enjoyment of the game nullified. Now I am too focused on the sheer amount of enemies on-screen and the various amount of tactical options to combat these foes to even notice the slight skip in frame-rate.
Could the frame rate be better, still? Sure. There’s a decent drop in performance that persists when things get chaotic. Unlike before, however, it’s hardly a noticeable problem.
It’s actually a testament to everything else about Control — even with technical issues that aren’t entirely fixed, the game is still incredible. The frame rate issues may not be 100% solved, but they’ve improved enough to vault Control back into the top five games of 2019.