Control is on everyone’s lips again. This title, which we consider one of the best video games of 2019 in our Poporo de Oro awards, was offered to PS Plus subscribers during this month of February. Thanks to that, many more players are enjoying this amazing and strange world created by Remedy Entertainment.
We have already talked about this title before. Here you can find our review. But there is still much to say. The world that Jesse Faden encounters within the Immemorial House is intriguing and very mysterious. We know that there are many players who want to understand more about what happens with the Federal Control Agency, the SMA (Altered World Events) and the curious relationship that this title has with the remembered one Alan Wake.
Therefore, in this ‘in-depth’ analysis of Control Let’s explore its most intriguing topics, explain some of its mysteries, and take a closer look at the ‘Remedy Connected Universe’ it shares with the Bright Falls writer’s story.
Needless to say, this article contains spoilers for the game, its DLC and Alan Wake. It is aimed at players who have already reached the end, know the plot well and want to reflect on its themes and concepts. But first you have to talk about what everyone wants to know:
What is the relationship between Control Y Alan Wake?
When Control released in 2019, it was a surprise to find out that it not only included references to that other Remedy Entertainment game, but also suggested that they both existed in the same universe. Yes we publish
Have you already read it? Very good. Let’s move on.
The relationship between Control Y Alan Wake is delved into the DLC called SMA (AWE, in English). There, the writer manages to contact Jesse through the strange direct line, an object of power that allows her to communicate with the dead and inhabitants of other dimensions. But he doesn’t speak to her directly. His messages look like the text of a novel in progress. This leads her to the Research Sector, an area of the Immemorial House that was sealed off after the escape of a dangerous creature.
Said creature is Dr. Emil Hartman, a character from Alan Wake deeply affected by the ‘Dark Presence’ of that game, which transformed it into something gruesome and then turned into ‘something more’ by the influence of the Hiss.
Up to here, everything is normal. At least ‘normal’ in terms of this game. It is clear that the events of Alan Wake they were one of many SMAs investigated by the agency. That was interesting enough, but there is something else. Something that radically changes the ‘Remedy Connected Universe’.
The texts that Alan Wake narrates while writing tell us events not of his game, but of Control. Hartman’s escape, the invasion of the Hiss and the arrival of ‘a hero’ to the Agency to fix everything are part of his text. As we already know, Wake’s writings become part of reality thanks to the power of the Dark Presence. That means the events of Control they are part of the ‘novel’ that Alan is writing while trapped in the ‘Dark Place’.
This changes everything. Wake is aware of his ‘doppleganger’ presence in the real world and is willing to do whatever it takes to come back and fix things. The obvious theory is that he is writing the series of events that will lead to his escape from his paranatural prison. Various moments in the DLC, including its ending, point to another SMA happening in Bright Falls “in a couple of years” and that it will be investigated by Jesse. Is it a clue that we will have Alan Wake 2? A sequel to Control that links both games even more within the Remedy universe? We will have to wait to find out.
Now that we discussed what everyone wanted to know, we can really begin the thematic analysis of Control with what is possibly the most important mystery of that title.
What is The Immemorial House?
If you ever find yourself walking around New York, specifically Tribeca in Lower Manhattan, you might see a building called 33 Thomas Street and immediately think of the Immemorial House. That’s because that place is his direct inspiration.
It has long been believed that there is an NSA spy office inside. A government agency secretly working inside a brutalist-style structure whose exterior suggests nothing interesting? You don’t have to be a genius to see the relationship.
But let’s go back to Control, in which The Immemorial House is a ‘Place of Power’ whose interior defies the rules of time and space. Its corridors can spontaneously lead to other dimensions. In fact, it is possible that the place “contains” other dimensions. Their rooms are in constant flux, changing and twisting. Even time seems to fluctuate differently for those who travel it. Quoting a popular British series, “it’s bigger on the inside.” Its supernatural nature offers a very interesting contrast to its inhabitants: a government agency.
It is possible to find ‘clues’ about the origin and true nature of La Casa Inmemorial in Control, especially in the DLC, The foundation. For example, we discovered that in the past it was perceived as a huge tree. We also find a monolith called ‘El Clavo’ that seems to be the connection of the place with the astral plane. But that doesn’t solve anything. In fact, it creates more questions.
It would be easy to believe that El Clavo came first and the ‘House’ was generated around him. But one of the characters proposes the opposite: the House existed before the Nail and it was put there to open a connection between the Place of Power and the astral plane. Who put it there? Was it the mysterious Council looking for a gateway to our dimension? The conclusion is that it is impossible to really know the nature of this place. And we haven’t even talked about her relationship with the strange Ahri, the janitor.
This because the goal of the Immemorial House in Control not that we reveal their secrets. What the game wants is for us to marvel at its mysteries and realize how stupid the Federal Control Agency’s attempts to understand and control it are. The main theme of this game is literally that humanity cannot claim to control the world it inhabits. The presence of the Agency within this ‘Place of Power’ is an example of the false sensation that we create to feel in control of our environment. We have to go deep into this topic, but we will do so in the second part of this article.
We ran out of space and barely touched the surface of the interesting themes of Control, but the second part of this analysis’Thoroughly‘will be published very soon. We have yet to talk about Polaris and its relationship to the Hedron, the nature of the Hiss, the raison d’être of the Federal Control Agency, and Remedy’s Connected Universe works meta narrative. Stay tuned for PS5!