Control's telekinesis power is even better than its weird, shape-shifting gun

When Wes got his hands on Control back in March, he came away quite fond of its weird transforming gun. I finally got a chance to play a demo of Control myself in May, and while I too thought the gun was neat I have to admit I barely even fired it. I was way to busy flinging around barrels, boxes, and huge hunks of concrete with Control's telekinesis power. I enjoyed it so much I might as well not even have had a gun in my hand. The short video above and here on YouTube (with footage supplied to me, not from my own personal playthrough) will explain why.

Control is the upcoming third-person shooter from Remedy Entertainment, the developer behind Max Payne, Alan Wake, and Quantum Break. I was familiar with the basic premise of Control: you're the new director of a secret federal agency that investigates paranormal phenomena headquartered in a bizarre, reality-shifting skyscraper. Even still, I didn't have much real context for the demo. There were bad guys trying to kill me, security guard types who have been possessed by some evil entity known as The Hiss. There was a weird janitor giving me a cryptic pep-talk and making it extremely clear he wasn't just a janitor. There were some monsters and a lot of cluttered, cavernous rooms I wish I had a proper amount of time to poke around in. And there was a power plant I get running in the hallowed video game tradition: by repairing a certain amount of pumps.

So, I understood what was happening, just not why it was happening. But that's okay, because I had telekinesis, and when you have telekinesis you can smash anything you don't understand.

And smash I did, pretty much exclusively. You can target specific objects to use, lift them into the air next to you, and run around with them hovering at your side. The nice thing is, you can use your telekinesis even if there are no objects nearby. If nothing is targeted, a big chunk of concrete will be torn out of the floor or wall or a nearby pillar to use as a projectile. 

It means you can use it reflexively, like panic-firing a shotgun, and there's a lot to panic about in Control's skyscraper. The place is pretty spooky.

Naturally, telekinesis can be used to solve puzzles, too, such as hefting a big square... well, it was a big square something. And I hefted it into place which did... something else. Look, I don't know how power plants work, but if you lift a big square something and hurl it at a hundred miles per hour into the spot on the water pump where it's supposed to go, the power plant starts working better. That's proven video game science.

The likely reason I'm so fond of telekinesis in games is that it doesn't require pinpoint accuracy the way a pistol does. Fling something huge, and even if you miss your target you'll hit something, and maybe that something will explode or break or rebound and you'll do some damage to your original target anyway. There's some pretty nice destruction happening in Control's environments, with railings getting smashed and objects getting broken and stone walls being shattered. Which makes it a fun place to lob around some loose machinery.

At this point I feel like a number of us have gotten some brief playtime with Control and I'm pretty much just ready for the damn game to come out already. Twenty minutes or so wasn't nearly enough time to play it—every single cluttered room and winding corridor and darkened office felt like it was crying out to be investigated further. I promise to leave no desk unturned and no stone unflung.

Control is due out on August 27, and it's an Epic Store exclusive, which probably makes some of you reading want to throw a couple heavy objects around, too.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.