Control is a glorious mess-making sim

(Image credit: Remedy Entertainment)

Control is an excellent game, largely for its weird stories about secret government agencies, dimensional rifts, and inanimate objects come to life. But the secret sauce that brings The Oldest House to life is how easily everything is to take apart. 

Control's environmental destructibility is strikingly detailed and infinitely delightful. Combat sequences transform rooms from banal office spaces to disaster areas, where battles end with wood, concrete, paper, staplers—everything coating the floor in a dense layer of rubble that still reacts to ongoing explosions and gunshots and telekinetic forces. It's really something to behold. 

But simply waxing on about Control's lovely physics doesn't do them justice. See for yourself as I ruin a lunchroom, pulverize some toilets, disassemble some desks, and bounce a body. 

Desks are comprised of multiple pieces of wood, each of which splinter and decay independently, and everything on top is it's own physics object, not some baked in asset. That means I can disassemble a desk piece by piece with a pistol or just toss a typewriter at it to finish the job in a single splinter explosion. 

This one surprised me. I expected the cart to be a single physics object, but after tossing a fire extinguisher at it, tons of smaller objects flew out from within. Boxes, mail canisters, all washed over with white foam from the explosion. 

Even if you can't toss every object across the room, there's usually some kind of reactive animation if something's hit. Filing cabinets are a favorite of mine, shooting in and out rapidly to release all that kinetic energy. 

And while you can't flush the toilets, you can completely pulverize them, stall included. Feels like a bit of a privacy issue, though. 

Here's the ultimate destructibility test. Some materials have much more granular structural properties. It's not the kind of thing most players will ever notice or toy around with, but something PC gamers drool over. Don't tell me this next GIF isn't satisfying as hell. 

Things don't always behave like they should, though I suppose a human corpse bouncing like a basketball is less traumatizing than a dull thud and/or crunch. 

Watch as I turn a cafeteria into dirt. In most games, I'd see a scene like this and assume every object is static, each chair locked into position, the tables made of an alloy stronger than any known material. 

In Control, it's an impulsive project, a space I need to clear because I can. Combat isn't even guaranteed to happen here, but if it does, at least I have an infinite supply of rubble to throw at The Hiss. 

James Davenport

James is stuck in an endless loop, playing the Dark Souls games on repeat until Elden Ring and Silksong set him free. He's a truffle pig for indie horror and weird FPS games too, seeking out games that actively hurt to play. Otherwise he's wandering Austin, identifying mushrooms and doodling grackles.