The Foundation is the first story expansion for Control, one of the better games of 2019 (and one of only two games I played that released that year as well), and same as the main game, this DLC continues to provide the same enjoyable gaming experience with a strange yet intriguing story focusing on largely unexplained supernatural phenomena. Without spoiling too much of the main game’s story, protagonist Jesse Faden uses newly gained supernatural powers to prevent a hostile entity known as the Hiss from escaping the Oldest House, the headquarters of the Men in Black-esque Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) organization that deals with and keeps a lid on all manner of extradimensional occurrences and other weird juju. This DLC takes place after the main game’s campaign where Jesse, having finally accepted her role as the new Director of the FBC, tries to keep things in the Oldest House under control. She is then informed of the Hiss screwing around with stuff in the lowest and largely unknown depths of the Oldest House called The Foundation, and after arriving and finding out that parts of the strange dimension known as the Astral Plane are “leaking” into the Oldest House and vice versa, Jesse takes steps to stop this newest threat.
As far as content goes, The Foundation adds about 4 hours’ worth of stuff to do, more if you decide to find every secret and earn all the trophies/achievements the DLC has to offer. Jesse has access to all the powers, perks, and firing modes for her Service Weapon that she had in the main game. She also gains access to new powers/upgrades that revolve around this new crystal-like substance growing all over the Foundation, namely the ability to destroy these crystal formations with her Service Weapon and the power to create crystal formations over certain surfaces. Both these abilities not only let Jesse reach hidden and normally inaccessible areas, but they also give her more options in dealing with enemies.
As for the enemies, Jesse faces off against the same Hiss-corrupted FBC agents that she dealt with in the main game, with one new Hiss enemy type added into this DLC. More beings from the Astral Plane pop up as further obstacles, but they have the same abilities as the Hiss-corrupted agents and are, therefore, basically reskins of the Hiss enemies. The boss battles, much like in the main game, are regular enemies that have been pumped up to provide an extra challenge. So yes, while this DLC is lacking in enemy variety, fighting them is still a challenge, especially when so many are thrown at you all at once, forcing you to stay on the move lest you wish to be nearly one-shot by a lucky enemy who manages to get into close range and shoot or smack you. It’s pretty much more of the same as you got from the main game, but given that it was so good there, it’s just fine here in the DLC as well.
The only other new additions are some interesting side missions and some new perks and mods for Jesse and her Service Weapon, many of them involving regaining more health or energy by dealing out or receiving damage. Jesse’s main stats, namely health, energy, melee, etc. can all be upgraded one level higher than was possible in the main game, and she can even gain the ability to combine her Shield and Evade powers together and ram into enemies to deal out some impressive damage or knock them off cliffs. For those who are intrigued by Control’s unusual and unique lore, there are plenty of new journal entries, documents, and audio recordings that can be found as collectibles and that help flesh out the very interesting world that Remedy have created. To sum up, The Foundation doesn’t add any mind-blowing or game-changing elements to Control, but it does continue to provide the same fun gameplay and appropriately weird and amusing story along with a few extra features here and there. If you were a big fan of everything Control had to offer, then this DLC is worth investing in.
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Platforms: PS4, PC (Xbox One= 25th June 2020)
Release Date: 26th March 2020