Released in 2019, Control was a cult classic in the making; selling very few copies all while creating a small group of die-hard fans that would sing the game’s praises. I am one of them. Remedy’s take on a 3D Metroidvania had its flaws: the confusing map and level structure being one. However, the main issue many fans had, myself included, was the poor performance on consoles. Control was and still is a looker. The main drawback of this was that the use of lighting and destructible environments took its toll on the 5-year-old hardware at the time, and while the PS4 Pro version was slightly better, it still had plenty of technical issues. Now with the release of Control: Ultimate Edition on PS5, does the game utilize the extra power well enough to rid itself of terrible performance?
This is my preferred method of playing any game, really. Performance mode states it runs at 1440p, upscaled to 4k and 60fps. I’m glad to report that the 60fps hold strong. I’m no digital foundry, but from my eye, there were no noticeable drops in frame rate, which is quite amazing considering the sheer amount of stuff going on at any given combat encounter. This is where Control shines. While I loved the convoluted narrative, filled to the brim with intrigue and creepiness (I’m looking at you, Threshold Kids), the combat is fantastic. With the buttery-smooth 60fps, everything feels more deliberate, almost like you have more….control.
While this mode isn’t my preference, I played roughly two hours of it to test it out. Once again, this runs at 1440p, upscaled to 4k and 30fps, and the main change is the buzz word since the new generation of consoles began: ray tracing. The technology basically creates more realistic reflections. I’ll admit to being a skeptic at the beginning of the generation, but after seeing examples of it with the reflections off New York City’s skyline, I believed the hype. Ray tracing in Control: Ultimate Edition is simply phenomenal. The reflections of the overhead lights through the polished wooden walls or the light reflecting off Jessie in the Oceanview Motel; it was all so beautiful, in fact, that I spent significantly more time in this mode than I originally intended.
Both modes have their merits. A 60fps upgrade to a great game warrants a replay for me. The game is free on PlayStation Plus as of today, so make sure to download it if you’re a member. Graphics mode blew me away. Frame rate is more important to me, so it takes a lot for a graphics mode to turn my head, but Remedy knocked it out of the park here. The sheer beauty of the game makes the graphics mode a worthwhile addition. No matter what way you choose to play, Control: Ultimate Edition runs extremely well.
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date: 2nd February 2021
Gaming Respawn’s copy of Control: Ultimate Edition was provided by the publisher.