I loved Control when I played it on Xbox One X back in 2019. It wasn’t free of technical problems though, and those playing on other consoles would have had it even worse.
The latest story-driven third-person shooter from Remedy, Control, as usual for the developer, really pushed the bar in a technical sense. The result was a fluctuating framerate on consoles, frequently dropping below its 30fps target. There were other problems, too, such as stuttering and short pauses when coming out of the game’s menus. Until now, then, the best way to play Control has been on PC. It still will be for some, but with the arrival of Control Ultimate Edition on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, it finally has a chance to truly shine on console.
Playing Control on a beefy RTX-equipped PC is quite the experience. Max out the settings as you have a game that simply oozes atmosphere, with phenomenal shadows and effects layering on top of a game with exquisitely detailed environments and characters. Turn on ray tracing and things get even prettier, with real-time reflections and more giving the image more depth. But it comes at a cost: playing at 60fps is a pipe dream for most unless they enable DLSS. And if you want native 4K 60fps you’re going to need a 3080 or above to even stand a chance.
It’s understandable, then, that if you want to play Control Ultimate Edition on PS5 with ray tracing enabled, you have to settle for a 30fps experience. It’s the type of 30fps experience that once you’ve got used to it you don’t mind, however; performance is pretty much rock-solid and the controls are very responsive. On top of that, you get some wonderful eye-candy. While Control on PS5 doesn’t look as it good as it does maxed out on PC, it still looks outstanding. An upgrade of the resolution to 1440p means that the image looks sharper, while ray traced reflections catch your attention thanks to the sense of realism they bring.
If the thought of playing at 30fps really grinds your gears, however, you’ll be glad that the next-gen version of Control Ultimate Edition also has a performance mode. It also runs at 1440p but ray tracing is disabled. So, it doesn’t impress quite as much visually, but when you’re running around at 60fps you probably won’t really care. Control is genuinely better to play in performance mode, though while it also still looks great, the extra beautification, and ray tracing, that graphics mode adds might cause some internal debate. Whichever option wins, you can’t really lose.
While the next-gen version of Control Ultimate Edition undoubtedly looks better than its last-gen counterparts, it’s the increased performance that really makes the difference. A solid 30fps is a vast improvement over the patchy performance previously experienced on console, while 60fps is dreamlike. On top of that, load times are faster, stutter has pretty much been eradicated, and going in and out of menus is now quick and free of troubles. You can now just play the game, get immersed into it, and enjoy it without technical issues getting in the way.
And what a game it is. Protagonist Jesse Faden is a character that’s easy to warm to, and you’ll really be on her side as she fights her way through The Oldest House in search of answers and her brother while fighting an adversary known as The Hiss. The scenery can be a little repetitive at times, but it’s hard to not be impressed by the detail that’s been packed into each area. By far the best part of Control, however, is its combat; a stirring mix of gunplay and supernatural powers made all the more electrifying by the havoc that’s caused as you do battle. Windows are smashed, desks destroyed and concrete walls scarred; nothing comes out unscathed.
So, if you’ve not yet played played Control and have a next-gen console, do the right thing and pick up Control Ultimate Edition. You won’t be disappointed.
Control Ultimate Edition launches digitally 2nd February and physically 2nd March for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. PS Plus subscribers can claim the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game throughout February for no additional cost. Those who already own the PS4 or Xbox One version of Control Ultimate Edition can upgrade to the respective next-gen version for free.