Control is stunning, but it judders along like nobody’s business on a base PS4

I haven’t posted a review of Control yet, but I probably don’t need to. It can be summed up in a few words: it’s flippin’ great and I bloody love it. And it’s a hell of a looker, too.

The only thing is that perhaps it’s a bit too good looking. The level of detail throughout is astonishing, and your infinitely pleasing telekinetic abilities let you grab absolutely anything around you and lob it at bad guys. And I mean anything – even chunks of concrete yanked out of walls. Meanwhile, office furniture breaks down into its component parts, and elevating an office chair will see its individual parts spin wildly. Chuck it at an enemy hiding behind a concrete balustrade, and the concrete will detonate into jagged chunks. Pretty much everything can be destroyed, and it’s utterly wonderful. But boy, can it make the frame rate chug sometimes.

I don’t normally give two hoots about graphical fidelity, frame rates and the like, but Control is the first game of this generation that’s made me really wish for a more powerful machine. I want to see its stunning brutalist interior architecture in all its stark glory, but all that detail seems to push the humble PS4 beyond its comfort space, to the point where textures will appear blurry even when you get up close, then they’ll suddenly pop into pin-sharp glory after a short delay.

I still have little love for my behemoth of a PC, although I’ve warmed to it enough now that I no longer want to set it on fire. But Control is the first game I’ve bought where I wished I’d skipped the PS4 version and bought the PC one instead to take advantage of its power boost. I’ve even been looking up the stats on my PC and comparing them with Control’s recommended settings, wondering how much better the game will look running on a more powerful machine.

I’m tempted to just buy Control again on PC and start from scratch – it’s so good that I’d happily play through it all again.


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