It’s hard to think of a recent game that left as might of a gap in its ending last year than Control. At the end of the story, the newly appointed director of the Federal Bureau of Control was left without much of an answer as to what was next to come for the agency having taken care of the whole situation involving her brother and the Hiss. That next big thing comes in the form of ‘The Foundation’, the first piece of downloadable content in Control’s expansion plan.
Basically, the very foundation of The Oldest House is in the fritz as the Astral Plane is leaking into our reality thanks to the shattering of the Nail, a gigantic monolith located deep in the bedrock of the mysterious building that Control takes place in. Also, if you spent the final moments of the original content wondering what happened with the security chief Marshall, you’ll finally get to find out in this DLC.
‘The Foundation’ takes place in a completely new area that you’ll reach by exploring the Maintenance Sector of The Oldest House, and its map is about a quarter of the size of the main campaign’s. Along the way you’ll pick up two new powers for Jessie that are intrinsically tied to the traversal you’ll partake throughout the DLC. One basically grows crystals from specific spots on walls and the ground that you can stand in for a moment and reach higher platforms. It can be used during combat to impale enemies, which can be a lot of fun, unlike its actual platforming use.
Frankly, jumping around trying to time movement between these formations turns out to be a slight pain due to how quickly they disappear, dropping you down to whatever waits for you below. I spent about an hour trying to get through an especially tricky spot in the DLC that involved jumping to three consecutive crystals before reaching solid ground. It’s annoying to think that when there’s finally something new to add to Jessie’s arsenal of powers, it would be this. Then there’s Fracture, which gives the Service Weapon the ability to destroy these same crystals you’ll run into while exploring.
Both powers play into the main objective of ‘The Foundation’ that involve piecing back four different parts of the Nail that are scattered around The Oldest House’s underground. The last of these proved to be really tricky, as both abilities have to be perfectly used, hence it took me a little while to nail it down. Thankfully, these annoyances were more than made up by the excellent combat scenarios throughout this DLC. The new enemy type called Hiss Sharpened, a relentless melee-based attacker changes the dynamic of fights and forced me to keep moving even more in order to avoid them and survive to the next checkpoint.
In terms of story, ‘The Foundation’ lays a lot of new lore tidbits that answer some of the lingering questions in regards to what the setting of Control is all about. The excellent writing from the base content is back thanks to a host of different files you’ll pick up, along with dense with info voice recordings and even some new cryptic hotline videos starting the missing security expert Marshall who ended up somehow finding her way down before you.
It’s exciting to think what this DLC will lead to in the grand scheme of things in terms of expansion content for Control. Given that the final one of the two, called AWE that involves Alan Wake — my favorite out of all of Remedy’s franchises — will be out in a few months, there won’t be long to wait until we get what’s expected to be the key to the lingering secrets lying within The Oldest House.
Control’s ‘The Foundation’ is currently out on PC and Playstation 4, and will see an Xbox One release on June 25th.