Control DLC: The Foundationby Adam Dileva
I really enjoyed Control when it released, and if you need proof or want to see how much I enjoyed it, here’s my original review. Once I finished Jesse’s story and the campaign in the base game, I was left wanting more, but had to wait for DLC in the Season Pass to release. Just shy of a year later, the first expansion DLC is finally here for Xbox One players, titled The Foundation. It’s a shame that the DLC was exclusive to other platforms for three months, as it’s been so long since I’ve been in Control’s world, that it was a little tricky to get back into.
So the first thing you’ll need to know about The Foundation is that it takes place directly after the main campaign, meaning you’ll need a completed game save from the base game, but for good reason, as you won’t have any idea what’s going on otherwise. Once installed, you’ll have a quest for The Foundation that begins in Central Executive then heading to the Hotline Chamber. As usual, the phone will ring, this time sending Jesse underneath the FBC only to learn that the Astral Plane is starting to bleed into reality.
Jesse will need to explore the seemingly barren and abandoned tunnels and caverns underneath the Oldest House, which is an aesthetic change from what we’re used to in the base game with lots of white and bland manmade walls. This is Control of course, so everything will not always appear as it seems. You’ll uncover a deeper mystery involving the missing Helen Marshall, Head of Operations among many other secrets.
So what’s new in The Foundation? Obviously the story continuation is its main draw but there’s new missions, mods, abilities and a new enemy you’ll encounter here as well. While the core gameplay is essentially unchanged from the base game, your new abilities are quite interesting. One allows you to use your telepathy and create crystal platforms to use as ledges, essentially pulling them out of specific spots on certain walls. The other allows you destroy specific crystals that obstruct you from venturing any further until you have said power. Using your powers on specific traps can be used to your advantage in combat as well, lifting a row of spikes to damage enemies or create a wall to block enemy projectiles. Keep in mind that these abilities are only used in The Foundation, but they fit fluidly into Control’s flow and combat quite nicely.
While only introducing one new enemy was a little bit of a letdown, these Hiss seemed to have been workers in the Foundation at some point is my guess, as they will charge at you with their pickaxes at great speed, even using some minor teleportation to avoid attacks and dodge your projectiles. While they are simply grunt enemies, they can quickly overwhelm you in combat when also having to deal with other Hiss types, ones that you’re more than used to by now from the main campaign.
Having been away from Control for nearly a year, I was hoping that some of the initial complaints I originally had would have been addressed, but it seems not yet. There’s still some massive screen tearing at certain points and a weird lag and pop-in now and then, especially when unpausing the game, even on an Xbox One X. Also, the map is still terrible and difficult to use and navigate, though the linear caverns in The Foundation are nowhere near as cluttered and can easily be understood compared to the FBC hallways.
The Foundation plays it safe. The core gameplay and combat and relatively unchanged, save for the new powers and one additional enemy; That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Control is quite solid overall, just don’t expect anything majorly new or big additions to the gameplay. Now that The Foundation has answered some questions, and asked a bunch of new ones, the wait now begins for Control’s next expansion, titled AWE and supposedly a tie-in to the world of Alan Wake, which has me incredibly excited. Thankfully it won’t have an exclusivity deal and Xbox One players will get to enjoy it on launch day with everyone else at once this time around.
The few puzzles that are included aren’t too difficult, and there’s a handful of sidequests to help pad out the gameplay a big longer should you desire to explore the Foundation even further. While the DLC campaign will only take you a couple hours to complete, this can be extended about twice as long if you desire to try and do everything The Foundation has to offer with its sidequests.
If you enjoyed Control, you’ll also enjoy The Foundation. If Control wasn’t your cup of tea the first time, this isn’t going to change your mind. While I’m not a fan of arbitrarily having to wait the extra few months to play The Foundation, I did quite enjoy my time being sucked back into Jesse’s world of being the Director at the FBC once again.