I assume I’m not alone, you’re playing a game where you seem to be missing something. An item/ability/mission/quest/etc... and you blatantly walk by or never pick it up. I am no stranger to things going over my head in video games; it just equates to traversing the area around until I find what I’m looking for. This can take hours while it’s been in front of me the whole time.
For example: A few months ago I was replaying BioShock. During Sander Cohen’s mission when he asks you to come into Fleet Hall, there is an elevator that took me three hours to find. Well I shouldn’t say that. I stared at the elevator until my eyes bled, then I did the only course of action I had. I looked up a mission walkthrough. Just to find that the elevator button that was right next to it, had to be pressed.
I’m chalking this up to user error. Since I’ve forgotten about this button almost every time I play this game (I remembered after I looked it up). In High School I had a friend that showed me where the button was; since it was his game. I also played it in college, and about 2 years ago I played up to this mission with my significant other. Forgetting the location of the button every single time. But I’ve done the same with certain mission items in Skyrim, forgetting a portion of the map in Night in the Woods, and not delivering requested gems, fish, veggies, (underwear?) to the townspeople of Stardew Valley in time. Maybe I’m forgetful, or maybe I’m just too engrossed in these games to remember all the things that will help me out in the long run.
To get to the real meat and potatoes of this, lets start here. I bought Control the day it came out. Everything that I was expecting had been throw out and replaced with something even better. I commend Remedy, they went balls to the walls creative making this world that pushes those players to not leave this huge environment alone. Pushing for exploration; searching every door and any opening in a wall. There are secrets to be found, and things to be read. I thought Alan Wake was good, Control makes you feel like YOU are the overpowered shotgun that’s in most fps titles. You feel powerful, shredding enemies down to pulp reminiscent of orange juice. Jesse is a telekinetic force likely to put Carrie in her place.
But I have played mission after mission assuming that the one ability I hadn’t gotten yet was supposed to be something end game related. And that is not true at all. This next part is spoilers. You have been warned.
I obtained both levitation and seize throughout the game. Leaving the first spot open in the ability upgrades. As I kept playing, the difficulty in some places spiked; mainly in the side missions. I personally enjoy trying to do everything before the finale. Being overpowered by the end brings me momentous joy, sorta like Christmas when I was younger unwrapping Pokemon or the new Tony Hawk.
Still this empty ability slot filled me with slowly building aggression. I figured I was just playing the game incorrectly or maybe there is a way to cheese some of the optional bosses. I’m not utilizing the slots on my gun alterations or hiding behind terrible cover. But the more I look into it after the fact, a lot of people have seen the difficulty spikes. But I didn’t subject myself to what I did in Bioshock, I just pressed on through the pain. I would finish a mission then continue onto the next.
I obtained a mission in early game that I could never access, “A Good Defense”. You walk into this lobby area and have a doorway that’s blocked by a screaming red rectangle. With other red things hanging around the area. I went there a few times trying to figure out why I couldn’t get into the doorway. But felt like it unlocked later on towards end game. So I just kept going.
There is a mission later on, that for the life of me I cannot remember where you destroy one of these red data error blocks. It’s apparently called a Hiss cluster. Or what I think it’s called, with all this uhhh research I’ve been doing... I assume I am wrong. Regardless, during this mission you have one of these red bastards that you clearly have to destroy. This made me realize that I could actually get past these things in front of the training center. If the lock on for throwing items didn’t give it away before. Then it happened, I got side tracked by the story. I couldn’t stop myself.
I went through the “Polaris” mission bumping that dope double bass heaviness, zooming around like a mad-woman hell bent on getting everything she wanted. Girls rule the world.
I have been zipping around dodging stuff with the evade button pushed down so hard my controller is about to call protective services on me. Hiding behind heavy amounts of cover for pretty much a whole play-through. I’ve gotten out the ashtray maze, and I just have this feeling. Kinda like that NPC saying to you, “Are you sure!? This will be the last time you can ever set foot in this house! You’re on your own now!” That’s actually my dad talking. But meh, I just have a feeling.
I went back to Central Maintenance, and settle for brute forcing it. I don’t care if I glitch through the doorway or find a secret leading into the room. I just want to know what’s behind this red mess of glitchy yelling. I didn’t mention that, but it’s loud. I don’t know why but it sounds like it’s screaming in my headphones. And I can’t take it anymore, I decide to throw things around the room in frustration. Then I notice. It’s locked onto them, the red things... oh so, just throw it? Yup. It’s open now.
It took me one single run around the training course to get to the safe. I cleansed it with ease and obtained the ability of shield. It’s cool, I now have an ability that would have made this game easy from the get-go. A shield of concrete reminiscent of the inFamous: Second Son concrete ability. After trying it a few times and fully upgrading it before even going into the final fight, I can tell you with absolute certainty...I used it once during the last mission. It’s pretty disappointing, when you feel more comfortable weaving and dodging bullets/thrown objects with everything but a shield. Something that uses energy and protects all health.
I feel like I failed playing the game in a way that would have made it much easier. But I also think I played my way. Making myself much more aware in general. Watching my stamina and where I was located in conflict. How I could trick AI to travel a different path while I cower in a stairway so they wouldn’t come straight for me. Or taking Control of situations by coming out with sheer force. See what I did there? Next play-through though I will unlock the shield early into the game; to see if it changes my playstyle. Assuming I don’t forget about it again.