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Control: AWE Expansion – Review

AWE, or Altered World Event, is the second and latest DLC for Control, this time bringing the Alan Wake game into the narrative. Again, starting from where we left off from the Foundation expansion, Director Jesse Faden gets a hotline vision, message, otherworldly phone call, or however you want to perceive it, from none other than Alan Wake. This does not come as a shock to most, as it was already clear to most that this would involve Alan Wake and Bright falls. Many even called it the Alan Wake Expansion. However, Jesse is told to investigate a recently opened section of the FBC (Federal Bureau of Control), the Investigation Sector.

Here we find out that the Bureau was investigating the incident at Bright Falls and the AWE that is Cauldron Lake, with the power to make artists creations a reality. Control agents even took control of the lake and the research of Dr Emil Hartman. Not liking the fact that his life’s work had been forcefully appropriated, made a desperate decision to dive into the lake as a last-ditch effort to study the mysterious forces of the lake. This did not go according to plan as Dr Hartman was immediately taken over by what the Bureau calls ‘The Shadow’ and the antagonist of Alan Wake. Jesse is asked by Langston to venture into the Investigation Sector and eliminate Dr Hartman, who has taken control of the sector and is the cause of its lockdown.

Gaining a new gun mode and new mods, you must explore the Investigation Sector, uncovering information about the Bright falls incident, including accounts from Alan’s wife and Dr Hartman. Visiting the Oceanview Motel, you also get visions from Alan himself through a door marked with a spiral. Once you make it to the Bright Falls AWE room and defeat ‘the Shadow’, you are informed of a new AWE reporting from Bright Falls. However, in true Control spirit there is more, the report is from several years in the future and if that were not enough to keep your attention, we get a final vision from Alan that is very ominous.

As I stated in my review of the last expansion, I love this game. It is weird, intriguing, and quite thrilling, but I have not played this in a while, so it took me a few deaths to get back into the swing of things and overall was a great experience. Though again I have the same gripes, it still looks surprisingly good, throwing things around with my mind while levitating is still super fun, but it is missing some things. One example is the fun little videos and voice recordings from the original story, no more threshold kids, no more information videos from Darling and most disappointingly, no new powers.

The new gun mode you get is fun and has a few different ways you can utilise it, and I did use it a lot. The new weapon is a remote detonated sticky grenade launcher that has three main ways you can use it. Firstly, you can aim it and shoot the three projectiles and have them explode all at once pressing the R2 button. Secondly, you can not aim and just press the R2 trigger to shoot one grenade and the press the trigger again to detonate it. Lastly, and arguably the most difficult, is to shoot an object then throw that object at an enemy adding explosive damage to your normal telekinetic damage. It is a fun weapon to use, but a new power as well would have been nice. One last thing to mention, there really was no new content with some of the other supporting cast like Emily, Ahti, or Simon.

All in all, a solid expansion, and a nice crossover with Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake, again leaving me with less answers than questions. I am super excited about what they do next, and would suggest you also check out my review on the first expansion, The Foundation, and the full review of the base game here.

The Good

  • Still heaps of fun to play with a lot to discover
  • Crossover with Alan Wake bringing the two games into the same world, yes please.
  • The new weapon is cool and probably one of my new favourite variations
  • Still allows for heaps of new expansions

The Bad

  • Needs more humour like threshold kids
  • Needs some new powers
Adam Brasher

Written by: Adam Brasher


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