The architecture in Control is not just for display.
That was my realization when I sat down with Remedy Entertainment’s Art Director and World Design Director to have a discussion about The Oldest House, where Control takes place. As everyone now knows, The Oldest House is a brutalist bunch.
The style emerged after the Second World War and was mainly used in urban buildings or apartment buildings. It became an acronym for “creepy totalitarian government” thanks to appearances in futuristic films and our own evolving design sensibility. No style provokes as much love or loathing as brutalism.
But brutalism is not just skin that Remedy pulled over her own creepy government agency, the Bureau of Control. It’s a perfect distillation of the studio’s design goals and Control’s gameplay.
A key part of Remedy’s design philosophy is that the player feels that they have an impact on the world. The oldest house is made of beautiful, reactive concrete. Concrete is inextricably linked to brutalist architecture. Learn more about this in this great episode of 99% Invisible, made with the support of the one who literally wrote the book on concrete.
However, concrete determines how the controller responds to player input. If Jesse Faden floats and then hits the ground, you get an impact crater. Bullets leave scars and fill the air with dust. I can pull out a gnarled piece of wall and throw it or use it as a shield. When I throw furniture, it can explode on impact because concrete is very hard.
A fight in Control begins with smooth, bare walls and ends in a wreckage that tells the story of the fight.
In this video you will learn more about concrete, brutalism and the design behind our number 2 among the games of the year. Make sure you’ve signed in, then read the comments to celebrate with your specific lover (or hate) friend. For more information on control, see our Particle Effects video, which explains how the noise was created. In our interview with Austin Wintory, you’ll learn how difficult it was to compose the penultimate song on the Journey soundtrack.