Control’s AWE DLC had me excited from the first announcement. It offers a chance to explore the closed Investigations Sector and some Altered World Events, take on a creepy new threat, and, most of all, would include an appearance by Alan Wake. Did it meet my high expectations?
The new DLC starts with having Jesse go to the sector elevator. A new button is available that will let her go to the previously closed Investigations Sector and unlock its secrets. You’ll learn why the area was shut down, and you even research three different Altered World Events if you can survive.
Without spoiling the story, let’s cut through the hype and get right to Alan Wake. The troubled author only makes an occasional appearance, and I was bothered by that at first. His voice-overs have superimposed images of the man clicking away at his typewriter. There is a cutscene with a bit more detail, but the hero of this tale is still Jesse. We only see glances in his direction that kept me wanting more. After reaching the end, I did finish a story, resolve a problem, and, even with a little disappointment, I was very excited to see more. Well played, Remedy, well played.
Along with your familiar powers and weapons, there are a few new tools in your arsenal. To drive the Hiss out of the Investigations Sector, try the new service weapon, Surge. It’s a sticky grenade launcher that lets you detonate a single shot or all three for maximum damage with a very cool spark trails effect after the explosion. You will need the materials to construct the weapon, but it will be easy. I do wish there were more new dedicated weapon mods for the Surge, but maybe I just didn’t find them.
Besides your new gun, you also receive a new power and fight a new enemy. Launch receives an unlockable skill that allows you to pick up and throw three projectiles, instead of one. The new gun and skill will be needed for the new Hiss Airborne Ranger. It flies, uses a shotgun, and likes to dodge making it a tough opponent.
The other new addition is the Shüm arcade cabinets. You can find these as you play, and they offer a few more challenges. The first machine will let you play a horde mode and a timed mode that forces you to keep killing Hiss to add time to a decreasing clock. Once you beat one of them, you can unlock the second machine. It gives you the chance to replay the awesome Ashtray Maze and boss fights if you have finished them in the game.
The Control formula is still unchanged for this DLC. You have an area to explore with control points to secure, enemies to kill, little puzzles to solve, and an overall objective that culminates in a big fight. There is a new mechanic of using light to burn off the darkness in a nod to Alan Wake, but it’s minor. Depending on how many of the new sidequests you attempt, the main quest can be completed in a few hours, but those quests add some flavor to the world. I recommend the “Gerbil Took the Top Head” quest for some interesting dialog.
Despite only making me want more, it’s classic Control with a darker, Alan Wake flavor thrown into the mix. If you go into it expecting a ton of Alan Wake, you’ll be excited by some of the developments, but ultimately disappointed he didn’t make a bigger appearance. If you just want more Control, another shot at the Ashtray Maze, and a chance to peel back another layer in this fascinating world, AWE satisfies.
Control AWE DLC PS4 Review
- Overall - Very Good - 7/107/10
Control’s AWE DLC reintroduces the world of Alan Wake, but he is only a very small part of the overall experience. It also adds a new ability, a new service weapon, a new enemy, and it’s more of the same Control that you already enjoy. Gamers buying AWE only for Alan Wake may be a little letdown, but it’s a good addition to the overall universe and mystery of the Oldest House with the wonderful promise of a very interesting future from Remedy Games.
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Reviewed using PS4 Pro.