Control The Foundation DLC Review – Surly Joe’s

The Foundation is the first major expansion for Control, one of the greatest games of the last decade. That’s not an exaggeration, by the way. Control is a staggering work of untrammelled genius from Remedy, the same team who made Alan Wake and Max Payne. If you’ve not played either of those… well, odds are you have plenty of free time right now. You’re trapped inside, and things are likely getting a little peculiar.

Which is basically the problem Jesse Faden has. Jesse, now The Director of The Oldest House, is confronted with the job of actually managing the place. Or controlling it, if you will. It’s one thing to best the overwhelming malignant evil, true.

But what happens when you’re tasked with holding everything together afterwards?

Control The Foundation Review

The premise of The Foundation is a tantalizing one. Another plane is bleeding and breaking into The Oldest House. Bad, right? Well, when Jesse heads downstairs to check up on the cosmic plumbing, she discovers that there’s something underneath The Oldest House.

A Foundation.

Basically, it’s a series of unimaginably vast caves. Martian sand crunches underfoot, and crystalline structures explode out of chalk-white walls. It’s strikingly beautiful down in The Foundation, but there’s also a mystery at the heart of this spelunking overture: where’s Marshall?

If you played Control, you might remember Marshall. She was Head of Operations, a grumpy former CIA agent whose role in Control seemed primarily to be busting Jesse’s balls. As Jesse delves deeper and deeper into The Foundation, she begins to receive otherworldly messages from Marshall, implying that there’s something slightly more sinister than initially implied going on here.

Plot-wise, The Foundation feels like an intriguing in-between phase; a fun, weird, disturbing bridge between the main story and the absolutely-obviously-the-return-of-Alan-Wake story yet to come. The Foundation gestures towards a heap of interesting ideas – where is Ahti, the Lynchian janitor? What the hell is that one-eyed bug giant thing? Was it a member of the Board? What IS the Board? And what do they actually want?

Very few, if any, of these questions are answered here. That’s fine. What we get is, simply put, more Control.

There are a few new powers which are specifically related to The Foundation portion of The Oldest House, namely the ability to destroy or create crystalline structures to aid in traversal, but despite the combat and exploration, Control really thrives thanks to plot and world-building.

The Foundation opens some truly intriguing doors, stringing players along and even dropping some fantastic new AWE’s (one, a video camera, forces Jesse to participate in a diabolically hard sequence which evoke… well, we won’t spoil the surprise for you).

We find out tidbits about the origin of how the Federal Bureau of Control became entangled with The Board. But much of what happens in Foundation is a zippy, chaotic series of cheques which won’t be cashed until the next expansion.

Guess we’ll have to control ourselves until then.


The Foundation was reviewed on PC using a digital copy provided by the publisher.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: Control - The Foundation DLC

  • 8.5/10
    More Control - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    A bridge between what came before and what's to come - 8/10
  • 7/10
    It feels a bit like filler - 7/10
7.8/10
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Paul Verhoeven
Writer of Loose Units for Penguin. Host of ABCs Steam Punks. Host of 28 Plays Later. Unicorn enthusiast. Unicron enthusiast.

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