I’ve decided to intentionally take more time to play video games this year, since it’s a relatively healthy way to escape from the real world once in a while. A friend recommended one game in particular: Control: Ultimate Edition. During the Steam summer sale of 2023, I went ahead and bought it.

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I have liked it more than I expected to.

And I'm not even done with the game!
And I'm not even done with the game!

What prompted me to cover this game wasn’t the captivating story, the sheer amount of content available in the Ultimate Edition of the game, or the wild action that you can find yourself in, it’s much more simple than that.

In short, Control provides you with “Assist mode”, a set of options that allow you to adjust the high difficulty of the game. This includes settings that help lock on to enemies, which is great for players using controllers. There are also sliders to adjust the recovery rate of various resources and even a one-hit kill mode.

My favourite of all of these is the immortality toggle.

Assist mode options in Control.
Assist mode options in Control.

I don’t take time to play video games to add more stress to my life. I work with legacy software that falls over in novel ways almost weekly at this point, there’s too much stress in my life already. I like a good challenge once in a while, but in most cases I play games to have fun. I’m also a fan of great stories, and many great stories are told via the medium of video games. I’d hate to miss out on those experiences due to the game being too difficult or making me feel frustrated.

In the case of Control, the immortality toggle was what allowed me to relax, follow the story with great interest, and feel like a god that kept yeeting exploding forklifts at various enemies with explosive gun shots sprinkled inbetween. There were still some challenging parts in the game even with immortality in place, but they did not cause me to feel stressed out or get frustrated with the game.

This one simple toggle is probably the sole reason why this game has become one of my all-time favourites.

I’m sure that there are people out there who disagree with the view that games should always be easy or enjoyable. I don’t care. I play games for myself, not to be validated by some bozo on the internet.

While writing this post, I looked around the internet to see what others think of Control and its difficulty, and what caught my eye were numerous results discussing the difficulty of the game. I was also happy to see that there are others out there who agree with me (or more precisely I agree with them). I found it surprising that the “Assist mode” was added to the game a year after its release. Guess it pays off to be a patient gamer.

Perhaps all of this explains why I had such a blast playing GTA San Andreas as a teenager. Cheats like HESOYAM and AEZAKMI are still hardwired in my brain since I used them a lot, and they allowed me to wreak havoc in-game and not have to worry about getting stuck at an annoyingly difficult mission.

Hats off to Remedy Entertainment for adding the assist mode, I really appreciate it.

Oh, and the game works well on the Steam Deck. Great job!

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