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I recently posted a new video to my YouTube channel about my frustrations with the design of Control's "challenging" gameplay. I'm not going to transcribe the entire video here on the blog because most of what is in the video is already in my previous written review of the game.

In summary, the video compares the "tough but fair" design philosophy of From Software's games (most notably, Dark Souls) with the way that difficulty is implemented in Control. Even though I found Control to be a much easier game overall, and I suffered far fewer deaths in Control compared to Dark Souls, I did feel that Control lacked that "tough but fair" feeling that Dark Souls is famous for. Control uses a lot of seemingly cheap tricks to artificially inflate the difficulty of the game. If deliberate, then they are cheap tricks. If not deliberate, then they are faulty game design. I may not have died as often in Control, but the few deaths that I did suffer rarely felt deserved.

The full critique is available on YouTube.

The video also contrasts Control's healing system with that of Doom (2016) and Bloodborne. All three games seem to be trying to encourage fast-paced, aggressive play by rewarding the player with health for relentlessly assailing the enemy. Yet this intent doesn't come through as clearly in Control because the player needs to be close to where the enemy dies in order to pick up the health, but most of Control's action is done at medium or long range. Doom and Bloodborne, however, give health to the player when the player performs melee attacks, ensuring that even if the health is dropped on the ground as a pickup, that the player is always close enough to immediately get it if they need it.

One thing that I neglected to mention in the actual video, but which I want to add here, is that Control also has enemies with hit-scan weapons. Most enemies have machine guns that instantly damage the player if the enemy has line of sight. Attacks are not always projectiles that travel across the arena and which can be dodged, blocked, or otherwise avoided. This means that exposing yourself to crossfire is almost certain death if your health is critical in Control, and it contributes to the player needing to slow things down and play cautiously and defensively, instead of maintaining that fast-paced, aggressive play.

Patreon

I also want to take this opportunity to remind my readers that I still have an active Patreon campaign. The Patreon is intended to fund both my blogging activities here on the site, and also my video creation on YouTube. I pay out of pocket for domain registration for this site, as well as for servers and hosting, and for the licenses to the editing software that I use for creating videos. If you enjoy my blog and/or YouTube videos, then I hope you'll consider supporting my ongoing content creation through Patreon.

If I can get just 50 to 100 Patreons contributing a dollar or two a month, it will pay for the upkeep of the site and the licenses for the software that I use to create my content. Even if I were to become suddenly unemployed, the Patreon funds would ensure that I can keep producing content.

And if you don't wish to contribute at this time, I completely understand. The last year or two has been rough on all of us, and has hit many of our wallets especially hard. But you can still support my content creation by liking and commenting on the blog posts and videos, and most importantly by sharing the blogs and videos on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and others.

Thanks for your support, and take care of yourselves.

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A gamer's thoughts

Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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