Remedy Games are one of our favourite developers, their games a mix of scintillating style, atypical storytelling, and thunderous action. Since the PS2 era, they’ve crafted thrilling experiences that are obsessed over by fans.
With Control’s upcoming release on 27 August, we’re taking a look at the games that have shaped the Finnish’s developers’ history. So whether you’ve been a fan since the early days of death rallies and damaged New York cops, or it was the ballatic action of their more recent titles that converted you, join us as take a slow-mo dive down memory lane.
1. Death Rally
The first game that Remedy ever released way back in 1996 is also its biggest outlier. Instead of a story driven action game, this is a top-down racing gem in the style of Micro Machines, except your cars have massive weapons attached to them. You play as a new contender in the Death Rally, with only a bit of cash to your name and a weak car. However, that doesn’t last for long, as you race your way up the leaderboards in a bid to overthrow the current king of the Death Rally: The Adversary (yes, really).
If you fancy seeing the start (or just have a bit of time to kill at work), a freeware version of Death Rally can be downloaded from Remedy’s official forums here .
2. Max Payne
This grizzled drama about a New York detective trying to solve the murder of his wife and child while diving (in slow-mo) into a much larger conspiracy became an instant classic when it came out in 2001. It’s action was revelatory, as you could slow down time to help orchestrate the sort of shoot-outs we’d only seen in movies. The story, which seems a run-of-the-mill noir yarn on the surface, slowly morphs into a grippingly unusual take on the genre. The use of comic panels and voiceover instead of traditional cut-scenes only enhanced the game’s staggering style.
A well-regarded sequel followed in 2003, which re-captured the action, while shifting the narrative to focus more on Max’s and Mona Sax’s doomed love. The pair of thrillers proved that Remedy were masters of crafting action experiences that lingered in the mind thanks to their distinctive style.
3. Alan Wake
After Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, the studio worked with Microsoft to bring a much spookier atmosphere to their follow-up. Alan Wake, released in 2010, sees you playing as the titular author, who is suffering from an annoying case of writer’s block. He travels with his wife to the remote town of Bright Fall, but things take a surreal turn for the worst once they get there.
While the Twin Peaks-y setting and psychological terror make the story compelling, the action is just as rich thanks to the deliberate way your approach combat. Enemies in the game, known as Taken, are shrouded in darkness. To defeat them, you’ll need to use light sources to make them susceptible to damage. Whether that’s from the dim beam of your flashlight or handy sources of light in the world, it adds a layer of tension to the game that keeps you engrossed throughout.
4. Quantum Break
The wait between Alan Wake and Quantum Break might have been a long one (Quantum Break came out in 2016, 6 years after Alan Wake), but there’s a good reason for that. This pioneering action game told its story through traditional style gameplay and television episodes that played between levels.
Snagging a cast that includes the likes of X-Men’s Shawn Ashmore and Game of Throne’s (and more importantly, Mayor Carcetti himself) Aiden Gillen gave the TV portions of the game a level of Hollywood sheen few games achieve, while the action itself proved that Remedy were still top of the class when it comes to creating dynamic, exhilarating set-pieces.
All of which leads us to this year’s Control. The surreal shooter (notice a pattern?) takes place in The Oldest House, a shape shifting building that becomes ground zero for an attack by a supernatural entity known as The Hiss. Taking control of Jesse Foden, the Federal Bureau of Control’s new director, you’ll need to navigate the Oldest House while trying to figure out a way of stopping The Hiss.
We had a chance to go hands on with Control at E3, and it promises to be a distillation of everything Remedy excels at. Top-tier action? Oh yes. One moment we’re blowing away enemies with a shape-shifting gun, the next we’re hurling debris using Telekinetic powers. A grippingly strange story? Another tick, as we’re keen to discover more Jesse’s connection to The Oldest House and where it’s secrets will take us. 27 August can’t come soon enough.
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