Remedy's Sam Lake Explains Control's Narrative Secrets


The award winning writer behind critically acclaimed video game Control discusses his source of inspiration and answers some of the title's more probing mysteries.


Control is an open world action adventure game set inside the Oldest House — Headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control who investigate Altered World Events (AWE's) that defy reality. Players become Jesse Faden during a quest to find her long estranged brother in the establishment, battling a hostile para-natural entity known as the Hiss, while traversing an ever changing environment by utilising telekinetic powers and a Service Weapon as she juggles the politics of a strange bureaucracy. 


The gripping psychological narrative takes several turns and is told through in-game cut scenes, live action sequences and optional attainable objects, leaving some loose ends that are up for interpretation. Thankfully Finish gaming industry legend Sam Lake has taken the time to clear up any confusion and also details the inspiration behind Control's more notable moments.

The scene where it's explained that Max Payne is undercover in the FBC is very confusing.



"Before I dive in to the finer details regarding Control, I feel it's important to reveal the elephant in the room: Every video game script that I write has a narcotic undertone that shapes the story. Death Rally was Crack, Max Payne was Cocaine, Alan Wake was Shrooms, Quantum Break was DMT and now, revealing for the first time, Control was... Meth."

"That's right good old Meth Amphetamine. It's also common knowledge that I'm a method writer and  personally partake in whatever drug I've prescribed while brainstorming a script, which to be frank, is the secret to my success. You don't get a weathered face like mine without pushing the limits!"

Coke Face Vs Meth Face


"Think about Control though. Now that you know Jesse and Dylan's secret, the bat-shit crazy narrative makes complete sense — The secret agency hidden in plain sight, the random objects with unbelievably impossible properties, a para-natural entity out to kill you and others, becoming the boss of a government bureau the second you arrive, trippy astral plane sequences, telekinesis abilities? HA!"

"Control's third and final DLC will begin with Jesse awaking at 7pm from a New York Dumpster outside the FBI building. During her come-down, several intense and playable flashback sequences will begin, explaining that her junkie brother Dylan ran inside the building and was arrested after shooting officer Trench in the back of the head for no reason. The shards of rock seen throughout the game were symbolic to the copious shards of meth that both siblings digested that day. The hiss was paranoia, the service weapon is a regular gun, telekinesis was just you throwing used needles at people. Dr Darling is a schizophrenic homeless man always rambling incoherent garbage. I could go on."


"And I will go on. The title Control is about Jesse trying to control her addiction. Emily Pope is the annoying childhood friend who you wish would fuck off but keeps trying to 'save you' with advice, the hotline is obviously an addiction helpline. The board is an intervention from your family who are sick of your bullshit. Oceanview hotel is the rehab centre that you're constantly sent to but always run away from. The slide projector is just some trash that Dylan found while tweaking which is the source of your paranoia. I know 95% of players had already figured all of this out and agree with my take but I feel that it's important to reiterate..."

Alright Sam, that's enough! Jesus, did Remedy buy the rights back to Max Payne again? Because you're rambling on like you've just dissolved an 8-ball in your mouth.