The Astral Plane is colliding with our reality. Jesse Faden, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Control, must travel through the caverns of the Foundation to prevent the Astral Plane from consuming the Oldest House. The missing Head of Operations, Helen Marshall, may hold some answers to the mysteries surrounding this threat…
Publisher: 505 Games
Reviewed on: PS4 (Pro unit)
Also available for: PC, Xbox One (June 25th)
Cast: Courtney Hope, Matthew Porretta, Antonia Bernath, Martti Suosalo, Brig Bennett
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Writers: Sam Lake, Anna Megill, Brooke Maggs
You can find an audiotape in Control’s first expansion that states employees of the Federal Bureau of Control should close their eyes and run if they see a window because the FBC building doesn’t contain windows. I never picked up on that fact when playing the core game, but it’s this world-building and humour that had me hooked quickly once again as I dove head-first back into the weird and wonderful world Remedy Entertainment has made within Control.
I loved the core game and I’ve been super excited for the expansions since they were announced shortly after release. The Foundation is the first expansion for Control, and it’s everything I could have wanted and more as it continues the wonderful world-building of this strange sci-fi universe and strengthens Jesse Faden as our protagonist.
This DLC picks up sometime after the end of the base game — and you have to have beaten the core game to play — with some slight changes in stuff around the FBC to show the progress of time. Employees commenting on the job Jesse is doing as Director of the FBC and some new files thrown about with similar employee details and stories. Similarly, once you beat the DLC it’s worth stopping by Dylan’s bed for a surprise little detail to show the passage of time.
Assuming you have beaten the game you’ll get a quest to go visit The Hotline and then be sent to the strange area you tracked Ahti too in the main game. Once there, you’ll head deeper inside The Oldest House than ever before, to the foundation of the building itself on a mission to find Helen Marshall who disappeared about half-way through the main game.
The Foundation features a Crait-like (the last planet in Star Wars: The Last Jedi) red floor and rocky passages as if you’re exploring a massive labyrinth of a mine, which is drastically different from the main FBC buildings littering of office space and shiny white floors. The scope feels eerily like you’re on another planet entirely at times and the mood is no less off-putting than the main game was when you played it.
As you explore you’ll learn that the Astral Plane is creeping in and combining with the real-world, which can cause dramatic changes to occur around you, and could lead to a devastating effect on the world-at-large if Jesse doesn’t handle the situation. At one stage you can walk into a toilet and it opens up to be nothing but the Astral Plane with toilets floating in the air. Jesse makes a funny quip about the FBC’s plumbing here that made me laugh-out-loud.
Jesse’s mission to put a stop to The Hiss from creeping in from The Oldest House’s basement sends her to several locations and along the way, you’ll bump into a new super-aggressive a-hole Hiss that runs at you with a pick-axe and will throw them at you from afar. They hurt, but also really make the colour scheme, rocky terrain all meld together in The Foundation to form a really different experience to that of the main game.
Although the main story here is interesting, much like the core game I found most of the interesting stuff to be happening on the way, or in side-missions. Seeing Jesse in the Directorial role properly for the first time and not chasing after her brother in one-way-or-another stood out straight away. She sounds confidant in-herself which is great to hear and she’s making strides to genuinely be the best Director she can be, and not make any of the same mistakes that could have been made by her predecessors – and you’ll learn more about them in The Foundation as well.
Throughout the DLC however, you’ll butt-heads with The Board and as far as I’ve been concerned since the core game – they’re bad news, but I’m now super confident we’re going to end up fighting them eventually.
There’s two Object of Power related side missions to play here and their two of the best in the game overall. I don’t want to spoil either, but they both feature unique mission structures and one, a really fantastic boss fight that’s much better than the campaigns end boss.
Jesse gets two new powers in The Foundation and although neither are useful outside of the DLC, they might be in future content. One powers-up your weapon to allow it to destroy a special form of rock, and the other lets you use your powers to pull these rocks out from the ground in special locations for both platforming and combat reasons.