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Feature: Control Ultimate Edition – Graphics Mode vs Performance Mode

Remedy is celebrating the re-release of Control today with Control: Ultimate Edition for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. The new release brings the whole story together into one neat little package that has been buffed up to take advantage of the next-gen consoles. I’ve only given Control: Ultimate Edition a quick go on PS5, but I’m very impressed and almost certain I’ll be having a late-night as I work my way through the game. Before I finish the game and knock out a full Control PS5 review, this early look will do.

Control: Ultimate Edition on PS5 has two modes; Performance and Graphics. Performance Mode aims for 60fps at 1440p resolution, while Graphics Mode sticks to 30fps and 1440p and ray tracing enabled, though both support 4K output. Ray tracing is not enabled in Performance Mode, which is a shame. After Insomniac’s work on Miles Morales to get the game running at 60fps with ray tracing, it’s a shame that Remedy wasn’t able to find their own, ahem, remedy to give players the best of both worlds in one go.

As you can tell from the video, I’ve not gotten very far into Control. In fact, I’ve just started it, and I’ve run through the opening few minutes in both performance profiles. So while the frame rate may hold steady at 60 and 30 respectively, there is the possibility that during the big action sequences later in the game, the frame rate will tumble. In fact, it’s kind of expected as the wording from Remedy states that the game runs “up to” 60fps, which suggests that the developer knows that there are some choke points. But, still, this is miles and away more consistent than on PS4, PS4 Pro, and even the Xbox One X.

The ray tracing is nice enough and it does add an extra layer to the visuals. Your character’s model reflects realistically in glass surfaces, whereas without ray tracing, some glass surfaces don’t even look like glass. An example is in the office windows, which I thought I were openings that I could walk through. They’re not. They’re just not very realistic looking windows… But with ray tracing, you do at least get a literally heads up that you can’t walk through them because you can see your character’s head reflecting back. And her body. Obviously…

In either mode, the game looks great, and it’s definitely a step up from last-gen, where the resolution was quite poor, especially if you were playing on the base PS4 and Xbox One. While the extra clarity is appreciated across both modes, most won’t even notice the difference between the 1440p resolution of Performance Mode.

[Correction: Both modes render at 1440p and output at 4K. Hence… not being able to tell the difference!]

Whether that’s a testament to how good the game naturally looks or an early warning about my eyesight, I’m not sure. But regardless, the game looks really good in both configurations.

But, and here’s the kicker: 60fps. This is what we’ve been waiting for and it’s going to be how I play the game. Those extra frames should make the combat more responsive and, by extension, fun, and that’s what I’m here for. It’s a shame, then, that I’ll miss out on the fancy ray tracing, unless I do another playthrough in 30fps mode, but that’s unlikely because once you’ve gone for sexy 60, you’ll feel dirty going back to thirty.

A quick note on the haptic feedback with the DualSense controller: it’s nice. Admittedly, I’ve not yet seen the full breadth of what it can do yet in Control, but the impact is immediate from the moment you’re handed control of Control. As Jesse walks, you feel every step with a light, unintrusive rumble. I’ve never particularly thought about feeling the steps of a character in a game – this is something that’s relegated to the sound department – but now? Well, I’m sold, and I expect more games to make use of it.

As Control is a freebie on PS Plus this month, you should definitely add it to your download list and give it a go, no matter which console generation you’re on, because it’s a genuinely good game and one of the best freebies to go on PS Plus in a long while.

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