Control probably has one of the most interesting concepts that we’ve seen in gaming in recent years. It’s overtly a third-person action game based around paranormal encounters. However, there has been a fair amount of debate among gamers when it comes to the genre that the game falls in. It’s definitely a shooter game with how it plays, but some fans also want to classify it as a horror game. Does that classification even work?
Is Control Horror? | How Scary Is It?
Control certainly has some creepy elements about it. Doors appear where they weren’t before, characters talk in a weird way, and the story can be frightening. The story starts off with the player trying to find their brother by using psychic energy, and before they know it, they’ve become the president of the company that operates out of a building that doesn’t follow the laws of physics.
The game also has a ton of horror influences, the two most prominent of which the internet is in love with. The most obvious one is the online horror story community known as the SCP foundation. The morally ambiguous and mysterious organization dealing with supernatural elements is the most obvious indication of this.
The second influence is also fairly obvious, that being Lovecraftian style horror, more commonly known as cosmic horror. This is a type of horror that is more existential and subtle rather than just being straight up in your face. This is mainly because cosmic horror is built around the idea that there are beings in the universe that are beyond our comprehension. The worst part is that they don’t even hate us; they just don’t acknowledge our existence.
In Control, these themes are toned down a bit, but they are obviously still present. This leads us to the real question: Do these themes make Control a horror game? That is up to the player, but for this writer’s money, I would say no. Most horror games tend to stick to more traditional horror, and Control just isn’t that scary. It’s really creepy, but it’s not necessarily intended to be frightening. Still, from the atmosphere and the model designs of the building and units to the story’s insane concept, it is definitely one of the creepiest and unnerving games in the last few years.