Top 5 Remedy Games
Alan Wake Remastered is arriving this week, its the perfect time to countdown the very best experiences Remedy Entertainment has to offer.
Remedy Entertainment is one of the staple developers in the video game industry, emerging every few years with a new innovative hit. The Finnish studio enjoys a cult following, and has earned it, introducing compelling characters, stories and unique gameplay. The team has a long history of time-altering mechanics that have been often imitated, but never duplicated. With Control Ultimate Edition plus Alan Wake Remastered landing on next-gen consoles and CrossfireX on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to look back at the experiences Remedy brought us.
Here are my top 5 ranked Remedy games:
# 5 - Quantum Break
When Quantum Break was announced for the Xbox One, it jumped to the top of my most anticipated list for the console. The early trailers and gameplay looked unbelievable, and, in my books, it lives up to the hype. You play as Jack Joyce who accidentally inherits time shifting powers after an experiment goes awry. In a nutshell it’s up to you to stop the evil Monarch corporation and reverse a fracture in time from destroying the universe as we know it. No pressure, or anything…
The story is very well written, it avoids becoming too convoluted with time travelling paradoxes, but still features great twists and turns. This pairs with massive levels that glitch in and out of a frozen state, becoming a sandbox of time-shifting based combat. Your powers make you impervious to these glitches in time, giving you the abilities to battle back waves of foes. You can “blink teleport” from one side of an area to another, or even traverse tricky spots like a collapsing bridge, frozen in time.
"The game oozes its own distinctive style, blending traditional gameplay with live action videos to help tell Jack’s story."
The game oozes its own distinctive style, blending traditional gameplay with live action videos to help tell Jack’s story. Microsoft turned to Remedy for a new mixed-media IP that would include original gameplay and story elements. This resulted in the use of live video shorts to help flesh out the story and characters. They are high-quality and so is the talent which includes the likes of X-Men’s Shawn Ashmore, Aidan Gillen fromGame of Thrones and Lance Reddick from The Wire. The gameplay does get a little repetitive toward the latter parts of the game, but the sum of its parts still makes for an incredible experience.
# 4 - Max Payne
Remedy’s original John Woo-inspired game helped to reinvigorate the action genre in many ways. Its biggest impact has been through groundbreaking gameplay, which introduced the bullet time effect to gamers. This gives players the ability to literally freeze time at will and pick off enemies in slow-motion. If you want to know what it feels like to be in the middle of a Hollywood-style shoot out, this game delivers in spades. I remember the first time I activated bullet-time, I was in awe of what was happening on screen, the bullet trails, debris flying everywhere I knew this was going to leave a lasting impact on the action genre. The effect is straight out of The Matrix movie series, but Max Payne is the first time a video game gave players the ability to use it to take down scores of bad guys.
On the story side of things, the game is no slouch either, offering an emotionally charged tale. Max, the ex-NYPD defective, is on a path of revenge to avenge his family. The dark story plays out via a film noir experience, told by using comic book-style panels with great voice-overs. The game draws its main influence from hard-boiled detective novels, creating a dark, gritty atmosphere that few games have been able to similarly capture in the same way.
#3 - Alan Wake
When Remedy released Alan Wake, they really broke the mold with the narrative experience. It’s not quite an action game, nor a survival horror scare factory, it sits in the middle, within its own wonderful niche. It’s far and away one of my favorite Xbox 360-era titles, from its gripping story to chilling environments, there’s a lot to love about the unique experience the game offers. The story follows novelist Alan Wake as he searches for his missing wife in the fictional town of Bright Falls. Things really start getting scary when the plot of his latest horror novel starts to unfold around him. He now has to contend with the supernatural as he tries to unravel the mystery around his wife’s disappearance.
"The game takes heavy cues from Stephen King, The X-Files and The Twilight Zone, delivering an experience that more than holds its own next to these titans of terror."
The game builds on the tension and fear of the player as Alan falls deeper into the narrative of his own story. Speaking of unique narratives, the game is structured like a television show, when you start each new chapter it sums up the action thus far. It all plays into the game’s unique narrative within a narrative storytelling that has you questioning reality right up to the very end. The game takes heavy cues from Stephen King, The X-Files and The Twilight Zone, delivering an experience that more than holds its own next to these titans of terror.
#2 - Max Payne 2: Fall of Max Payne
The original Max Payne claims fourth spot on this list, but its sequel ranks ever higher. We’ve seen some incredibly unique experiences come from the developer, but the Max Payne series’ unique gameplay and storytelling has influenced the entire industry. The Fall of Max Payne returned and further refined the experience of the original and is better in every way from gameplay to story. The film-noir theme carries over from the original, with an added love story in the middle of the madness. The gritty setting and complex story pull you into the world of Payne like never before. The series’ signature bullet time returns, with improvements to streamline the action further rewarding players slo-mo takedowns.
All these refinements, along with a more lifelike physics engine and polished visuals, made it a showstopper for its time. I’ve been a lock and stock Remedy fan since playing the original Max Payne in 2001. Their creative journey began before that, but Max’s noir style return and bullet dodging mechanics won me over like few games have.
#1 - Control
The newest IP Remedy Entertainment’s portfolio is by far its best, building on their legacy of innovative storytelling and gameplay. Control’s art direction, environments and characters are fantastic, further pulling you into the fully fleshed out world.
As Jesse Faden you are tasked with bringing the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) back from the brink after dark forces overwhelm its headquarters, the Oldest House. By recovering Objects of Power you gain supernatural abilities. These powers open new areas and help you to unravel the mystery around your brother’s disappearance.
The game’s lore falls in line with TV shows like Lost and Twin Peaks. Just about every computer terminal and dossier tease more information about the supernatural anomalies that surround you. This is far and away the studio’s most ambitious game to date; it takes elements from other stellar titles like Max Payne’s combat mechanics, the psychological horror of Alan Wake and incredible graphics and high production values of Quantum Break.
This is far and away the studio’s most ambitious game to date; it takes elements from other stellar titles like Max Payne’s combat mechanics, the psychological horror of Alan Wake and incredible graphics and high production values of Quantum Break.
It should come as no surprise it was my Game of the Year for 2019 on Best Buy Blog. If you needed any more reasons to check it out, Control is part of PlayStation Plus’ offerings for February 2021. It’s better than ever returning with DualSense support, 60fps gameplay, and ray tracing on the PlayStation 5.
More stories to tell
Remedy has continuously found ways to refine and reinvent parts of their craft delivering fresh AAA experiences, no matter the genre or platform. As a gamer, I live for the story driven single player experience. One thing all the titles above share is developer who pours themselves into building detailed, meticulous worlds to weave incredible plots in. I appreciate that, and I can’t wait to see how Remedy is going yet again reinvent itself.