At the start of the decade, Remedy Entertainment took its boldest step forward since leaving the Max Payne series behind. The studio put together an episodic thriller called Alan Wake, which was a game presented similarly to a television series. The next step would be to go even farther with this idea with 2016's Quantum Break. Unfortunately, Quantum Break (and its accompanying television show) didn't catch on and Remedy's reputation had taken a massive hit.
But in 2019, Remedy picked themselves right back up, thanks to a little help from publisher 505 Games. The studio finished up work on Control, the first Remedy game to go beyond PC and Xbox since Max Payne 2. More than that, they took a step back and went back to the fundamentals of what makes a great story and what makes a great game.
The result is Control, a game about a federal agency tasked with maintaining control of reality and how it has been taken over by a supernatural force. Control isn't a bloated, bombastic narrative, but rather a narrative that's driven by players. It's a world ripe for exploration, filled with background lore and rich story potential. And at the center of it all is a lone hero named Jesse Faden, who's trying to get her agency back from a mysterious and powerful force called The Hiss.
Remedy should be lauded for purshing the limits of its Northlight Engine and improving upon it by leaps and bounds over Quantum Break. But for as much as Control is a great game for going forward technologically, it's an outstanding game because of how Remedy was able to take a step backwards. As groundbreaking as Alan Wake was with its episodic approach, Control is phenomenal as a self-contained story. As ambitious as Quantum Break was with its television tie-in, Control's world was vast and mysterious enough that it didn't need one.
So as Remedy leaves 2019, they're a developer that's right back on track and once again stands among the premier game developers in the world. For that, Remedy Entertainment has earned the Shacknews Best Comeback of 2019.