Remedy Entertainment’s Control is a game that stokes curiosity, upends expectations, and–at almost every turn–inspires awe. Nowhere is this most apparent than in the Ashtray Maze, an area of the game that is teased early on, but only explorable near the end.
Like most things in the Federal Bureau of Control, where the seemingly ordinary is often surprisingly extraordinary, the Ashtray Maze looks to be a simple set of hallways, but when it spits you back out from where you came, effectively denying you passage, it becomes clear that there’s more to it than just a seemingly out of place art-deco aesthetic.
As players later learn, the area is alive with paranormal energy. As protagonist Jesse Faden walks through it the environment shifts and realigns; open doors become blocked corridors, dead ends unfold to reveal new pathways, floors become ceilings, and ceilings become walls. The Ashtray Maze is a standout moment that reminds players of the amazing things that video games, and the creative people that make them, can achieve–and that’s exactly what Audio Logs aspires to celebrate.
For Audio Logs Season 2, Control director Mikael Kasurinen dives into what Remedy Entertainment did to create the Ashtray Maze. In his own words, what was done to deliver that unforgettable experience is relatively simple even if it looks complex. This, he says, is a testament to the ingenuity of Remedy’s development team and its ability to come up with and execute on unique ideas.
The Ashtray Maze feels like a magical illusion and, like all good tricks, the players will undoubtedly wonder how it was achieved. In this episode of Audio Logs, Kasurinen breaks the magician’s code to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Ashtray Maze. He shows off early concepts for the sequence, how Remedy challenged itself when making it, the influences behind its visual design, how music was used to elevate the entire experience, and much more.
You can watch the Control episode of Audio Logs above and you can also see it on YouTube, along with the entirety of Season 1. The second season premiered with a deep-dive into a key cutscene from Death Stranding, with legendary game developers Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa guiding viewers through its creation.
Be sure to subscribe to GameSpot on YouTube to see more episodes as they’re released every Sunday. We have episodes on Persona 5 Royal and Gears 5, as well as a few more surprises, on the way.
Control was crowned one of GameSpot’s best games of 2019 and, following its release, we had an in-depth discussion about the game as a whole, and what making it taught Remedy Entertainment about itself, with Kasurinen. You can read the full Control post-release interview for more insight into the game and its creation.