|“||The Foundation will delve into the history of the Oldest House. At the request of the ever-mysterious Board, Jesse must explore what lies beneath the Bureau as she returns order to the Foundation and the Oldest House itself. Expect things to get weird.||”|
–Mikael Kasurinen and Thomas Puha, Remedy Entertainment
The Foundation is the first downloadable expansion for Control. It was released on March 26th, 2020 for the PlayStation 4 and Epic Games Store on PC, with a June 25th, 2020 release date for the Xbox One. It was followed by Expansion 2: AWE, which released on August 27, 2020, on all platforms.
In addition to the paid story expansion, a free update also rolled out the same day on all platforms, adding the Shield Rush skill for the Shield ability, one additional tier of upgrades, an option to reallocate your ability points, and several quality of life updates to the game's interface.
After addressing the Hiss invasion, Jesse Faden is summoned to The Foundation in a Hotline call from The Board, where she is urgently needed to handle a situation jeopardizing the safety of the Oldest House. In this expansive new sector of the House, Jesse encounters an aggressive new enemy type in the form of the Hiss Sharpened, and discovers the new Shape ability, which would help her in traversing the crystalline caverns of the oldest region of the Oldest House, as well as battling the enemies she'd encounter along the way.
- New story content pertaining to the nature of The Foundation, and the Federal Bureau of Control's initial finding of it over 40 years ago
- New Sector map (The Foundation)
- New abilities
- Shape, consisting of two independent functions: Create and Fracture
- New sidequests featuring new Altered Items
- New mods
- Tier VI "Infinite"
- New collectible documents and recordings
The Foundation takes place in the eponymous location at the bottom of the Oldest House, where a Hotline call from the Board summons Jesse Faden to deal with an imminent threat to the Bureau. Jesse, now fully accepting the responsibility of Director, travels to a place hidden deep in the Maintenance Sector shown to her by the mysterious Ahti, which was linked to her destination. Touching the ancient etching of a tree in one of many columns of stone, Jesse was transported to the Foundation, an extensive and labyrinthine cavern network of stone and iron sand, featuring jagged crystalline formations and clear evidence of previous Bureau presence. It soon becomes clear that past Bureau agents weren't the only ones to enter the Foundation before Jesse, as she encounters hostile Hiss corrupted Bureau staff.
A short time after her arrival in the Foundation, Jesse begins to experience Hotline messages similar to those she experienced from Director Trench, but from Head of Operations Helen Marshall. Concerned that she met a similar fate, Jesse searches the Foundation for her, knowing now that she came here during the initial Hiss invasion seeking to secure it. Pushing forward through the Foundation's forgotten passages, Jesse discovers the Nail, an obsidian monument resembling the architecture from the Astral Plane that acts as a conduit between the Oldest House and the Astral Plane, and finds it to have been significantly damaged. In order to advance through the treacherous reaches of the Foundation, The Board grants Jesse a part of the Shape ability of her choice. Jesse is then instructed to find the Nail's four nodes in order to repair it.
While repairing one of the nodes, Jesse suddenly encounters the Former, an extradimensional entity and ex-member of the Board. The Former surprises Jesse with an offering of alliance, granting Jesse the accompanying part of the Shape ability, which the Board had chosen to withhold from her. The Board is furious, but later regains their composure, attempting to persuade Jesse not to trust the Former. Jesse continues to repair the nodes, but tremors continue to occur between the Oldest House and the Astral Plane, threatening to destroy both dimensions if left unchecked.
Having cleansed all four nodes of Hiss presence, Jesse reaches the base of the Nail, where she finds Marshall, very recently possessed by the Hiss. Though the Hiss were able to utilize Marshall's years of Special Forces knowledge and training, Jesse is able to defeat her with additional help from the Former, who provides Jesse with allied combatants in order to overcome the advantage enjoyed by Marshall and her group of allied Hiss warriors. The battle having come to a conclusive end, Jesse cleanses the Nail, and is assured by the Board afterward that the emergency had been successfully contained.
Marshall's presence reveals through the Hotline that it was she who destroyed the Nail, seeking to both prevent the Hiss from taking over the Oldest House through it, and also as a preventative measure against the Board's control of the Oldest House and, by extension, the Bureau. Marshall was skeptical of the Board's intentions, and was certain of their involvement in Trench's downfall. The Board, in response, destroyed Marshall's HRA, allowing her to be inevitably possessed by the Hiss. Jesse, with her faith in the Board shattered, resolves to lead the Bureau her own way just as Marshall had hoped she would, but continue letting the Board believe they are in control. As Jesse exits the Foundation, the Former can be seen in the distance from the crossroads at the Nail, slipping away into the dark recesses of the Foundation's central cavern.