Remedy Games has created a lot of buzz when they revealed Quantum Break. Between the unique-ish gameplay, vague trailer, live-action episodic content and more, there is certainly a lot to look forward to. With Quantum Break being the first to incorporate such elements, excitement is high, especially since they also created Alan Wake. While you can certainly expect a great story that will quickly pique your interest, the rest of the content is far from perfect.
Quantum Break follows the story of Jack Joyce in a story of fixing time and making sure that time will not stop after helping out his friend Paul conduct a failed time machine experiment that creates a fracture in time. With time threatening to stop if the fracture isn’t fixed, all sorts of weird things starts to happen like with Jack getting his powers to control time and use it to his advantage in battling a mega-corporation called Monarch that is somewhat involved in things that are set to happen, while his so-called friend Paul has turned into an enemy. Without spoiling too much of Quantum Break’s story, the game offers an in-depth approach to the game’s narrative where everyone will surely appreciate it.
One of the unique things that I love about Quantum Break is how they incorporate live-action episodic content that greatly gets affected depending on the choices you make in the game. In the five acts of Quantum Break, you will be given an opportunity to shape the story depending on the choices that you make either at the beginning or end of each act. Unlike other games where choices only affect a little part of the story, Quantum Break has a bigger approach to it. The choices available totally changes the outcome and seeing them play out in both in-game and live-action somewhat enhances the enjoyment and satisfaction.
For those who love watching TV shows like 24, or Homeland, and the thrill of seeing how the story is set to unfold, the live-action segment of Quantum Break will give you that. Billed by great actors like Shawn Ashmore who plays Jack Joyce, the acting and production values are done phenomenally well, making you think that you really watching a TV show through the five acts available in the game. As far as how length goes for each episode, you can expect it to run to at least 15-20 minutes, which isn’t bad.
Gameplay-wise, Quantum Break is your typical third-person action game where if you are not out exploring the beautiful locales the game has to offer, you will find yourself shooting down enemies. The mechanics of the game’s combat is what you come to expect in this kind of game but Remedy did a little tweaking to make shooting more fun. Thanks to the time-bending powers of Jack Joyce, you can add flair to how he takes down enemies like stopping time for a brief second to give you time to deal more damage to enemies. Another power that I find interesting is allowing Joyce to stop time for a bit as he sneaks behind an enemy to find the weak spot or if you find yourself outnumbered, you can launch a time shield that can repel bullets. There are more powers that gets unlocked at every act and these little things add a bit of enjoyment to the old formula of a third-person action game.
In addition to using the time-bending powers of Joyce in combat, you can also use them in solving puzzles to progress through the game. Whenever you find yourself in an area where you think it has no path leading to your objective, it’s wise to use Jack’s Time Vision power to allow you to see the point of interest in the area you are at. At some point you find a broken bridge, you can rewind time to fix the bridge giving you a few seconds to run through it before it collapses again. If it’s not possible and you find yourself too slow to cross that falling bridge, you can always stop time for a few seconds. It’s quite nice that there are puzzles here and there but the platforming segments leading to the puzzles are somewhat weak.
While the narrative of Quantum Break is great, there is more to the story than what you actually see in the game and live-action segments. As you play through the game, there are collectibles that you can collect and each of them shows emails and other information that further expands the story of the game. There are about close to one hundred collectibles available and if you are interested in finding out more of what has been going on with the game, definitely consider looking them up. To spot them easily on the map, use the Time Vision and it will glow.
As a game that is now on Xbox One, many would expect that the visuals will be top-notch, and if not exceed the visuals of Alan Wake. Unfortunately, I am here to say that the quality of the game’s visuals has part that it looks good while there are times that it looks rough. When it comes to the cutscenes, the character models and animations are done exceptionally well as it depicts the real image of the real actors. When it comes to the actual gameplay itself, there are rough moments especially with the textures. Facial animation-wise, the in-game visuals don’t look all that good as there are rough edges and the lip syncing is way off. As for its environments, they are quite beautiful but you will find a few pop-ins and rough textures.
Talking about the performance, this is where the game somewhat annoys me. Whenever you play an act or the game loads something new, expect the loading times to be long. The longest time I had to wait for the game to load is at around 1 minute, which is beyond unacceptable for a game that is already installed on the hard drive. Also, there are glitches at certain parts where you will see Jack Joyce floating or sometimes in between walls. Well, the worst thing that I encountered is the game stuttered and it froze on me, which is very annoying.
Quantum Break is an interesting, yet fun third-person action game that has a unique approach to its combat and story, though it’s hindered by technical performance. The use of the live-action episodic content to convey some of the game’s intense action-scenes is quite welcoming to fans who love the suspense genre as the acting, and production values are phenomenal thanks to the great actors that contributed to it. With multiple paths that are available to take, it gives players more reason to go back to and enjoy the time-bending shooting elements the game has to offer, but just be on the lookout on the annoying glitches, pop-ins, and long loading times.
[Editor’s Note: Quantum Break was reviewed on Xbox One platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Quantum Break Review,