Quantum Break is Remedy’s latest time hopping adventure out exclusively on the Xbox One, which for a lot of people means it’s already not worth playing. Before you immediately write it off as, just another bad exclusive (looking at you Dead Rising 3) I’d implore you to at least give it a chance.
Remedy have always made fairly decent games. Look at Max Payne and Alan Wake. Whilst they aren’t the broadest in appeal, you can’t deny they are interesting games. Quantum Break is no exception. Quantum Break was revealed when Microsoft believed TV was the way forwards and as such the game features quite a few well known actors such as Aiden Gillen (Petyr Baelish from Game of Thrones) who still can’t work out which accent he should use, and Shawn Ashmore of X-Men fame.
Let’s start with the story. Jack Joyce played by Shawn Ashmore, helps Paul Serene played by Aiden Gillen, to test a time machine he’s built at in a university at 4am. The time machine works but then proceeds to create a rupture and basically screws up the flow of time. As Jack’s odd scientist brother says “if time was an egg, that egg is now fucked.” It’s the basis of this, that gives Jack the player character, his newly found time powers.
These time powers are what makes the game stand out above your usual 3rd person shooter. The time dash ability allows you to have a quick burst of speed forwards. If you then immediately aim your weapon, time will slow down briefly allowing you to quickly shoot before they can react. Instead of using cover, the emphasis has been place more on navigating the area with your newly found powers. Some of the skills do seem to have multiple uses. For example if you use the shield ability and stand still in it, it will allow your health to regenerate quicker however, if you use it next to an enemy. That enemy will be knocked off his feet.
The only disappointing thing with the time powers is just the lack of options, whilst you have a few things to choose from. it’s just a bit too limited or too similar. It would have been really really cool to just have the Max Payne slow-mo dive. There was a good few situations where I have been in the prime position that would have made the dive both bad-ass and incredibly effective, instead I needed to dash around scenery and take a shot quickly before the enemies just move out of the way.
Quantum Break does suffer a little bit with what I call Uncharted syndrome. The player character is so well animated that it can feel a bit awkward to control. changing directions isn’t as fluid as say, Dark Souls 3 for example. In Dark Souls if you move the analogue stick to the left, you turn left. In Quantum Break you press left, you wait for Jack to stop moving right slowly turn around and then take a step left. This means you’ll constantly find yourself misjudging your turns slightly because of it and getting caught on a lot of scenery and there is a lot of scenery! speaking of the scenery, the game looks phenomenal. easily one of the best looking Xbox One games there is, it doesn’t quite have the astonishing vistas that Rise of The Tomb Raider has but just the little details make the game look astounding.
As many of you may have heard. The game is quite short. it’s only got 5 chapters which don’t take a massive amount of time to complete. in between each of these chapters are remnants of the old Microsoft model for the Xbox One. TV Shows. Quantum Break has it’s own TV show consisting of four, 20 minute episodes that show a different side to the game. from the so called evil corporation “Monarch Industries”. The TV Show is … okay, it’s nothing special, especially considering the fact we are living in a golden age of TV. With that said, I did actually quite enjoy the TV show once I got passed the first episode. I was even a little disappointed that I didn’t have another episode to watch after finishing the final chapter.
The biggest complaint I have with the game doesn’t actually happen until you get towards the end of the game. There is a type of boss fight, that is unnecessarily difficult. One of the attacks, if you get caught in the vicinity of, will just kill you instantly. Meanwhile you will be trying to avoid/kill regular enemies in the ‘arena’ who will just charge you constantly, with shotguns. the only solution was to run as soon as you spotted the animation for the attack and hope that the forced camera movement doesn’t cause you to get stuck on the many many obstacles in the way that you couldn’t see thanks to the camera being forcibly turned. That particular fight is formed of three waves which if you die, will start you back at the first. This left a bit of a sour feeling on my overall enjoyment game.
In general Quantum Break is really enjoyable, the characters and the story are pretty interesting and some of the choices you have to make that effect the TV show do make you think about Monarch in a different light – something I would like to have seen more of has Paul Serene was a more interesting character compared to man that shoots people, Jack Joyce. But it’s well worth the 5-10 hours it will take you to finish it and I’d highly recommend it.