From Remedy Entertainment, the masters of cinematic action games, comes Quantum Break, a time-amplified suspenseful blockbuster. The Quantum Break experience is part game, part live-action show—where decisions in one dramatically affect the other.
Quantum Break is a story based around the ideainvention of time- travel and time- bending. It’s one of the most fun gaming experiences I’ve had this year. You play as Jack Joyce, a man who has gained time bending abilities after coming into contact with a time machine. You can use these abilities in all manner of different ways, such as creating time shields, blasting enemies with time itself, or freezing time itself to dodge bullets, Matrix-style! These time abilities are what separates Quantum Break from a regular run-and-gun game, adding an extra layer of depth to the gameplay.
I know that that time travel is not real, but the game does an extremely good job of making you feel like it is. I was completely gripped by the plot, though holy-jesus is time travel confusing to get your head around. I was lost at times and it took me a few moments to catch up to what was actually happening. The story can also change depending on your actions and choices as well.
The gameplay is very forgiving, lending itself to a casual gaming experience. I was able to run into a group of enemies, shoot a few of them down and manage to fall back behind cover before I was punctuated with bullets. Throughout the whole game I believe I only died about five times – not much considering how many firefights there are.
The combat is faced-paced and captivating at all times. But when you aren’t in combat with hordes of enemies, Quantum Break has a platforming side that was my least favorite part of the game as a whole. The jumping mechanic felt off-putting, as you don’t always land in the location you think you will, and at times resulted in my death.
Every level in Quantum Break has a number of collectibles for you to find; these bear no difference on the gameplay, but they add extra story and depth, giving you more information about the characters and the world around you. You can also find a number of different “upgrade points” that let you improve Jack’s time abilities; however, these are few and far between and I didn’t actually find a real need to improve the skills beyond what they already were.
Due to the important choices you make at the end of each chapter, and their effects on the shifting plot, the game boasts a large amount of replayability. I would say there is at least three playthroughs’ worth of content and I can honestly see myself spending that extra time just to see the different sides of the story and live-action scenes. One playthrough on normal difficulty took me just over eight hours to complete, which is typical for this genre of agame.
Quantum Break has full controller support as you’d expect from a Microsoft game, but I had a better experience using keyboard and mouse (of course). I did experience a few framerate problems when entering higher action areas, dropping me below 40 FPS – which I can forgive given the highly impressive graphics. Load times were a bit of an issue too. The times in between levels were sometimes a minute long, which was disappointing considering the game was installed on a SSD. Quantum Break launched initially as a Windows 10 only game on PC, however the re-released version on Steam now adds Windows 7 support. I think Microsoft made a huge mistake in not releasing the game on Steam to begin; the Windows 10 store is so broken right now that people will have missed out on this game purely because they didn’t want to use the Windows 10 store.
The graphics style used in Quantum Break are of the realistic type. The in-game graphics look really nice, and the great use of lighting really adds that extra ambiance to the environment. One thing I wasn’t aware of when going into the game was the use of live-action scenes. These fifteen minute blocks of live-action moments are well- produced, and well-choreographed. The characters are brilliantly cast, and the scripting is excellent – not to mention the some kick-ass action scenes. Taking the live-action scenes into consideration when comparing the characters in game, I was rightfully impressed with how close the in-game characters were to the actual cast. Even the small details in facial expressions and emotions all carried across perfectly. The game’s soundtrack, sound effects and voice acting are all excellently done, and make the game an incredibly enjoyable experience because of it.
Like I said at the start of my review, Quantum Break is one of the best gaming experiences I have had in 2016. The gameplay is extremely fun, and it has one of the most interesting story lines I’ve seen too. Although the game has slight performance issues, the positives far outweigh these problems. Fans of Action games such as Alan Wake and Max Payne will thoroughly enjoy Quantum Break.
- Cover based combat
- Realistic graphics
- Collectables with no gameplay benefit
- Frame rate issues