Ever since Remedy Games, aka Remedy Entertainment, showed their project off to the masses, there has been a huge buzz around this game. With you being able to manipulate time, just about everyone immediately got intrigued and wanted to know more about Quantum Break. So the question is, did Remedy Games create a game that has lived up to the hype and expectations everyone had for it? Or did this game just fall flat and belongs in the bargain bin? Let’s see if we can stop time and keep the hype high.
You play as the character known as Jack Joyce. While helping out Paul, a friend of yours, the time machine he was working on malfunctions and covers you and Paul in Chronon Radiation and you gain the ability to freeze time, rewind time, fast forward your own time and even more. As you start to learn how to control your own powers, you are learning about the company known as Monarch Corporation. You goal is to stop Monarch from fracturing time and bringing time to an end.
The powers that you gain from being infected with the Chronon Radiation makes this game a joy, may I even say at times, a breeze to play, even on the hard difficulty which I played on. The ones that I used the most were the Time Shield, Time Freeze and Time Rush. Time Shield allows you to place a protect shield, or bubble, around you that will prevent oncoming bullets from hitting you. It only lasts a few seconds but those seconds can save your life. Time Freeze is used to stop time around your enemies. The major advantage to this when you fire into the area that time is stopped, it allows you to stack your bullets. This produces more damage to your enemy once time picks back up. Time Rush was vitally important in my play trough. This allowed me to rush up to an enemy and do a melee attack that eliminated them from the battle. It also allowed me to run behind certain enemies and hit their weak points on their backs. If you combine all three of these powers you make yourself untouchable, not to mention the game becomes very easy at points.
While Quantum Break is a very enjoyable game, it does have some technical difficulties to it that unfortunately brings it down some. One of the most noticeable ones I have seen through the entire game is the graphics jumping. At first I thought it was just the time distortion effects in the game doing it, but I was wrong on that. For example, you might be behind cover and when the enemy is pointing their gun at you it will jump ever so slightly to a different location. It kind of looked like an entire frame was missing at that point. Another issue was texture pop in. Objects will appear very blurry and once they get closer to the camera, the textures magically pop into place. This happened on several occasions, especially when going from inside a building to outside a building. I had one issue when after loading my game, the screen would be completely white while the sound played in the back ground. The only way out of this was to either aim my gun or rotate the camera around. Bright lights would pulsate the whiteness full on the screen and then only take a small portion away. At first I thought it was just part of the game until it continued to happen in a CG cutscene. This required a full system reboot to fix. Another issue I had was with the sound totally missing from the game. Graphically it loaded just fine but I had no sound at all. A few minutes later the game locked up. It wasn’t the console as I could get back to the dashboard and had the normal sounds there. This was managed by ending the game and reloading it. Another issue had to do with the combat itself. As described above, Time Rush allows you to run up to an enemy. When you do this the B action button would appear above their head to indicate you can do a melee attack on them. This didn’t happen quite a few times. This resulted in either my character dying, or having to quickly find cover to regain my health. While these technical difficulties where not game breaking, it did help break the ambiance and the feel of the game.
The cutscenes in this game are a mixture of CG and live action. While this has been done before in games, it did help make the game feel more realistic. The downside is that Quantum Break has some really long live action cut scenes in it. A time around fifteen to twenty minutes wouldn’t be bad. Instead Remedy added in one that was close to forty minutes long. While it was interesting and help to build the story and feel of the game, it made the whole flow of the game feel broken. Towards the end of the cutscene, I was getting in the mood that I didn’t want to play the game anymore. It took me out of the physical game itself and brought me more into a movie type of mood. This really shouldn’t happen in a game.
While Quantum Break does have its technical glitches, it does has some very good points as well. For one is the character graphics. These are some of the best character model and details I have seen in quite a long time in a game. It almost blends what is CG and what is live action. The facial details and body movement you can tell have been mapped directly from a motion caption device and it works really well. Everything ran really smooth and fluid feeling. The cover system is nicely done as well. There is no button pressing to hide behind something. You simple just run up to it and your character will automatically take cover behind it. This is nice as it will not distract you from concentrating on the enemies that are surrounding you. The gun fights itself are a blast to play as well. The accuracy is very spot on. If your sights turn red then you will hit that target. I also like the recoil on some of the guns. This just won’t allow you to continuous fire some of the automatic weapons. Doing so will make you miss quite a lot. Bursts of fire is your friend here. There is one gun that I relied on a lot in this game, which is the Pistol. This has infinite ammo and is slightly over powered. If you like doing headshots, then this will be your preferred gun of choice. The dialog is also spot on. One of my nuisances I have with games is when the written dialog is different then what is being spoken. In Quantum Break, both of these are spot on.
During the course of the game, you will run across sections called Junction Powers. This will allow you to choose which story path you will take throughout that portion of the game. The interesting part is that while you making a decision, you can play a brief synoptics view of what the future will hold if you choice either side. Once you choice the side you want, the story will start to play out in front of you then allow you to continue on that path. Unfortunately while different things may happen along the story, the main ending is unaffected by any of your decisions, which makes the whole point of choosing either story side almost seem pointless.
In my personal opinion, Quantum Break is a great game that will be enjoyed by many people. I hope that Remedy will continue the series and fix some of the issues the game has in the next installment. I enjoyed the story and the gameplay quite a lot even with the little hiccups that is has. Plus as of right now if you buy Quantum Break you get a code for a free download of Alan Wake plus two additional add on pieces. Basically you are getting two games for the price of one. That is always a plus to any purchase. Overall I would give Quantum Break a 8.5 out of 10. The little technical hiccups hold it back and the long live action cutscenes drag you out of the whole game experience. This game comes recommended.