Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review - Quantum Break (XboxOne)

I have always liked Remedy Studios since they put out the first Max Payne. One of my all time favorite games from early 2000s. Now Remedy has a new game called Quantum Break, which came out April 5th 2016. How good is their latest game?

I have to say, the game is a pretty good ride. But I feel it is not their best work. Quantum Break is Remedy's first Sci-Fi based video game and has a really good and interesting story. The story is where I feel the game is at it's strongest. The characters are played by real actors that have been motion captured into the game. Along with their voice acting, they get to act out their parts as well. So Quantum Break has a strong and very interesting story that keeps you playing the game. Where it falls from there is the actual game play it self.

I am not saying that the game play is bad, no it is far from bad, but it is lacking. You play as Jack Joyce the brother of a genius named Will Joyce, who creates a time machine. Of course something goes wrong in the beginning of the game which in turn gives you these powers that can control time. Being able to control time is really cool, but the situations end up being all the same. You move from place to place fighting the same guys during the action parts and during the slow parts you have to basically do puzzle platforming. This is the whole game and I felt the platforming in this game was something that could have been cut out. But in doing so it would have cut the game play hours down in an already short game. Yeah, I think you can beat this game in about 8 hours. So yes, the game is short.

Remedy tries to add more to the game by adding in the live action TV show part. That is right, you get to play the game for a few hours then after making a decision based on two choices, watch what happens depending on your choice. The live action TV show is about 40 minutes, give or take, each episode. I think there is a total of about 4 episodes per choice (total of 8 if you play the game again and choose the other choice out of the two). This is where I believe why the game feels so lacking. It seems a lot when into the production of the TV show and the game development parts suffered. Game play is a rinse and repeat, all the way till the end. And I felt that watching the live action TV show pulled me out of the immersion of the video game. But it was all worth it cause of the good story that Remedy tells in Quantum Break.

So far this review has been negative of the game, lets get to some positive things about Quantum Break: 

-First is the story, I feel this is the game's strongest point. The story of Quantum Break isn't ground breaking but it is a really interesting one about Time. Through out the game you learn how your brother built this time machine and how it broke time it self. So the rest of the game is of course being the hero and trying to fix it. The story has emotion and the science parts are pretty interesting. Like I said, it is the main reason why I kept playing. 

-Second is the time powers you get to play with. These are pretty neat. You can place a bubble around baddies that stops them in their tracks so you can unload your gun into this bubble, once the bubble pops all the bullets hit your target causing massive damage. Your other powers include the ability to run fast while everything else slows down, kind of like a speed burst. Time blast and time shield, also the ability to see enemies through walls (not sure how this ability is related to time, but maybe it is like see the future or something). You can combo these abilities to take down the multitude of enemies that come at you. 

-Thirdly is the live action TV show it self. These are very well done and interesting to watch. I know I said before that these pull you out of the game, but I did find my self excited to watch the next episode.

Overall Quantum Break is a fun game to play and watch but it ends up being too short and repetitive with its game play. Now that brings me to my final score:

JB The Gamer's Final Rating on Quantum Break: 3 out of 5 - Good Game.

For what it lacks in game play, the story makes up for it. I enjoyed exploring the non-action sections and reading the information scatter around the game. Remedy's take on time and time travel was an interesting ride. But I would wait on buying this one, maybe when it goes on sale or lowers in price. I just hope they return to Alan Wake now that Quantum Break is complete.

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