Quantum Break

Quantum Break is simply more entertaining to watch than to play

By Grayshadow, Posted 08 Apr 2016

Quantum Break attempts to mix together television and video games into one stellar experience. Terrific sound design and voice acting sell each scene, and strong performances further add to impactful story. However as great as Quantum Break is to watch the game plays like a mediocre shooter. Attempting to create dynamic fights by providing time manipulation powers are quickly forgotten due to the large amount of platforming exercises and dull puzzles. Quantum Break is simply more entertaining to watch than to play.

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Protagonist Jack Joyce has been invited by long-time friend Paul Serene for an unknown favor. It isn’t long before you find out that Paul helped build a time machine and now requires your help to perform an unauthorized test, using himself as the test subject. Aa you can expect things don’t go according to plan and during the calamity Jack is exposed to a special particle called the Chronon, granting him special time altering abilities. Jack finds out that time is fractured, and if isn’t fixed will result in the end of the world and possibly the universe.

The story is separated into acts, which end with a junction point. These points shift control from Jack to Paul, allowing players to choose from two decisions that will alter the story. After choosing one an optional live action episode plays based on your decision. It’s here where Quantum Break excels, giving players more context into what is going with the other characters. It does warrant a second for those looking to see the opposing decision and see the other episode. It’s a shame that this same level of attention wasn’t given to the gameplay.

You’ll shoot, jump, and solve puzzles in standard video game fashion. Shooting is serviceable, with Jack automatically taking cover to avoid oncoming bullets and returning fire from a third-person perspective. When the final enemy is disposed of a cinematic slow down, similar to Rockstar’s Max Payne 3, highlights the death of the last foe. Weapons are your standard rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, and handguns; Jack can carry three at a time. However it’s the time abilities that makes combat entertaining. 

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Jack can freeze enemies, teleport short distances, create time bombs, generate barriers, and run at inhumane speeds. These special powers add flare to combat situations and using them in conjunction with one another is thrilling. The enemies you use them on aren’t though. These range from your standard infantry such as grunts, armored grunts, heavy gunners, and marksman. Special infantry that can still move in the fracture, due to special suits, do offer challenges because of their abilities or specific weak points but for the most of the game expect to put down the same drones over and over again.

When you’re not shooting you’ll be slowing easy puzzles and platforming. Most of these distractions do utilize Jack’s abilities but most serve a minor barriers to your next objective. With his powers Jake can reverse temporarily reverse time to create a platform and relive echoes of past events to retrieve information. Jumping is especially vexing, with Jack lacking the ability to maneuver over objects unless he’s specially suppose to climb an object at a specific spot. In one instance I was unable to jump onto of a outhouse because I didn’t climb the half-inch ramp next to it..

Levels are linear, requiring you to move from location to another with little deviation. Hidden throughout are an assortment of collectables that expand the universe and Chronon Sources that can be used to increase Jack’s powers. These, like the live-action cutscenes, highlight Quantum Break’s talented voice actors. Coupled with a complementary soundtrack and fantastic facial animations made the entire cinematic experience phenomenal.

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Graphical Quantum Break excels during fractures. Here time is frozen and unstable, with sporadic leaps back and forward. The incredibly designed environments are littered with hazardous traps, people talking in slow motion while performing tasks at normal speed, and bright colors of objects in motion when time stopped. Outside from these timed events graphics are adequate, especially the landscape.

Quantum Break is an excellent game to watch. After the 8 hour campaign the most memorable moments came from the live-action sequences and not the actual game. Disappointing design choices cause too many bland situations where you either clear out a room of enemy soldiers, solve a basic puzzles, or perform some annoying platforming. When the credits began the roll the only memorable situations during the entire campaign came from the live-action scenes.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Quantum Break

50/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Publisher(s): Remedy Entertainment
Developer(s): Remedy Entertainment
Genres: Third-person shooter
Themes: Time manipulation
Release Date: 2016-04-06

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