Before Quantum Break, I had never played a game with an integrated show. I really didn’t know what to expect when I first selected ‘new game’. This design could have gone horribly wrong, however, Quantum Break has given me one of the most rewarding experiences of 2016 thus far.
Quantum Break has many famous faces in it’s character line up, like Shawn Ashmore, Dominic Monaghan, or Aidan Gillen. Along with a star studded cast, should come a spectacle of presentation and graphics, which Quantum Break delivers on. The art style used to represent a world effected by time falling apart is fantastic. From the ripples in the sky to the appearance of characters seemingly falling apart, losing themselves in time, the world in Quantum Break can easily grab your attention. Also, though the resolution was at 720p, the graphics were still beautiful and everything looked great down to the smallest facial animations.
Another important feature to what made this game peak my interest, was simply the sound. Any time there was a time stutter, every sound made echoes and even voices sounded different. The sound design, along with the music selection, truly captured what it might be like to be in a science fiction event like Quantum Break.
The art and sound in Quantum Break were easily enough to pull me in, but what keeps anyone going in a game is the gameplay. Quantum Break is at it’s core a third person shooter. Like many third person shooters, cover is more than helpful, but you are equipped with time based abilities as well. It was overly enjoyable using a time stop on a soldier and pumping bullets into him before time starts there again, or using a time dash and confusing the enemy, while also taking him out. These special time powers, and a few others, made Quantum Break more than just another shooter, but as fun as they were, it wasn’t enough to really raise the bar. You get most of your abilities at the very beginning and though they are cool at first, there was nothing incredible as the game went on, gameplay wise. The shooting aspect also wasn’t anything special, but still fun nonetheless. The gun system works similar to Halo, in that you must pick up any guns you want to use, and there is no customization, which honestly was something I liked. It works better for this type of game, where a heavy customization system just wouldn’t have fit.
Another aspect of the game that is slightly disappointing, is the lack of variety for enemies. For a majority of the game you will be fighting the same two types of enemies, save for a few tanky soldiers here and there. Though this doesn’t necessarily make the game boring, I still would have liked to see a few more enemy types. The enemies themselves were not all that difficult either, except for one. That is the environment. Platforming and maneuvering through an area is another large chunk of the game, and I can’t even tell you how many times I was killed by the environment. Platforming definitely had it’s fun moments, and some of my deaths seemed fair, but it is annoying when a door randomly kills you or Jack just falls. However, It is an important piece of the immersive feeling to the game, given that you are in a world collapsing in time.
The most important piece of Quantum Break, though, was the story. The story aspect of the game was my favorite part, and was done extremely well. Plus Quantum Break is unique in its use of going from the story of Jack in game, to then moving to an episode of the four part Quantum Break show, and presenting the side of the antagonists. The show had great acting, the narrative kept me hooked all the way through, and there was clearly a lot of time and money put into making it look great. Along with the great narrative, is the ability to change what happens, or unlock something you wouldn’t have otherwise seen. After every act, you are given a choice between two paths laid out before you. This effects parts of every story in game and in the show. Another small way to change what you see is to find ripples when moving through the in game world. These are bits of additional information, along with many other optional story items, that provide interesting additional insight into the story.
Through a great story, a fun combat system, and beautiful art design, Remedy Entertainment created something special. The time driven third person shooter is definitely worth a try, and I recommend it to any single player shooter fans, or fans of a worth while story.