Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Quantum Break, available for the Xbox One and Windows PC platforms, takes main character Jack Joyce through a third person action packed science fiction adventure, on a quest to stop the end of time as we know it, after a failed time machine experimentation. While the majority of the title is played as a third person shooter, there are some platforming elements that I found interesting. The game is also unique in that it includes elements of a live-action television show which are interactive and pertinent to the games outcome. There are so many innovative points to this title, but does it stand up to the competition?
Firstly, let me just point out, this game was created by the makers of Max Payne and Alan Wake, two very good titles, which means that they could have easily made the choice to produce a Max Payne 4, or an Alan Wake prequel, or some other such nonsense. Instead, they created a whole new game and I want to give them two big thumbs up for that right now because I think I speak for the whole community when I say, enough with the sequels already. That being said, those aforementioned titles had some of the best visuals and cinematics for their time, and Quantum Break is no different. You’ll notice right from the beginning a very in-depth attention is given to the look of the title. It has a sort of Resident Evil vibe at times, slightly dark but starkly scientific and clean. The environments in are interesting and motivate the player to move forward and experience new areas.
There are five game play acts and four television interludes that make up the game. I’d just like to make the statement that I have never been a fan of integrating live video with CGI rendered video game play so I was on the fence about it as soon as I realized that this title involved it. However, I was quickly dragged by my stubborn shirt tails into a story line that is incredible and production value that has been extremely well done. The main complaint I do have with the live video, is that it’s streamed online which affects my viewing with random pause “we are loading” messages here and there. It’s very annoying to say the least, and takes me out of the experience every time. At least it was good enough for me to wait.
I’ve always loved the idea of time travel and this story takes some interesting twists and turns, including letting the player take control of the main villain, who has the ability to see the consequences of his outcomes, which in turn has an effect on our hero, and which live action sequences the player will experience. This game begs the player for a second play through.
Our main hero, Joyce, acquires several time traveling powers at the beginning of the title. While the game at its base has a shoot and cover style, Joyce has time on his side and is able to manipulate his enemies. As far as our heroes “powers” go, he is able to slow current time allowing him to run from one side of the room to the other, freeze enemies in a time bubble to do more damage, as well as several others. The entertainment is endless when objects become trapped in infinite loops and enemies dead bodies are frozen in mid-air. Unfortunately, the player doesn’t gain anymore powers after the first part of the game, what’s new and exciting at first can get worn out by the end of the title because everything is unlocked from the get go. I also found that the time traveling aspects sometimes didn’t work how I expected and would throw me off track every now and then.
Quantum Break was an experiment that did mostly the right things. That’s something I can appreciate. For all of its downfalls it was still worth the purchase and if there were to be a future sequel that fixed a lot of the simple screw ups, I would be excited to buy it. The story line and live actions scenes actually make up for the lack in gain of powers throughout the game. For every one thing it’s missing, it has another surprise in store, and that why,
Quantum Break Gets
3.5 Out of 5
+ Stunning visuals
+ High level acting in CGI and live action
+ Excellent story and characters
+ Time travel powers are useful and unique
+Controls are easy to learn and mostly on point
-Control over some powers is hit or miss
-Loading messages in the middle of live action cut scenes in unacceptable
-Why didn’t I ever gain new powers?