Quantum Break is an interesting game. It’s essentially a third person cover shooter wrapped in a huge storyline with some unique time altering abilities thrown in. The result is that it can feel a little schizophrenic and empty.
The game kicks off with you arriving at Riverport University, to meet up with a friend who needs your help,late one night. The place is realistically empty, save for a fee straggling protesters from a failed protest meeting earlier in the day. Though seemingly empty, there are plenty of clues for you to discover and read to start to build up a story of whats going on. Though to be honest, these never seem to be of any great importance, just annoying things that add nothing to your character but you probably have to find to get that valued 100% completion achievement.
So yeah, you’re literally wandering around Riverport University looking for your friend in whats got to be the most boring intro into a game ever. Even when you meet him you have to do inane things and it’s not until about half way through the first chapter of the game that everything turns to shit and you get you super powers.
And by super powers I do of course mean the massive abundance of buttons to push to effect time in various ways.
It’s interesting how an everyman can instantly turn into a mass murderer just because he feels like the people in charge are trying to kill him. I read some comments on The Division, where questions were raised on the games morality of the central character’s only choice being to kill people. That sat fine with me as it was a post pandemic shooter. In Quantum Break your character Jack Joyce just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and decides to pick up a gun and start shooting people whilst employing and increasing complex range of time altering powers to help him, well, shoot more people.
But Jack has to you see, because he feels partly responsible for fucking up the entire world, buy making time collapse which will eventually lead to the destruction of everything. Unless Jack saves the world first. But with time collapsing around him, Jack finds the the environments themselves have started to become unstable and Quantum Break becomes part shooter, part 3D platform puzzler as Jack has to survey his environment and figure out a way to progress to the next part of the game. This will usually involve using some of his time controlling powers which does make the puzzles fun and often challenging.
As the game progresses you’ll find that the combat becomes more than just a cover shooter with fancy options, but will become a puzzle in themselves and steadily ramps up the difficulty of the game.
One of the big aspects in the game was the four part TV show that continues to storyline between main game episodes. This along with your ability to briefly play the bad guy as he uses his super powers to look forward in time to see two possible outcomes for a current situation. The first of these being what to do with a key witness; kill her or use her. To be honest I couldn’t kill her, she like me had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though seeing what happens to her, it might have been better if I had chosen her death.
The first part of the TV show comes at a point where you’ve just endured the boring intro, found that you have super powers and been given a couple of set pieces to try them out. You’ve just got amped for the game and Remedy expect you to want to watch a low budget TV show? Hell no, where’s the skip button.
Quantum Break for me fell short of where I thought the game would be. It turned out to be little more than a neat cover shooter with some brilliant time bending concepts and great puzzles. The whole TV show that made the game’s download to be somewhere in the region of 120GB just didn’t add anything to the game. And honestly I’m not convinced that interactive TV makes for good games, even with Quantum Break’s huge amount of gameplay.
Rating: R16 Contains violence and offensive language.