Quantum Break Review
The Following of time travel at your Little Finger tips~
(bonus points for getting both title references)
Time travel has always been a popular subject to tackle, whether it is movies or tv, anime or manga and even games. You get to deal with things like paradoxes, alternate universes or butterfly effects and even time collapsing on itself. Quantum Break is a game that tries to combine every single one of those things and put it in a pretty little package. The game is often times more movie than a game, but it does provide some rich gameplay. You get your running and climbing (though jumping seems to be an issue when you can’t even jump over a box sometimes) and of course your bad-guy shooting, and what sci-fi action game would be complete without superpowers.
Quantum Break is an action-adventure science fiction third-person shooter video game developed by Remedy Entertainment. It seemed to be a Third-Person shooter (you floating above the character you’re controlling) but often times you will get a bit of platformer mixed in as you try to gather “hidden” items and find all the collectables. The game seems a bit of a mishmash and often confused on which direction it wanted to go, but that doesn’t stop the game from being fun or pretty to look at.
In the game you play as Jack Joyce, one of the victims of time collapsing and “stuttering” while gaining time manipulation powers. Jack is played by Shawn Ashmore, the actor you might know from the X-men movies as Iceman or from tv as agent Mike Weston in the Following. Not to be confused with his twin brother Aaron Ashmore, who you’ve seen in Smallville as Jimmy Olsen and is the lead role in the Killjoys tv series. Yeah, twins totally threw me off every time I see them on tv. Shawn did the voice, likeness and motion capture for his character in the game. Some stages (in order to see the other side of the plot) you control the protagonist of the game, Paul Serene who is played by Aidan Gillen. Aidan, of course, best known for being Little Finger on Game of Thrones and being Tommy in the Wire.
Now while playing as Jack you get access to several time-based powers such as freezing time, high-speed movement/dodging and even the ability to create pocket bubbles of frozen time to trap enemies or work as a shield from damage. You have limits to their usage and strength and they recharge over time. You can collect these time fragments in the game that can be used to upgrade your abilities. While playing as Paul, though, due to his prolonged exposure and time spent building his power he is significantly stronger and it’s really like running around as Sephiroth instead of Cloud.
The story is all about a time travel experiment gone wrong where a paradox of sorts and explosion caused by outside interference causing time to rupture. It’s like time is an egg and it’s cracked oozing out everywhere. The breaking down of time causes ‘stutters’ in the game, an effect that freezes the baddies but leaves you (and those with a special suit) able to move around and interact with stuff. You go forward trying to get things sorted and find the people and stuff you need to fix the time and try to save as many people as you can. As you progress through the game you get the option to save/interact with one character leaving another to suffer/die. Your choices affecting the plot slightly but all still leading to the same end event.
The game is slightly repetitive, you see some story, you go from point A to point B and you fight guys with guns. Your inability to punch in the game can be a real hassle in close combat. This process just repeats till the end, with the only changes that between points A and B there are collectables and that the enemies get harder. This is normal for most games though so I can’t fault them too much for it, but the game is rather short. The game has only 5 acts, and considering the amount of time spent watching rather than playing the game is only a few hours on average.
The game has some replayability, this comes into play because of the movies/scenes you see during gameplay and in-between stages. The items you collect in the game actually affect not only which scenes you see but even the interaction of the actors in the scenes themselves. In one of the first videos you get to see random actor A and B talking about a statue which the MC picks up along the way, this item and their interaction is not included if the MC skips by the item in the regular stage. These little things help keep the game alive a little longer, but still, fail to make the game worth the price tag.
Now while the game has a stellar cast, including Dominic Monaghan & Lance Reddick as well as some great explosions and shoot-outs, it still isn’t game of the year worthy or $60+ worthy. This is the epitome of a Gamefly rental. I can see why this game had bad reviews and I kinda wish I had done a bit more research and not let the pretty ads fool me. Now while I had my fun, and I did enjoy encasing enemies in a time bubble pumping it full of lead then watching it explode, I still got bored 3 acts in and wish I had time powers so I can travel back into the past and not buy this game.
2 out of 5
-Would happily have paid $15 to see this “movie” in theatres rather than play the game.