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Quantum Break (Xbox One)

by m0ondogy Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:52 am

The Game: Quantum Break
on Xbox One

Dude. Another X1 Review?

Yea. I figured the X1 is a bit of an underdog this gen. To me this means the X1 opposed to the PS4 is going to be harder to figure out what is and is not worthy of our time down the road. Maybe a review like this could help some future reader figure out where to spend their game time.

What is it about?

The actor who plays Charlie on Lost breaks time with his time machine, and it is up to us, his estranged brother played by 'Oh, that guy. I like that guy' to fix it. LittleFinger from Game of Thrones has an agenda too, but for some reason he wants time to get broken more. Que time travel, 3rd person shooting, and 30 min long live action TV episodes.

What is this I hear about a TV show?

So, about 4 or 5 times in the game a moral choice is made. Select A or B type of thing. Depending on what you choose, a slightly different episode from the Quantum Break TV show is played. These are up to 50 min long depending on how many collectibles you have. Remember that letter you read from the local football coach last level? Whelp, that adds a min or two to the episode as the characters talk about the game last week. Each episode ignores the main story line and follows secondary characters in live action. Its kind of odd, but cool enough. It also provides a good point to call it quits for the night. 2 levels of game play. One long, one short, and a 40 min episode just feels good to stop at.

Odd. Was it worth the effort by the Devs?

Nah. Not really. However, It really helps flesh out the NPCs that are your companion on a mission or two. Think of it like those audiologs that were super popular on the PS360 generation amplified to 10.

How'd the game play?

Good. Nothing to complain about. If you have played a 3rd person shooter in the last 10 years, you will feel at home. The time travel powers were real cool to play with, but a bit OP for standard bad guys and a bit under powered for others. That's probably because the game does that thing where they keep introducing new abilities until the very end of the game. Naturally, the more familiar older abilities are easier to execute, so the newer abilities fall to the side. Not to mention, the button combos to execute them are a bit more complex. The gunplay is good. I found my gun a stuck with it. No real reason to change unless im out of ammo and that doesn't happen often. Also, lots of find the blinking light and hit X moments. Not annoying here, as a character is usually chatting away explaining the story when this happens.

How'd the game look?

Excellent. Top marks to Remedy for making this look the way it did. It really has a feel to the image quality that you get from a well made TV show. Lots and lots of motion capture here. Sometimes is looks a little odd. Charlie looks particularly dead in the eyes, and some characters acting out cut scenes look at where you are supposed to be but you are 3 feet to the side so they stare off into space. Can games fix that? The time travel effects are cool. It uses a 'computer glitch' as its base effect and it works well here.

So, What didn't you like about it?

Frankly, It was just too familiar. The gameplay has been done a million times before. Random boxes in an open room? Yep, there is a gun fight in that room. I've done that enough that it doesn't get excited anymore. Also, the characters are a bit flat. They work in the context of the story, but they needed a little more work. Im really annoyed by the TV show not being on disc. It is streamed, so it has that blocky digital look to it and just isn't HD enough to look good. Its a jarring trasition.

So, What did you like about it?

Frankly, the gameplay and how familiar it was. I was invested in the story, and wanted to finish it like a good book. If the gameplay was any more that it was, it would get in the way of the story. I rarely feel this way on games, but this may be an exception. The story and world are quite well done. The little touches that flesh out the world are top notch. Particularly the hints of other time travel powers and creatures (yes creatures) to come. The gameplay itself is really well polished. Its a game by Remedy of Max Payne 1, 2, and Alan Wake fame, so it is well made. No game breaking bugs for me.

Summarize this review for me!

Okay, so a complex time travel story told in a convoluted way with mostly top notch Mo-Cap and Live action cut scenes with solid 3rd person shooting action is served up to by a solid enough dev.

The story, while nothing new, is worthy of your time. Especially for those of you who like time travel or sci fi.

The action gameplay is trying real hard to be great and okay at best at the same time. The set pieces are cool and all, but not as epic as they sound on paper. Running through a wrecking cargo ship with containers bouncing all over? Cool! Time travel effects to reverse parts of the wreck to navigate? Cool! Then you compare it to things like Uncharted, and at it falters a bit. Still good, though.

A lot is set up for the follow up which I would love to get my hands on. In the end, the story is self contained with only 1 lingering question matched by 1 main characters motivation to go back in time one more time. Don't expect the sequel anytime soon. This title didn't sell too well, I think. With all that said, it feels complete.

Should I buy it?

No need to rush out the door at this min, but Id put it on your list. Who knows how long those streaming cut scenes will be streamable. It would be a bit of a shame to loose out on those cool pieces of the story. So, go get it before the service is cut off just after the end of this console generation.


Thanks for reading, and let me know if there is anything I can do to make my reviews better.
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Re: Quantum Break (Xbox One)

by bryan2112 Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:30 am

Should I buy it or not? It has rating of 6 on Gamespot
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:41 am

Re: Quantum Break (Xbox One)

by m0ondogy Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:42 pm

Yes. Buy it in about 6 years when its a ~10 dollar bargain bin title, but before the support for streaming the episodes is gone. Its not like the other X1 games besides Halo and Gears which will all be forgotten (for good reason); Ryse: Son of Rome was just forgettable, this one isnt.

6 rating is too harsh on the game, but I get why they felt that way. It is short and doesn't really do anything worthy of praise. However, it does do everything it wants to with a level of competence that many game fail to reach after many patches. Also, this is a game where gameplay come second to the story. I dig that choice, but its not for everyone.

You'll get at least two plays out of it. One to beat the game and the other to make the other moral choice while taking it slow to read every email and journal you can get your hand on. After that you can sell it or let it love on your shelf for another couple of years.
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