“Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not” – Stephen King
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Released: September 2016
Let’s start with full disclosure – I didn’t finish the game. Why? Because I didn’t want to. It’s unlike me to leave a game unfinished but in the end, there was nothing incentivising me to continue. It wasn’t all bad and there are some interesting elements but once the novelty wore off, I was bored and pretty frustrated at times. I know that not everyone shares this opinion but it’s the one I hold nonetheless.
The game is primarily an FPS but boasts a heavy narrative element with choices that affect the player’s experience. One example of this is in the 20-30 minute FMV episodes that play at the end of each chapter, one of two depending on your decisions. Well that’s cool you might think, and yes it is, in theory, but not here. The bulk of the story progression happens in the game, leaving little to nothing of interest for these extended and arbitrary cutscenes. I have seen FMV used to really add value to a game but in Quantum Break they struck me as a badly utilised gimmick.
Ordinarily, I’d be praising a game for using the gameplay to tell a story or develop characters but if you really want to get into things in Quantum Break be prepared for some outdated information delivery methods. If you want to delve into the story you’ll be forced to break away from the action to scour rooms to find and examine objects and lengthy documents, dampening any adrenaline or sense of immersion. It’s not obligatory to do so but I felt I would be missing something if I didn’t.
A cast of recognisable names are again, not used to their full potential. Decent performances from actors such as Aiden Gillan and Dominic Monaghan are undermined by stilted and excessive dialogue. The same can be said of the visuals; while there are some nice scenes, they lack any memorable detail or real personality which leaves them feeling a bit stale.
Despite all of this, my main issue with the game is just how poorly it is optimised for PC. I bought it knowing I’d have to play it with low settings as I was going to play it on an older machine that met minimum requirements. After this was a total disaster I shelved the game until I could play it on a better system, but the problems persisted. The low and inconsistent FPS, teamed with dodgy blur effects make combat frustratingly difficult. There are some fun mechanics and abilities but it is near impossible to utilise them properly.
I know that some people have really enjoyed this game but I for one regret spending my (somewhat) hard earned cash on it! For some of my more positive reviews – click here!