Quantum Break Review – Time Magic

QB screenshot 1

Quantum Break features an intriguing story woven around time travel. A event known has Fracture has occurred due to a disturbance in Chronon particles and time as we know it could end. You play as Jack Joyce who has received time bending powers due to being exposed to Chronon particles in an time machine experiment that went wrong.

The only hope to stop the end of time is to get a device called the ‘countermeasure’ built by Jack’s brother Will, a scientist, who was responsible for the creation of a time machine. A corporation called Monarch headed by Paul Serene have already started preparing for the end of time by creating tech that allows people to move in stasis.

Serene has seen the future and has been to the end of time, but he didn’t know of Will’s countermeasure that can help fix the time.

QB screenshot 6

The game looks stunning on the Xbox One especially during combat. Jack can slow down time, run faster than others, shoot an explosive time charge, create a time shield, move like Faora-UI from Man of Steel. These powers make the combat incredibly fun and when you factor in enemies who can counter your time powers thanks to tech from Monarch, Jack has his work cut out for him.

The visual effects are incredible. Bullets whizzing past you, explosions and rapid movement can all look amazing on the screen. However, the image quality is a bit poor and the game feels blurry as a result. The locations are all pretty filled with hidden collectibles that Jack can collect.

To improve his powers Jack has to absorb Chronon particles that are scattered across each level. Some of them are difficult to find but you can see the blip on the mini map using his time vision. You can always go back and replay each mission to get the collectibles you missed.

QB screenshot 3

Time is broken and you will feel the after effects of that while exploring the world. The enemies may freeze randomly, objects in the environment may float in the air. Everything is detailed well enough to give you that sense of fear that something is seriously wrong and you need to fix it.

Quantum Break is a well written game and there are 20 minute live action episodes after each act that shows more characters that aren’t in the game. The episodes are actually pretty fun to watch because of the good acting by the cast. However, make sure you have enough bandwidth to stream these episodes. I usually encountered a lot of buffering which ruined my experience. You can also download these episodes separately and it will set you back by 75GB.

This has never been done before in a video game and I have to applaud Remedy for innovating in the story telling department. There are also a lot of intel and messages that you can find in each level that tells you more about the world and characters they have created.

QB screenshot 2

There are a variety of enemies in Quantum Break. Some of them are helpless against your time powers but can still kill you in medium or hard difficulty. You’ll face armoured and fast teleporting enemies, but there are no mini-bosses in the game. You have the option of using two weapons and a pistol and you can pick up weapons that will replace the current one you are holding. Usually, shotguns, assault rifles and some special Monarch weapons are available to you.

It’s incredibly satisfying to freeze time and charge at an enemy and perform a one shot melee, or perform a time blast to kill multiple enemies. Jack can automatically attach to cover so all you need to do is run and dodge. There’s not a lot of combat in the game, each encounter lasts a few minutes because Jack can easily overpower his enemies if his powers are used well.

Quantum Break is a short game. My first playthrough lasted around 7 hours including the live action episodes. There are choices in the game that lead to different outcomes and as such that may warrant another playthrough but the experience won’t be that drastically different. There’s no multiplayer or co-op mode and it’s strictly a single player game, which really isn’t a criticism but the game feels light on content.

QB screenshot 4

Remedy have done a fantastic job in telling an engrossing story and providing a satisfying combat system, but just those two things cannot make Quantum Break really great. I appreciate them trying something new with the live action episodes but not a lot of gamers may prefer this type of narrative structure.

If you loved past Remedy games like Max Payne 1 and 2 and Alan Wake then chances are you would love Quantum Break as well. I know I did.

Score

8/10