Remedy Games has created a special little gem with Xbox/PC exclusive Quantum Break and it has become a very notable gaming experience for me for a variety of reasons. I rarely read or watch reviews of games I know I will play, so I went into the game almost completely blind. I knew only that time travel was the main theme, it was a third person shooter, and the game was split into an episodic format.
I was grateful to receive a code of the game from a friend right before launch, so I decided to stream the entire experience. There are only a handful of games that I have played on launch date. I believe the last one was Dragon Age Inquisition, so to have the ability to play QB on April 5th was pretty special.
Off the bat, I experienced a pretty brutal download time; however, I don’t feel that should detract the experience of the game itself. Saying slow download times makes a game bad is like giving a one star review of a product on Amazon because the shipping box it came in was damaged. Once the download was complete, I hopped on Twitch and let friends know I was diving in QB.
When it comes to understanding the details of time travel, I get lost, but I was pretty happy with how the story presented itself. QB gave you some time (hah, badumtss!) to understand your surroundings and the environment. The game is pretty linear but if you are ever lost, your character, Jack Joyce, will give you hints along the way of where to go and/or what to do. Very helpful for someone like me since I am guaranteed to go through a few rounds of “wanderage” (as dubbed by my community) in every game I will ever play.
The game is also split between gameplay and live action sequences. That was SO cool. I was taken back by how pretty QB is. Look at this!
Cut scene in game.
Each scene was well done, the acting was awesome and there wasn’t much of an immersion break between them. I highly dislike moments in video games that jolt your mind around and make you lose focus, but the transitions between the game itself and live action episodes were smooth and didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story.
QB isn’t a very long game. It’s actually possible that you would spend more time reading up on the exposition of the story and exploring the immediate world around you. There’s tons of narrative items that you can collect throughout the game and they only add to an already solid experience. With straight gameplay on normal difficulty, I believe the game can be completed within 15 hours.
There’s also replay value! Love that. There are major choices that you can make in the game that would ultimately affect experiences for yourself, your playable character and NPCs. I have only played QB all the way through once, so I am looking forward to making completely different choices in my second run.
I loved the characters. I especially adored the interactions between Jack Joyce and his brother, William Joyce. They are played by Shawn Ashmore and Dominic Monaghan respectively. Great chemistry. And Aidan Gillen‘s performance is top notch (as always). The acting is good. So good that I wish I had a face cam up and running while I was streaming because my reactions to very emotional and pivotal scenes would have been entertaining for people. I may have gotten a little lost when it came to time travel discussion, but the characters themselves were written so well, it was amazing to see how easily and strongly I bonded to them. And surprisingly, my favorite character ended up being someone I initially hated! That’s very rare for me. Kudos to the writers of QB. I would like to high five you all.
I will close my thoughts about QB with a little sentimental note that was very special for me. When I streamed QB the second time, I had a pretty awesome visitor stop by to say hi.
Aside from the obvious “this is amazing!” gut reaction, this also makes me happy because here is someone who engages and interacts with his community and that speaks volumes to me. I hope I can meet him one day and thank him personally for being such an awesome and down to earth guy.
Overall, Quantum Break is refreshing to me, and I encourage friends and fellow gamers to check it out. 9/10 will play again.
Also, this post serves as my official request for a sequel.