The long awaited, teased and highly anticipated Quantum Break has finally launched on Xbox One. There have been some that have said that this could potentially be a system seller.
This is the type of game that when it was revealed to be half gameplay and half live action, there was a lot of marmite reactions to it. People wondering whether or not something like this could be pulled off. Especially when the user affects how the live action plays out afterwards. But I have to admit that Remedy have pulled this off with razor edge precision.
From the offset there is a rather fast paced to the game with things kicking off, explosions, shootings, you name it, it happens.
The main story behind the game is that you play Jack Joyce (Shawn Ashmore) who is caught up in a science experiment gone bad. From this you gain some pretty useful powers which range from a time shield to deflect bullets, to being able to dodge bullets or slow time itself and stop enemies in their tracks with cool take downs.
The vast array of abilities to use against enemies and learning which ones are best for which all land perfectly with the game. Every enemy you come across has a weakness from the standard foot soldier to the massive armour build guys which you have to get behind. Queue some slowing down of time… When you first start getting powers and new ones are added, it can all seem a little daunting, not knowing which situation best to use some in, who is it best to use this new power against etc. But in time (see what i did there 😉 ) you get used to it and the movements and abilities will flow like a river.
The game is absolutely stunning, when you think of the best looking games on Xbox One and you will more than likely be taken to games such as the Forza series, well for me this blows them right out of the water.
The accuracy in which the faces of the actors who play the characters has been done, is with such alarming accuracy is looks almost lifelike. Being able to see all the sweaty wrinkles and depth in the eyes on a close up is amazing, you get that intensity that could otherwise be missed.
The environments details are as well done with alarming accuracy and care, there has been a lot of attention to details and care gone into the worlds and it is wonderful to see such work come into fruition.
The story is a well told narrative with lots of twists and turns, revenge and new friendships and alliances being made. I know the game has been out for a few weeks, but I didn’t want to spoil anything in terms of the story. The story is based around Paul Serene, and he and Jack have a few choice words to say after the initial opening.
One thing that I did love was the live action show. This brought a fantastic new dimension to the game, and gives players the chance to sit back and enjoy the TV show side of things. Also to watch what has become of the choices that they have made. I probably will play through the game again eventueally to see what the other options brings. For me it also gave a chance to enjoy the narrative a bit more. To understand what was going on as sometimes through games that can get lost and you miss certain parts and can get a bit confusing. With this though, you could sit and concentrate on the live action.
I also liked that element at the end of each act where you got to make a big decision that would affect the other outcome to the rest of the game, this is known as a junction, a part where the game could take a direction, and just like driving a car and coming to a junction, you were in control, you decided where it went, who lived, who died, who you trusted. You could make life easier for yourself or your could make things a little harder… All for the greater good.
Each of the episodes that I have watched have been fully enjoyable, and there has been enough there for me to keep watching with no temptation of pressing that skip button.
There is one quarrel I have with this game and it is all the Microsoft product placements. How many Lumia’s and Surface tablets are rocking in this game? There is one point were time gets frozen and Serene throws a tablet into the frozen time, and as it turns there is the Microsoft logo ever present. They don’t even try to hide the fact that characters in live action or gameplay are using Lumia’s or Surface tablets. I wonder if this was part of the deal of whether Remedy felt Microsoft needed some advertising help? Either way it was a bit too much for my liking.
What’s the verdict?
Overall, this is a fantastic game, beautiful, smooth running and I can fault the integration between game play and live action. It’s genius and it works so well. I would love this to be the future for gaming, and I personally would love to see more games using Live Action in this way.
It adds so much depth to the narrative and helps to build on the story. 9.