Quantum Break is the latest platformer by Alan Wake studio, Remedy
here's no doubting the fact that Remedy Entertainment are talented. You only have to look at Max Payne or Alan Wake to see how unique those experiences are. They can turn a genre into something entirely fresh and interesting, which is exactly what they achieve with the highly anticipated release, Quantum Break. Not only does it deliver an entertaining, story-driven narrative, it blends plenty of Remedy's previous work into one. It's like a love letter to previous titles, and those who experienced them will notice some familiar themes. Quantum is a very bold and daring project. For the most part, it achieves what it sets out to do. It uniquely blends gameplay with TV drama, something not experienced properly before in a video-game. It's an all new means of entertainment. Remedy have really pushed the boat out, too. There's a big listed cast of actors, who are all modeled and lend the voice in the game. From Shawn Ashmore, (X-Men), Petyr Baelish, as many will known from "Game of Thrones", along with Lance Reddick and more. Quantum Break is truly a big budget experience, but it's not quite the Remedy masterpiece I was hoping for.
You take the role of Jack Joyce - played by Shawn Ashmore. He's travelled long distances to meet his best friend, Paul Serene, (Petyr Baelish) at Riverport University. Paul is working on something big, and he needs someone he can trust. Jack is given a demonstration of an experiment, which happens to be time travel. Without spoiling anything major, let's just say nothing goes quite according to plan. The test fails, and time begins to slowly break down. This results in all sorts of crazy events. One thing leads to another, and Jack ends up been on the wrong side of Monarch corporation. It's a decent time travelling tale, but one that I didn't find all that memorable. What left a greater lasting impression were the aesthetics. The presentation is superb, with solid voice acting, slick cinematics and character modelling.
Remedy have invested a lot into the TV show aspect. Between acts, you'll be given a twenty or so minute live-action episode. Although these don't entirely follow Jack's adventure, they do provide a greater insight into what goes on at Monarch. It's certainly entertaining viewing, and Remedy do a great job developing the characters for the duration of the four episodes. Of course, these lengthy cut-scenes can be skipped entirely if you please. Yet, watching them are worth your time. What's most rewarding is that fact your able to shape how the TV show unfolds. Whether it's triggering Quantum Ripples throughout the levels, or simply making a tough decision at junction points. All your interactions will effectively alter segments of the show. It's clever stuff, and to a degree, Remedy have pulled it off. Seeing a scene play out differently due to your interactions in-game is pleasing. It certainly had me enticed to replay the story. By time the credits rolled, however, my choices didn't seem all that meaningful. Despite a few major changing paths, there's only one ending. Nothing seemed to impact the story in a big enough way.
When your not watching Quantum Break, your playing it. This is a game after all, and Remedy have tried to squeeze a lot of variety into the 7-10 hours of gameplay. Most of the time, levels boil down to gunplay, strung by platforming and light puzzles. As a shooter, Quantum Break plays decently enough, but some fiddly controls stop it feeling completely refined. Jack's movement does seem a little sluggish, but it's nothing major that spoils the experience. Jack's primary weapon is a pistol, but there's assault rifles, shotguns and other firearms that can be used. There's a cover mechanic is in place, but it's not a cover based shooter in the usual sense. Jack ducks behind objects automatically as you approach them. Your unable to blind fire, but that's kind of makes sense. Remedy encourage fast-paced movement, resulting in constant, frantic fire-fights.
It's Jack's array of time powers what make enemy encounters so fresh and enthralling. Due to the catastrophe at the lab, Jack gains some cool abilities. These allow him to manipulate time, effecting the environment and enemies around him. These are introduced over the course of the game, which helps combat feeling fresh and interesting. Play Quantum Break as a standard shooter, and combat turn tedious very quickly. Combined Jack's abilities, however, and the action turns into something entirely different. Time Stop is one of my favorite abilities. This works like a grenade, expanding a bubble and freezing time within that area momentarily. This comes to play in a few platforming sequences, but it's most enjoyable during combat. Trapping an enemy, firing a ton of bullets into the bubble, then simply waiting for them to explode, is always satisfying. Time Dodge allows you to dash around the environment in short bursts. Holding down the left trigger in the process slows time down, allowing you to line up a shot. (Think of it as bullet time from Max Payne). As for the other abilities, I'll leave them for you to discover.