Quan­tum Break

Trash TV

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Robin Valen­tine

re­leased OUT NOW! Re­viewed on XBox One

Also on PC Pub­lisher Mi­crosoft

Time- bend­ing ac­tioner Quan­tum Break’s struc­ture is pretty sim­ple: be­tween each one to two- hour “act” of game­play, a 20- minute “episode” of a live­ac­tion TV show plays. In the for­mer sec­tions, you take con­trol of Jack Joyce, a rough- and- tum­ble charmer rac­ing to stop an apoc­a­lyp­tic event that looks set to end time it­self.

He’s op­posed by Monarch, a shad­owy cor­po­ra­tion run by his for­mer best friend Paul Serene. It’s this side of the con­flict ex­plored in the TV se­ries, which tells the story of the work­ings, mo­ti­va­tions and in­ter­nal con­flicts that shape Monarch’s ac­tions over the course of the game. It’s a novel con­ceit, but the fi­nal re­sult is a fre­quently bril­liant game re­peat­edly in­ter­rupted by an ut­terly te­dious tele­vi­sion show.

As Joyce, you use your con­trol over time to trans­form what would be a ba­sic third- per­son shooter into pure power fan­tasy. Freez­ing foes where they stand, slam­ming into them at su­per- speed, stop­ping bul­lets in mid- air and more – each of your abil­i­ties feels in­cred­i­ble to de­ploy. Com­bat isn’t nec­es­sar­ily easy, but you al­ways feel like the one in con­trol of the fight.

The game’s set­pieces are truly spec­tac­u­lar af­fairs that see you nav­i­gat­ing the catas­tro­phes caused by the break­down of time. From walk­ing through your brother’s work­shop as it fast- for­wards from the past to the present, to plat­form­ing across a col­laps­ing bridge as it slips in and out of the time stream, th­ese se­quences rep­re­sent some of the most mem­o­rable we’ve ever seen. Un­for­tu­nately the live- ac­tion episodes fail to cap­ture any of the ex­cite­ment or craft of your time as Joyce. In their at­tempt to recre­ate the look of the game, they suc­ceed only in mak­ing sets, ac­tors and ef­fects look cheap and strangely ar­ti­fi­cial. The show is packed with un­like­able char­ac­ters, groan- in­duc­ing di­a­logue and dodgy edit­ing, but worst of all, it’s just bor­ing.

With­out the show, the game has a nat­u­ral rhythm of quiet mo­ments, story beats, and loud ac­tion. With it, the breaks be­tween gun­fights feel too long, and we found our­selves re­sent­ing what would oth­er­wise have been wel­come sec­tions of ex­po­si­tion or char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment.

Turns out TV re­ally is bad for you.

The game packs in a bunch of Alan Wake Easter eggs, in­clud­ing a chalk­board of the­o­ries about the first game’s plot.

Th­ese gi­ant bub­ble blow­ers were get­ting re­ally im­pres­sive.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.