Xbox One, PS4, PC
Toxic Games has managed to create a game that harnesses its obvious inspiration from existing first-person puzzle games, rather than simply copying them. Focusing on the core concept of its predecessor and stripping away its restrictive shell, Q.U.B.E. 2 challenges us to be even more involved in finding solutions this time around. here we are given the freedom to place brightly coloured blocks on a small set of blank squares to solve innovative puzzles, rather than simply press a button to interact with existing structures.
Q.U.B.E. 2 has perfected the pace of introducing new mechanics. it guides us just enough to ensure that we fully understand how our abilities are supposed to synergise, while masterfully avoiding the pitfalls of constructing a puzzle that is too easy or boring. starting off slowly, the game demonstrates how cubes with only three different functions can be utilised together in order to escape multiple rooms. As we progress further, more objects are added, teaching us more about the versatility of our abilities in a sequentially evolving environment. in later puzzles the inclusion of fans, magnetic pads and fire, succeed in keeping actions that could easily slump into monotony feel fresh and interesting, all the while steadily ramping up the difficulty of the puzzles.
As we neared the end of the Q.U.B.E. 2’s story the rules changed once more, removing the limit on our powers and enabling us to place as many of each block as we please. This surprisingly late change in the game makes a sizeable difference, providing us with far more options and subsequently, far more opportunities for error. Although, while it may feel like we have full control on our puzzle-solving abilities, this is greatly juxtaposed to how our character feels for the duration of the game.
With its enigmatic plot, Q.U.B.E. 2 makes an attempt to transcend the shallow feel of being just a first-person puzzler by offering us an explanation as to why we are continuously moving through strange, sterile rooms. That said, we did not feel particularly invested in the story or its protagonist, Amelia Cross. While a good portion of Q.U.B.E. 2’s failure to hook us can be attributed to poor voice acting and bland content between puzzles, we found that the core mechanics of the game were so strong that the redundant plot left only a small blemish on our overall enjoyment.
despite the fact that Q.U.B.E. 2 has very little replay value, it is an excellent pick for anyone craving a first-person puzzle game in the same vein as Valve’s beloved Portal. With puzzles that are straightforward enough to evade frustration yet challenging enough to present a few glowing moments of realisation, this game exhibits all the traits of a studio that knows how to develop a fitting sequel to an imaginative concept.
7/10 VERDICT a weak story saved by innovative Puzzle Design
Solving the puzzles guides us through Q.U.B.E. 2’s mysterious story. Will we be able to send Amelia Cross back home?