Q.U.B.E. 2

Xbox One, PS4, PC

Games TM - - WHAT LIES BELOW -

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

Q.u.b.e.

Por­tal

Solv­ing the puz­zles guides us through Q.U.B.E. 2’s mys­te­ri­ous story. Will we be able to send Amelia Cross back home?

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