Game Review: Quantum Break (XBox One)

The future looks bleak and the space-time continuum is fractured. That is the premise of Quantum Break, the Microsoft exclusive from Remedy Entertainment, the studio who brought us the Alan Wake series. This story-driven title has consumed my life for the past month. Please allow me to explain why.

In Quantum Break players take on the role of Jack Joyce, a seemingly nice guy who is just on a trip to visit his old friend Paul at his office in Riverport. While at the office Paul shows his latest experiment to Jack, and once Jack’s brother Sam shows up the crazy adventure that is Quantum Break.

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Time travel and time manipulation are the main mechanics of the game. Players can replay scenarios, freeze time and slow down time. The neat thing about these abilities is that Jack is unfazed by these manipulations. He can move around just like normal, which is the only way to make the game accessible, because without using these abilities the challenge level jumps significantly.

Remedy has always been great with storytelling, and Quantum Break carries that torch all the way through. Though the game stands on it’s own, it is littered with Alan Wake references. For those who aren’t familiar with Alan Wake, at least read up on the cliff notes because it gives Quantum Break an entire new dimension.

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Quantum Break is broken up into episodes, so much so that there is a television show integrated into the game. This becomes an integral part of the game because it shows what happens between game epsiodes and leads the player right into the action. This implementation is risky thing because not many games pull this off successfully. The only other game I can think of is again, Alan Wake, which had a television show playing on in-game televisions and also had a television show that ran on Xbox Live leading up to it’s release.

Why the excessive references to Alan Wake in this review? Because it expands the world in which Quantum Break takes place.

Game play is fantastic in Quantum Break. Jack’s character control is feels very natural in every way. The only thing that feels different is the time mechanics. This took a little getting used to, but things move pretty fast once the story begins to roll out so it’s important to understand the game play pretty quickly, otherwise players may be stuck in certain areas for a bit.

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Graphically the game holds up very well. I can’t say that it’s the prettiest game I’ve ever seen, but I can see that the fidelity quality make the world very immersive and is what I would expect from a game from this generation with hardware this powerful. In short, it doesn’t disappoint.

Choices are another important part of Quantum Break. Jack has many situations that play out differently depending on which choice players make. It’s nothing new, but it forces players to slow down and really think about what they want to do next.

The last piece of the puzzle is collectibles. Most games have them however it’s a little different in Quantum Break. Players don’t pick up things so much as learn new things about the world from reading articles or exploring areas off of the beaten path. It adds yet another dimension to an already deep game.

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I loved my time with Quantum Break. It was time well spent and really made me think. The story takes so many twists and turns, yet it is easy to follow and doesn’t leave any stone unturned. I’d play it again, and I think players should give it a shot. While I wouldn’t call it a must buy for everyone because the story type isn’t for everyone, I do think everyone should get out there and play it.