Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Quantum Break: XBox One Review

Quantum Break: XBox One Review

Developed by Remedy Entertainment
Platform: XBox One

To say that the XBox One has been awaiting a major exclusive this year is perhaps an understatement.

And to say that Quantum Break, from the studio who brought us Alan Wake, is a title that fulfills the expectation is also an understatement.

Meshing TV and gaming together has been on the cards for a while now, but Remedy Entertainment are the first out of the box with this time-travel tale that stars some big Hollywood names.

In this third person shooter, X-Men and The Following star Shawn Ashmore is Jack Joyce. Called back to a fictional university to come and help long-time friend Paul Serene (Game of Thrones and The Wire star Aiden Gillen), Jack finds himself in a time-travel experiment gone wrong.

As with these kinds of experiments-gone-wrong stories, Jack finds himself endowed with special timey-wimey powers. Which is perhaps just as well because suddenly Joyce is being hunted, his brother who was involved in the original experiment is in a spot of bother and a whole amount of hell has been unleashed.

There's no doubting Quantum Break's ambition.

It's not just a straight shooter game, it's a total experience package, with a TV show thrown in as well. But it's also a game that demands that you work with it. In terms of the powers, it takes a little time to adjust to what's expected and how best to use the scope of the possibilities around you.

Add in the fact that you need to explore to pick up extra portions of the game and get more of the story and it's a fairly damn near totally immersive experience. This is where you pick up the story and get more of an idea what's been going on rather than just simply relying on cut scenes to give you a wider picture.

That said, there are moments when the cover doesn't quite work as well as you'd hope and Jack can spring out from where he's hiding into a hail of bullets, ending your game there and then. It takes practice and certainly with the number of abilities that Jack acquires, you're going to need more than just a few fingers and a bit of time to get it all together to gel into something coherent.

But when it does, it's a symphony of action and a superb piece of gaming. Given the deeper immersion too, there's plenty to latch onto in Quantum Break. Occasionally, it could do with pausing and catching its breath, but as an original title, the experience of playing Quantum Break, along with its superb cast of actors and top notch rendering, is like nothing we've seen this year. And given the continuing number of remasters and next chapters in games, this is creativity that the industry so desperately needs to strive for to survive and evolve.

Interview with Quantum Break star Shawn Ashmore.

Don't forget, I also had a chat to Remedy Entertainment's Thomas Puha about the game - listen to that interview below too.

Quantum Break is out now on XBox One.

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