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Quantum Break

Developed by: Remedy Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Xbox One
I’m not so sure that they’ll make the game the same way if they do another one, but for what it’s worth, I think Microsoft Studios has another franchise on their hands.

Over the past decade, it seems like 75% of video games have dedicated most of their focus to multiplayer modes. The story isn’t talked about nearly as much as the multiplayer, there have even been a few titles – Star Wars Battlefront and Titanfall – to be completely void of any story telling mode – there’s a few story telling elements – but they skipped one player campaigns altogether. That’s why it’s nice to see a game like Quantum Break. It’s a title that’s dedicated to a one player campaign and story mode – and even goes as far as to integrate four 20-30-minute TV episodes inside of the game.

Jack Joyce heads to Ocean View – his college town to visit his friend Paul Serene to see his groundbreaking project. It’s at the University where Paul sees what Jack was really up to. Paul built a giant time machine. Predictably, the thing looks like it’s too big to work perfectly and instead of just going back in time or going into the future, Serene sets off a cataclysmic event that puts the entire universe at risk. It’s up to Jack to use his brother’s William’s research to save the universe and set time to be right again. He does that with a set of super powers that includes stopping time, rewinding different objects to solve puzzles, time rush, time dash – pretty much anything you can think of with time – Jack can do it. Here’s the catch Paul can do it too and somehow in the process of the experiment Paul Serene went nuts and is willing to sacrifice the human race itself to meet his goals.

The biggest selling point for Quantum Break is the story. It’s well told inside and outside of the gameplay. The animated cut scenes that are shown are all really terrific and the episodes between the acts in the game are cool too. If there’s one criticism that I have from those out of game TV episodes – it’s that the direction is an absolute mess. The story is cool; the direction is terrible. There are too many close shots to capture the scope of what’s happening and there’s really not a big variety of shots throughout those TV episodes. The acting is actually all really good – something that I wasn’t expecting, but the direction in those TV episodes needs a lot of work.

The other big selling point with Quantum Break is Jay Joyce’s superhuman abilities to control time. We’ve seen games like this before – Wanted and anything Matrix related comes to mind – but Quantum Break does so many of these things really well. The fighting sequences are all decently challenging and the same can be said for the puzzles inside of the levels. I loved Quantum Break’s gameplay despite a few different problems with controls, cameras, and a few other bugs.

There really is a lot to like with Quantum Break. An amazing acting cast and a big production budget top the list. As far as gameplay, it doesn’t do anything that we really haven’t seen before. Still, it’s a fun game and a cool story that’s great to jump in to for fans of video game storytelling. I’m not so sure that they’ll make the game the same way if they do another one, but for what it’s worth, I think Microsoft Studios has another franchise on their hands.

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