Welcome along gamers to this MGLowdown featuring our Quantum Break Impressions from the first few hours of the game, and it’s live action show. But not only do you get our thoughts here, there is also gameplay from Respawn Rossco’s playthrough, how the Junctions work in the game to apply future altering choices and the live action show’s first episode.
*Review now live!*
See our full review of the game here:
The article also contains all you need to know on Quantum Break with all the launch details including the official game features and trailers launched for the title, all right here for you on MGL.
Our Quantum Break Review can go live here Friday 1st of April in the morning so make sure you check our final thoughts our then. Right now go down the page for our impressions, the Gameplay and Trailers are here or if you just want the official details, Go Here for The Games Features.
One game that got me excited for the Xbox One all before it was launched was Remedy’s project that focused on time travel. So to get this chance to play the game and bring you some ongoing Quantum Break Impressions is going to be a lot of fun.
The good news is the game, in the early stages, is a lot of fun too, which is something we do like to see in our games here on MGL. And I’ve enjoyed my time with the game and there is a lot to like throughout, but here I am only able to talk on the first part of the game, for my full thoughts check out the review Friday April 1’st. You can also see some gameplay footage as part of this preview on the next page our via our YouTube Channel.
The game makes a great start, the entire experience of the first act and first part of the second involve somethings Remedy get spot on.
Quantum Break starts out very well and soon introduces you to the themes of the game; with the plot its main focus along with some cool action scenes with your time based powers. It’s not perfect however, and I do have some concerns that the long development time has made some elements make the game feel a little trapped in time.
Before I start on my experience there is a big fat 720p Elephant in the room. My thoughts on this split slightly for I have never once gone, “Oh wow, I want to play that… but only if is 1080p and 60 frames per second, no matter how cool the game looks!” It’s simply not a question or even a thought in my mind. If anything, I’d never know the resolution if not being close to the industry.
But, as a person who is close I will say it’s a shame it’s not up to the standards set by other titles and given a long development period you’d think they should have got there. The game ISN’T 720p though, it’s more than that using some funky technology to hit higher in different situations getting to around 900p most of the time. This isn’t too noticeable as you play to be honest, and for this small let down Remedy already seem to be getting a lot of things right in the early hours of the game, so I’m not overly concerned and I wouldn’t recommend you being this way either.
The game makes a great start, the entire experience of the first act and first part of the second involve somethings Remedy get spot on especially the acting and the interaction between the characters. What’s most striking is the face capture of the main cast, the lead Jack Joyce played by Shaun (Iceman) Ashmore is amazingly well done and even while you are directly controlling him and he’s walks and talks, expressions and lip syncing is outstanding.
This extends beyond Jack and into his excellence supporting cast. They’re all top actors here that are perfect for the integration of a live action show, which I’ll get to later, all of them captured perfectly for the story elements. The environments are nice to, the game shows off some cool lighting effects and detail around you as you move around the University in the opening act and Ground Zero in the next, but some other motion and animation is less impressive.
In a world where you have Lara croft dangling from an ice hook looking like if you don’t grasp the ledge she will suffer an awful death, and everything moves and feels so on the edge… Quantum Break has so far not reached that level of intensity with the more action-platform sequences. Now the cash in act 2 where everything begins to fall around you on the docks and objects are trapped in time, moving back and forth are very cool. I just don’t think it quite captures the same sense of danger and doesn’t have the same dramatic animation techniques as other titles in the genre.
But the biggest annoyance for me so far is the load screens. They arrive at times you’d expect of last gen not this. For example, you start the game pull up in a taxi and get out and the camera moves to a “gameplay mode” position… Then Mr loading screen arrives. It also popped up before cut scenes have finished a few times too which gets in the way of what is a promising plot. Now I’m going to save more harsh criticism here until my final review since I know this is something they are working on before the game launches, since a bit of an update to our review code it’s a little better but there is some way to go yet in my opinion.
If loading screens and a few animations are my concerns however, you know there is going to be a lot of good elements around that. What Remedy get right is excellent and there are some exceptional moments in this game, in both the story and the action sequences, even in the first few hours of the game. It certainly doesn’t hold back on the action early on with everything kicking off a few moments following the beginning sequence you are shooting enemies and using your time based powers.
Your first unlock allows you to stop time in a field around enemies and they are trapped within it. But then you can shoot this and do some bullet stacking so when it bursts the person inside takes heavy damage. This is not just cool, it’s pretty essential to knocking back some of the more armoured goons you come across. There is also time dodge which zips you in any direction you choose and, again, has more than just the face value effect. Aiming right after the dodge puts you in a focus where you have a little bullet-time style window to get some shots away as you enemy is moving slower than you.
Both villains of the piece Paul Serene, played by Aidan (Game of Thrones) Gillen and Martin Hatch, played by Lance (The Wire) Reddick are outstanding.
Time shield blocks incoming attacks and will knock people away from you if they get too close, and you also have a charged up blast that can take out a group of enemies at once. And this is just in the first few hours!
Mixed with some solid, if not overly special, third person shooting mechanics you have some action moments that are a lot of fun. I’m not a fan of automatic cover that the game uses, I much prefer The Division style where you activate/deactivate cover but since you are a super-powered badass it somewhat works to be more fluid here. The weapons are a bit standard, nothing really special here either but the main focus is on using your powers mixed with gunfire not cool guns.
With the action really hitting home early-on it’s worth pointing out the game has slower moments focused on the plot and one part of the game that becomes obvious early on is how much there is to find around you. Documents, laptops even people are around to get information from and this adds to the game somewhat, but being optional means if you skip it means a lot of the game can be missed. How will this affect the length of the game overall? I guess you’ll find out Friday.
Back to the plot and one thing here that has to be said is how good the actors are and particularly, how good the villains are portrayed throughout the game . Both villains of the piece Paul Serene, played by Aidan (Game of Thrones) Gillen and Martin Hatch, played by Lance (The Wire) Reddick are outstanding in their roles early on and really are very believable as evil men. While Paul’s intentions start out based on understandable circumstances, you soon realise he’s not fully sane. Hatch is more business-like and conniving with his methods and is willing to let Paul make the hard calls, which is actually YOU making the hard calls.
Each Act ends with a Junction, a choice on how the future will play out. Depending on your choice as you take control of Paul Serene and his powers, this will affect some of Jack Joyce’s experience and if some characters, even early in the game, survive or not. This is a cool mechanic and this then goes on to affect the live action show which is also played out by the same cast, added with some excellent supporting actors that all play very solid roles in what is a well done first episode. I enjoyed it, and while this is skippable, I’d personally recommend you watch the first one to get a feel for it because it’s really impressive.
More to come from me this week on Quantum Break, a game I have had some fun with over the past week and remember, there is more on the next page of this preview with some gameplay and official trailers, along with more details on the game’s official features on page 3.
Make sure you’re on MGL Friday for our Official Game review. Head over the page for my gameplay footage from the start of the game, the first Junction and Episode One of the Live action show.