Who else has been hyped for this since the start? It’s been one hell of a long wait.
First a quick overview of my favourite characters because this is important.
Aidan Gillen plays Paul Serene the bad guy. He was great. This guy has been great in everything I’ve seen him in, which granted isn’t a lot but hey, he’s one for one with me so I don’t care.
I’m avoiding spoilers but he’s one of those villains that believes he’s doing the right thing and they always tend to be the best villains, holds true here, he’s awesome.
Jack Heusinger plays Liam Burke and he is one of the leads in the live action show. When I first saw him my first thought was “Oh no, I don’t want to follow this guy” but by the end of the first episode he won me over and ended up being entertaining to watch.
Liam just wants to protect his family and he’s willing to let himself die if it means his wife and unborn child will be able to live. His story really hits you with the emotional punch.
Lance Reddick plays Martin Hatch, I’ve been a fan of this guy for a while and he’s been in some really good stuff. I was excited to watch him play a villain and… He’s a good villain. His motives are so so and he’s just there to be the villain, which is fine every action movie/tv show needs some sort of force to keep things going and he did his job perfectly.
Notice anything? The villains. Yep only villains. The good guys in this game are some of the most boring characters ever, not just in video games, they are some of the most boring characters ever.
Shawn Ashmore lacks charisma and the necessary qualities of a leading man, and the leading lady is so one note… Wow. I can’t believe that the guys we are supposed to root for were this boring.
Shawn Ashmore wasn’t bad bad, he was just miscast. He is not a leading man and he is definitely not a lead for an action property.
The other good guys are boring, there is no character that you want to root for. Usually it’s the villains people complain about because they lack clear motivations or are moustache twirlers. However here it’s the good guys. while the good guys do have motivations, it just boils down to saving the world, I need more than that. I want to care about Jack Joyce (Shawn Ashmore) as he struggles to fight, not be bored by it.
What makes the villains so interesting is that they all have their reasons for being on the bad side, outside of Lance Reddick, he’s literally just a bad guy but he chews it up and is entertaining to watch.
The live action show is really well done, nobody feels like they’re phoning in a performance and it’s got a pretty big budget. Some of the action scenes are okay, nothing compared to Daredevil or comparable shows but they definitely aren’t the worst. I did encounter streaming issues and the episodes are not available to download as I write this review, hopefully after launch the streaming issues will be fixed and if not the hopefully the episodes will be available to download.
Having so much focus on the villains gives us context that we don’t really get in most action games, or even movies. It makes for a compelling showdown in the game which is unfortunately let down by the typical bad western boss fights.
Overall the story is pretty good, there’s too many unanswered questions for my liking and too much sequel baiting (sequel baiting isn’t always bad) but other than that it was an alright story, if it wouldn’t of been for the live action show I wouldn’t have that much praise for it.
The game attempts to set itself apart from other third person shooters with the time based gameplay but it feels held back until the later parts of the game.
Early on most encounters are freeze time and shoot. Freeze time and shoot. Repeat. It gets repetitive pretty quickly, I actually started to get a bit bored of the combat in the first hour of the game.
Even the weapons are lacking, yeah the shotgun is strong, but the handgun has unlimited ammo and until the final few encounters you can pretty much get through the whole game just using the handgun.
You really only get into encounters that require you to be on your feet at all times, using your different powers and switching weapons in the final act which only lasts for a little over an hour. This is too little too late if you ask me.
Because the game takes such a long time to get to this, the early encounters feel stale and boring. Also the time based powers feel really unimaginative even during the more complex battles. I’ve already played many games with similar abilities, it would’ve been nice for them to do something different.
That’s the least of the games problems though, this is supposed to be a story focused game, so how come when I’m playing the game it feels like filler content?
For most games, it’s fine to spend one hour looking for a character or trying to accomplish something as simple as getting to the docks but in a story focused game it ends up artificially lengthening the game.
Games like Uncharted, specifically Uncharted 2, have you constantly moving through the story, spending an hour of gameplay escaping a destroyed train matters. When you play Quantum Break, the story stops, everything you do feels like gameplay for the sakes of gameplay.
I’m not one of these idiots who say gameplay should be removed from games but clearly something has gone wrong here. There’s a reason this game was delayed so many times.
I can’t help but think that this game would’ve been better if it and the show were separate. This would allow for the game to tell a complete story and weave story into the gameplay, but because most of the story happens at the end of acts or in the live action episodes it just feels disjointed.
Here’s the thing… Quantum Break isn’t a bad game. It’s functional, the gameplay picks up at the end, it has cool characters and a decent story. It’s just let down by filler gameplay and boring good guys.
It’s probably going to be my most disappointing game of 2016 because I was really looking forward to this. Hopefully the sequel that was teased after the credits is able to fix the problems and make Jack Joyce a more interesting character.
- Live Action Show
- Shawn Ashmore is miscast
- Gameplay doesn't pick up till the final act