Although not an entirely pleasant thing to do, cast your mind back to the Xbox Oneâ€™s unveiling in 2013. Microsoft was busy outlining the future of the then upcoming Xbox One, showing off the Kinect 2.0 while detailing how they wanted to console to become an-all-in-one home entertainment centre. Gaming, music, TV, live action sports and films – all in one 1980â€™s VHS player sized box.
That plan didnâ€™t quite come to fruition – Microsoftâ€™s voyage into TV production began and ended with the mostly enjoyable Atari: Game Over. As for crossovers between the two mediums, Remedyâ€™s Quantum Break finally launches next week. The developer has obviously had to ride a turbulent tide of Microsoftâ€™s forever changing aims and goals; something thatâ€™s apparent when playing this time-bending shooter. Scores are mostly positive, but most reviewers warned against bizarre design choices and a few were unimpressed with the low-budget Syfy-style live action scenes.
As a game that prompts you to put the joypad down to watch a TV show, you could argue that it was always going to divide the critics. Eurogamer meanwhile said that more often for better than for worse, there’s never been anything like Quantum Break, and it’s hard to imagine there ever being anything like it again. Weâ€™re paraphrasing here, hence the lack of quotation marks.
Currently it stands with a Metacritic of 78%, with scores ranging from 5/5 to 2/5. Very few mediocre 5/10 reviews, oddly.
Take a look for yourself:
5/5 – Digital Spy: “Is Quantum Break, with its meld of compelling gameplay, strong storyline and high-quality TV series, really the future of gaming? Yes, but maybe it’ll be Quantum Break 2 (if there is one) that truly nails it 100%”
90/100 – GamesBeat: “Quantum Break is a memorable game. It makes me truly wonder if any of us can truly escape the reach of time, and it reminds me we all have to live with the choices we make”
90/100 – Gaming Trend: “With an engrossing story, an amazing cast, and the most beautiful visuals on the Xbox One weâ€™ve ever seen, Quantum Break is a masterpiece”
9.0 – Lazy Gamer: “An engrossing adventure with a captivating story. experimentation with new mediums for telling stories in games and refined third-person gameplay to match. Quantum Break isnâ€™t optional, itâ€™s essential”
8.5 – ZTDG: “The merger of TV and gaming has been sought after for years, but they have somehow managed to pull it off. It works, and that is probably the biggest shock out of the entire package”
8.5 – Destructoid: “Quantum Break won’t at all times feel like a game, as the player spends a fair chunk of time relegated to spectator. But, no matter which side Quantum Break is showing, it’s always going to be a spectacular one”
8.5 – The Jimquisition: “The Xbox One may have failed to live up to its dreams of being a cross-media entertainment portal, but we got Quantum Break out of it, and thatâ€™s just fine by me”
8.5 – GameInformer: “Quantum Break isnâ€™t a perfect game; itâ€™s a bold experiment in how two mediums can tell a larger story, and at times it pays off”
4/5 – Slant Magazine: “Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break feels like the game the Finnish developer has been working up to ever since the comparatively meager days of the original Max Payne”
8.0 – IGN: “Quantum Break is a stylish, often-exhilarating third-person shooter wrapped up in a tautly paced tale of time travel”
8/10 – VideoGamer: “As thoroughly entertaining as the whole package is, Quantum Break feels like it managed to reach only 80 per cent of Remedy’s potential. If only the technology existed to go back in time to change some design docs”
7.5 – EGM: “Quantum Break is a intriguing science-fiction tale told across two media platforms. While the action and exploration in the video game portions shine, the live-action episodes create a disconnect that is hard to recover from”
3.5/5 – GamesRadar: “The elements of a fantastic and creative action game are all present and correct, and at times Quantum Break is indeed both of those things. But unfortunately its various disparate parts tend to get in each otherâ€™s way, leading to a needlessly complicated presentation that inhibits anything from shining as brightly as it should”
7/10 – God is a Geek: “Undeniably ambitious, Remedy’s game certainly feels unique in many ways, but perhaps not in the ways that truly matter”
3/5 – The Telegraph: “This is a game with plenty of good ideas. Too many, perhaps, with none given the room to flourish in what is a lavish, clumsy but always entertaining cacophony”
6/10 – The Metro: “A less than fruitful mix of TV show and video game, where although the individual components are competent theyâ€™re never quite interesting enough to justify the peculiar set-up”
6/10 – GameSpot: “Getting to the end of Quantum Break can be an interesting ride at times, but no matter how impressive the combat is, or how great the game looks, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s driven by a story with limited appeal and hindered by disappointing design decisions”
2/5 – Time: “With great power should come interesting opposition, but in Quantum Break opponents are familiar busywork”
2/5 – Giant Bomb: “Quantum Break is an ambitious experience, but neither the video game nor the live-action sides of this time travel story come together in a satisfactory way”
Quantum Break is out next Tuesday. Digital pre-orders include Alan Wake and DLC. On a related note, GAME were forced to swap out Alan Wakeâ€™s American Nightmare for Kameo: Elements of Power due to age restrictions. You can still get an American Nightmare code if you take ID to the store, though.
Thereâ€™s a bit more on this peculiar switcheroo here.