Quantum Break serves up a tale of time breaking down, prepared two ways. The game has undoubtedly sold an incalculable amount of Xbox One consoles, or the exclusive at least sealed the deal for many gamers, but a lot of early reviews have deemed it hard to palate what developer Remedy is dishing out.
There are more than a handful of glowing reviews for Quantum Break. But for gamers who care about what the critics have been saying, there are more than a handful of high-profile news outlets that are deriding Quantum Break as being disjointed.
Quantum Break follows protagonist Jack Joyce, the brother of a physicist who has been experimenting with time travel at the clandestine Monarch Corporation.
One of those time-travel experiments goes south, ripping a tear in time and imparting Jack, and others, with the ability to manipulate time. Paul Serene, head of Monarch Corporation, sets out to patch the tear in time, though his approach is at odds with Jack's.
Of the biggest complaints reviewers have had about Quantum Break so far are its story, which some have described as failing to live up to its promise. The other common complaint is that its gameplay and live-action series are at odds with one another.
In this third-person cover shooter, players play through four junctions at which they decide, from antagonist Paul's perspective, what happens next. Those junctions arrive at breaks in the gameplay and launch episodes from the game's live-action series, with the outcome based on what the player has chosen.
As a TV show, Quantum Break "stinks," states VG247's James O'Connor in his review of the game.
"There's little in the way of directorial flourish, early episodes introduce characters with almost no context and performances generally range from hammy (from the actors who seem aware of how above the whole thing they are) to amateurish," O'Connor writes.
Actor Aidan Gillen, who voices the game's protagonist, is "the one exception," O'Connor continues. Gillen's use in the show and the game allowed him to "imbue Paul Serene with a depth and tragedy that the other characters aren't afforded."
While Polygon's Arthur Gies was also critical of the game's live-action element, he seems to have a better time playing the game and his outlet came up with a favorable score of 8.5 out of 10 for Quantum Break.
"There's some wonky shooting and a few cringeworthy story cliches present," Gies writes. "But ineffective cover systems and narrative fridges notwithstanding, Quantum Break feels like the first action game taking real lessons from the Netflix binge-watch era, and in that respect, it's a surprising success."
Here's a roundup of scores from Quantum Break's early reviews, adjusted to a scale of 10:
Digital Spy: 10
Game Informer: 8.5
Pure Xbox: 8
Giant Bomb: 4