|Quantum Break (2016) Reviews|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly Now||7.5/10|
|Official Xbox Magazine (UK)||8/10[note 1]|
|PC Gamer US||70/100|
|Compilations of multiple reviews|
(Windows 10) 67/100
(Windows 10) 66.00%
Quantum Break released April 5, 2016 to generally positive reviews. According to aggregating review websites, Metacritic and GameRankings, the Xbox One version of the game has received 77/100 based on 100 reviews, and 78.00% based on 65 reviews. Common praise came from the structure of the game's storytelling --- its ability to deliver complicated or convoluted plot points in a "digestible" manner ---, and the realization of facial animation in characters that resembled their real-life counterparts.
Among the most common criticisms the game received was the manner in which the delivery of its background information (found in narrative and intel objects) required the player to constantly pause the game to read them, and gunplay that that lacked "hipfire"; the ability to take cover at will, or an over-reliance on cover based mechanics implemented in the game. Not unlike the television series, the game was criticized for its use of Microsoft Windows and Nissian product placement.
Peter Brown of GameSpot stated that the game was hindered by its hybrid of television and game, its ambitions to combine both mediums failing to pay off in any way that satisfied expectations. "[...]the disparate parts don't gel well together because your influence over some events creates expectations that fail to pan out in the bigger picture." Brown also believed that the game's shooting mechanics relied too much on a "dynamic-cover system", wherein the player character automatically ducked down behind cover.
Tristan Oglivie of IGN stated that "Quantum Break is an artistically distinct shooter, with a compelling and malleable plot and excellent performances from its main players in both their digital and live-action forms. While I wish more thought had gone into maintaining the thrill of discovering its time-twisting powers from start to finish, it ultimately didn't prevent me from thoroughly enjoying Quantum Break’s 10-hour campaign, two times over."
Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb felt the game's third person shooting mechanics were poor, depending too much on cover, its "Time Powers" even less impressive. "It feels like the developers just came up with a set of abilities and slapped the word "time" on the front of each one. The gun handling in Quantum Break is pretty underwhelming and the powers at your disposal don't feel as cool as they probably should." Gerstmann also felt the platforming and puzzle mechanics in the game were a stronger example of the gameplay elements failing "to work together and chain off of each other".
Martin Robinson of Eurogamer states Quantum Break's strengths lay within its visual effects, "a showcase of excellence on Remedy's behalf as it creates an experience that's aggressively handsome, delivered with great visual flair. When those firefights break out into noisy showers of sparks, pockets of fractured time and splinters of scenery, Quantum Break shows the magic that can happen when you give a handful of demoscene veterans a Hollywood budget." With regard to gameplay, Robinson believed the "cover system" of the game was "smart enough to be effective and almost entirely invisible to the player".
Peter Paras of Game Revolution remarked that the game's sound design, with regard to character dialog, often led to overlapping voices during predetermined narration sequences, and dialog a character would speak whenever a collectible was interacted with. He took issue with the environment design of the game, stating, "the use of time lapses is spotty or at least doesn’t seem to make sense. Why do I have to stand in a certain spot to activate it when the time ability affects the entire room?"
Polygon praised the game's storytelling and attempt to blend the medium of video game and televisions together in a manner Arthur Gies believed was far more succinct than Metal Gear Solid director, Hideo Kojima. Gies praised the narrative use of Junction points, told from the point of the view of Paul Serene. "You're making decisions as a villain, and are given the option to see the direct consequences of your actions — but the events that unfold after that are impossible to know". Gies goes on to say that the choice allowed Remedy to humanize the villain in a manner the game "otherwise doesn't accomplish, adding a tragic spin to the story".
With regard to the gamelay, Gies remarks that, on the surface, Quantum Break is not an impressive third person shooter as it ignored standard mechanics present in other third person shooters for automatic cover implementation.
Matt Buchholtz of Electronic Gaming Monthly Now noted, while many aspects of the game were stylized for visual effect, praised the graphics of the game, saying, "Some cutscenes are incredible, quickly closing the gap on the uncanny valley between CG and reality". Buchholtz states that the menu of the game (referred to as the "Timeline") was impressively designed.
- Main article: Quantum Break (Windows 10)#Critical Reception
April 11, 2016, according to Chart-Track, Quantum Break debuted at number one in the UK among the top ten games of that month. In it's first week, it was the first Microsoft published game to reach the number one spot since the October 2015 debut of Halo 5: Guardians. Quantum Break outsold games such as Dirt Rally (which debuted second) by a 139 sales. Char-Track's assessment of the game's sales did not include the digital sales on the Windows 10 and referred to the Xbox One version only.
That same day, Microsoft representative Aaron Greenberg reported that Quantum Break was their best and fastest selling original property since the release of Xbox One exclusive titles Sunset Overdrive and Ryse: Sun of Rome.
May 2016, according to NPD Group sales analyst, Liam Callahan, reported physical media and hardware experienced low sales in comparison to sales of the same month in the previous year. According to NPD, Quantum Break sold a reported 109k in the United States in its first week, which was considerably lower than Alan Wake's 145k sales in 2010.
Quantum Break experienced at 25% drop in sales and fell to seventh place in software sales, below Dark Souls III and Ratchet and Clank, which debuted at the top of May's top ten highest selling games. The Ratchet and Clank reboot, an exclusive for the PlayStation 4, is noted for outperforming the Xbox One sales of Quantum Break. Quantum Break's overall sales, including bundle sales, was a reported 150,000.
June 10, 2016, Daniel Ahmad, analyst at Niko Parnters, reported that Quantum Break experienced a "second poor month" and had yet to break the 200k sales at retail in the United States, based on the NPD Group's Packaged Software feed.
August 25, 2016, Aaron Greenberg reported that Quantum Break sold "better than expected" and met the expectations of Microsoft. However, he provided no details on the exact number of sales expected of the game. In addition, when presumably asked about a sequel, Greenberg stated, "[...]just like every movie, not every game needs a sequel. Sometimes it's okay".
- ↑ Defer to the UK issue of Official Xbox Magazine, released April 18, 2016