Review: Quantum Theory
By: Craig H.
On paper Quantum Theory looks like an intriguing new IP. The game may take a few cues from Gears of War but what new game doesn’t? Unfortunately, not everything is as it appears. The game feels dated at release with poor visuals, bad shooting mechanics, horrible pacing and a bad checkpoint system that punishes you again and again.
In Quantum Theory a great war wreaked havoc and devastation upon humanity. Long after the devastation a tower has risen from within an abandoned city. The tower spawned the “diablosis” which contaminated the nearby colonies and transformed its inhabitants into monsters. Players take the role of Syd whose sole purpose in life is to destroy these towers. After a short run with an inept militia, Syd presses forward deeper into the tower to find the core and destroy it. Along your quest players meet a character with similar intentions, Filena. The two fight side-by-side to conquer the tower and help restore order to the world.
The gameplay is a third person shooter that takes a huge amount of cues from the Gears of War franchise. While in most circumstances this is common practice the game does a poor job at imitating what Gears does well. While using the cover system, the character is either too large for the cover or the cover does not protect your character at all. Jumping behind cover is a 50/50 shot as to whether it will actually provide you protection to regenerate your health. The oversized character models seem to leave your character susceptible to enemy fire. The only cover that works is when it’s a full wall or a large column. Trying to move between cover has you sprinting from one to another instead of the quick move that players expect. Since the character moves like a tank it can be difficult to get from point A to point B efficiently.
The boss battles in the game consist of the old school “shoot the weak point” system. Instead of looking for openings or learning the boss you simply shoot the glowing weak points. After shooting these points enough the boss simply dies without any dramatic finish. The bosses in the game are huge creatures that could have easily been a highlight of the game but became one of the biggest disappointments.
The game features unique gameplay mechanics. The towers are living items and as such are constantly changing. This aspect will have the environment move constantly on you and thus provide or take away cover. This aspect is interesting especially when you are in large battles with loads of enemies. Having cover pulled from you and your enemies while in the heat of battle will constantly force you to rethink your strategy. Several times in the campaign you will be riding on the back of one of the diablosis. During these sections you will have to move from cover to cover to avoid enemy fire from several directions. Having to always look over your shoulder or try to kill enemies while constantly moving is very difficult but hugely satisfying when you take them out.
The games visuals are terribly dated. The backgrounds look flat, un-detailed and everything has a high gloss texture on it. The character model for Syd, Felina, and the enemies all look good but when placed in such an ugly environment they look out of place. The CG cutscenes in the game do look fantastic. Again, when transitioning from the CG cutscenes to the in game visuals it only exacerbates the striking difference in overall quality.
The checkpoint system is hit or miss. In some cases you will have tons of checkpoints but when you are in battle and move through large sections there are none. In one circumstance you have to kill five waves of enemies without dying. The problem is that later in the waves you deal with sniper rifles and rockets which will kill you almost immediately. After fighting through four waves only to have to restart the whole thing is incredibly frustrating. Situations like this happen far too often and make you want to just quit the game.
Along with the frustrating checkpoint system is the inclusion of horrible difficulty spikes. In most cases you can plow through enemies or pick them off with headshots. Then, out of nowhere, you will have sections that will require you to play through again and again because the same enemies suddenly decided to have expert marksmanship and incredible armor.
Quantum Theory comes packed with four multiplayer modes across five maps…if you can find a match. During the week of release it took almost a full hour to get into a match. When we finally were able to meet the minimum requirement of six people we were able to play three rounds before the other competitors dropped out. The four modes consist of Executioner (solo deathmatch), Dead or Alive (team battle), Guardian (leader mode), and Controlled Chaos (host picks rules). The only mode that is not a standard multiplayer mode is Guardian. In Guardian the competitors are split between two teams and a leader is selected at random. The goal is to kill the opposing teams’ leader before your leader is killed. The modes are standard and provide some longevity to the game but the lack of players will not keep players around for long.
Overall, Quantum Theory is a dated game even at release. The graphics are unpolished, the game has insane difficulty spikes, a poor checkpoint system and almost zero replay value. No one is playing this game online and those who play through the campaign once will not want to play anymore anyways.
- High quality CG cutscenes
- Constantly changing cover requires strategy during battles
- Riding a diablosis while trying to take out enemies is entertaining
- Dated visuals
- Horribly bad spikes in difficulty
- Terrible checkpoint system will have you playing sections over and over
- Boss battles boil down to simply shooting illuminated weak point. No strategy needed.
- No one is playing this game online
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