Xbox Game Pass Hidden Gems (May 5th) - Quantum Break

Shawn Ashmore in Quantum Break (Image via GameStop)
Shawn Ashmore in Quantum Break (Image via GameStop)

Hey, we're back with another Xbox Game Pass Hidden Gems, and this week, we're looking at one of the more ambitious titles on the service's lineup: Quantum Break.

Remedy Entertainment is one of those studios that, when you see a game by them, you know it's by them. Not in an LJN on the NES kind of way - it's the opposite. Whether the game in question turns out to be your cup of tea or not, you can rest assured that, at the very least, actual effort and quality went into making it.


Quantum Break followed up Alan Wake

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In 2016, Remedy was fresh off the well-received Alan Wake, and Microsoft set them up to make something new. A new IP - so, no Alan Wake 2... yet - that could cover different forms of media. Something that involved time travel.

That something was Quantum Break.


What was Quantum Break?

Quantum Break wasn't just a game, though. Microsoft wanted to intertwine the game's narrative with a TV show - also called Quantum Break, of course. The characters - in both the show and the game - were portrayed by some pretty talented Hollywood veterans.

Stars like Shawn Ashmore (Iceman from the X-Men films), Aiden Gillian (from HBO's The Wire and Game of Thrones), the late Lance Reddick (The Wire, as well as Destiny 2 and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand), and Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings films.)

The TV episodes were included in the game itself, so players weren't required to check their local listings to follow along with the game's plot. It was a logical follow-up to Alan Wake in that that game was also structured episodically.


More than the sum of its parts

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This was more than just some attempt to make a multi-media franchise, like The Matrix or the MCU. This game was by Remedy and, as we pointed out earlier, there's quality in their work.

Players would have access to several time-altering abilities - including slowing down time or stopping it altogether. These powers didn't just come into play during combat - though there was plenty of that - but also in solving puzzles. It's the same kind of integration Remedy would showcase later in Control.

The story of Quantum Break is the best kind of twisty science fiction, with Remedy consulting numerous experts - science and otherwise - to make their made-up science as plausible as they could.

The narrative moments move the game's action along nicely, and the performances range from "just fine" to "absolutely great." Lance Reddick's performance especially stands out. The game and the show take enough time to develop the characters - even the ones not as important to the narrative - without seeming like they're dwelling on things.


So, why do we recommend it?

Quantum Break is an example of a game that got lost in the media franchise its publisher was trying to create. If it had been released the same way Control was, we'd probably have seen Quantum Break 2 instead of Control. Control is amazing, though, so everything worked out fine.

Everything about this game is so worth your time. If you loved the gameplay in Control or the Alan Wake games, you will feel right at home here. If you like weird science fiction that's smart - but also kinda stupid in the right places - you're going to dig it.

The only downside to this game is that we will probably never get a Quantum Break 2, which is probably for the best now since we no longer have Lance Reddick among us. However, after the result of this game and how amazing Control and Alan Wake 2 turned out, let's hope that Remedy gets the opportunity to create something with this kind of ambition and star power behind it.

Go play this nowwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

We're not sure what we will recommend next week but, if you're a Game Pass fan and you have a suggestion, we're all ears. Let us know in the comments. Have a great week!

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Edited by Adarsh J Kumar
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