Quantum Break is at once simpler and more confounding than any Remedy game that preceded it. It’s simultaneously a throwaway action shooter, a well-meaning but ill-judged experiment in cross-media, and one of the most visually arresting games ever made. It’s a truly paradoxical work, one that I think is Remedy’s most intriguing to date. Not because of the flash visuals or the ambitious time-travel plot, but because it makes a clear attempt to distance itself from the studio’s earlier output.
That it doesn’t always succeed only makes it more fascinating.
From its opening scenes, there’s a clear difference in tone to Quantum Break compared to Remedy’s previous games. Here the framing device isn’t the weary internal monologue of Max Payne or the narration of Alan Wake, but a clipped and confrontational police interrogation. The subject of that interrogation is Jack Joyce, brother of the esteemed (and soon to be deceased) quantum physicist William Joyce.