Category: 3rd Person: Action
Developer: Team Tachyon
Publisher: Tecmo KOEI
2-8 Network Players
5.1 GB Required Hard Drive Space
They say imitation is the finest form of flattery. Well if that is the case then the Gears of Wars developers should consider themselves highly flattered. Quantum Theory is about the closest thing to Gears of War you can get. In fact, when I first gave Quantum Theory a spin I was a little taken aback with how similar Tecmo’s third person shooter was to Gears of War. Despite some of the obvious similarities, I was very curious to see if Quantum Theory could deliver an engaging storyline, superb visuals and enjoyable gameplay. Read on to find out.
Overall, the visuals in Quantum Theory for the PS3 are sharp. I found the level of detail in the game's main characters impressive; however, they are strikingly similar to the main characters and enemies in Gears of War. The game's characters are bulky and all look like have been on the “juice” and then some. This being said, they look decent and much better than I expected. The environments in the game are equally very sharp and some of the chaotic and ripped to shreds landscapes are nicely detailed. It is nothing incredibly original but it does look good in high definition. The majority of the game takes place in what is referred to as the “Living Tower” and it really does come to life in the game. The environments are continually evolving making for a game that never gets too stale in gameplay or appearance. So how does the game run? Quantum Theory does suffer from some occasional frame rate issues and there are some slow downs when things get a little too hectic. It is not a major issue but more of a small annoyance. The cut scenes look decent; however, why the game is not available in 1080i or 1080p is simply beyond me. This far into the life of the PS3, I view this as unacceptable. For this reason alone, I have to give Quantum Theory a hit in the visuals' department.
As far as the sound is concerned, Quantum Theory scores decent marks. The game is available in DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, so some of the game's action sequences certainly pack a punch. The in-game music is dynamic and amps up at the appropriate times. Again, nothing we have not heard before but it is perfectly suited for the game. Some of the game's weapon sound effects are great and are certainly on par with other great shooters already on the market. The voice acting is decent but nothing incredibly original and some of the characters one-liners are almost identical to the comments heard in Gears of War 1 and 2. They try to be comical at times but more often than not you end up groaning at half the lines. Other in-game sound effects sound as they should but they do sound good nonetheless. As an example, the landscapes crumbling from the Living Tower are impressive and some of the grunts and groans from enemies can also sound bone chilling as well. Overall, I had no major concerns with the game's overall sound package but it does come across as very average.
In terms of the game's storyline, a great war has wreaked havoc and devastation upon humanity. Setting the stage for abandoned cities, a massive environmental collapse, and a world too contaminated to restore itself. The game takes place 300 years since the “Lost Age” began. The remnants of humanity have banded together in several colonies throughout the wastelands to restore some semblance of the lives they once had. A tower rose within a city long abandoned by people. No one knew who made the tower or when it was made. Some even said the tower rose there by itself. However, the people feared to impenetrable fortress. Eventually the tower became a threat as the diablosis, a dark vile substance spawned from the mysterious tower, contaminated the colonies nearby and mutating people. People became infected and slaughtered any human they could. Eventually the people of the colonies created a militia to stop the diablosis. Now one of the last squads to deploy comes across a man wielding a dark and twisted gun with an aura like death itself. He joins the squad as they head out to destroy the tower. You play as the game's main hero, Syd, who embarks on a journey to destroy the mysterious tower.
Overall, the game's storyline is not a bad one, but it didn’t exactly captivate me either. Following the events that lead to the tower’s rise and ultimate demise had my attention to a certain point but eventually the story lost me to the repetitive battle sequences and non-stop fire fights. Bottom line, the story should be enough to keep your interests up but it is not a critical component to the gameplay by any means and is quite forgettable after everything is said and done.
To say that Quantum Theory’s single player mode plays out very much like Gears of War is an understatement. Quantum Theory is a linear affair filled with at times interesting cut-scenes, endless amounts of fire fights and a cover system as finicky as Gears of War cover system. The cover system is a gigantic aspect and critical component to the gameplay. If you cannot get a command of the cover system, you will inevitably fail. The ‘X’ button is used solely for the cover system and sometimes it just does not work exactly as it should. Often when I was attempting to jump out of cover, Syd would jump into another area and cover behind it. It can be frustrating at times as the cover system seems to have a mind of its own and I felt I was wresting with the controls. Not to mention a great deal of the firing occurs from behind cover. So when enemies are approaching you, jumping out of cover can be problematic as I found myself scrambling just to get out of dodge. Quantum Theory, to its own demise, simply places too much emphasis on the cover system and ultimately it is one of the game's biggest downfalls.
Unfortunately, the shooting mechanics in the game are also problematic at times. Taking down enemies takes a quite a few shots and aiming with any deal of accuracy is a tedious endeavour. Perhaps it is largely due to the PS3 controller, which to be honest I do not care for, but the fact remains enemies take some time to take out and aiming is difficult. You can adjust the sensitivity of the camera in the options menu but I did not find this helped a great deal. The aiming reticle is too small and firing with accuracy is a bugger.
The game, as I mentioned above, plays out in a linear fashion and plays similar to Gears in terms of its progression. Start a level with a cut-scene, advance facing a heap of enemies, and repeat until you reach a boss fight. That is Quantum Theory in a nut shell. The boss fights are enjoyable and you can tell the developers spent a great deal of time in this area. The boss fights are challenging and will have you throwing your controller in no time. Which is not a bad thing as it is incredibly rewarding to defeat the game's various bosses.
In terms of the controls, Quantum Theory is about what I expected. Aiming is accomplished with the L1 button and firing with the R1 button. This is pretty standard for the majority of shooters already on the market. Something unique to the game's controls however is the combo attacks where you can throw Filena (your sidekick) towards an enemy with devastating results. This combo attack is accomplished with the R2 button. The combo throws work quite well; however the game does fall into a quick mini cut-scene during these sequences which can be distracting and takes away from the gameplay to an extent. Additionally, whenever you deliver a headshot kill, the game also falls into one of these cut-scenes where you are shown the enemy's head shredding into pieces. It is cool the first few times but does get old and distracting in a hurry.
Quantum Theory does feature an online multiplayer component but sadly no cooperative mode. You would think that in order to compete with the likes of Gears of War, a co-operative mode would have been a no-brainer and would have made this game far more enjoyable. Sadly, Quantum Theory includes no such mode.
The multiplayer component to the game features ranked and unranked matches where you can join or host up to 8 player matches. Ranked matches include your typical deathmatch and team deathmatch modes called Executioner and Dead or Alive respectively. While unranked matches also involve two modes that include Guardian and Controlled Chaos mode. Guardian is where you protect your team leader while trying to take out the opposing team’s leader. Controlled Chaos is where the host player starts his or her own Free for All or Team Match by setting a variety of game rules, such as time limits, revival and friendly fire. Anything sound familiar here? While Quantum Theory may imitate Gears of Wars online game types it just does not hold the same appeal as Gears. While the games are enjoyable, I found the lobbies to be a tad empty and the experience feels, well, cheap.
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