Gears of what?
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
In this industry, there’s no such thing as an original game. No matter what you may have heard recently, all the games you’ve played in the last 15 years has been copied or inspired by some other product. Sometimes, these copycat games do a better job than the original, and yet other times they can’t measure up. Quantum Theory, Tecmo Koei’s venture into the third person shooter genre, has been compared to Epic’s popular Gears of War franchise since the first gameplay trailer made it to the Internet. While most people reacted negatively to it, many forgot that this game is coming from a company that has been polluting the market with mediocre Dynasty Warrior games for years. So how does this novelty effort stacks up?
Quantum Theory tells the story of Syd, a shadowy warrior that has been tasked to destroy a living tower. Yes, a living tower. See, the world as we once knew it no longer exists. Few humans survive and those who do have been joining militias to confront a deadly material known as Diablosis, which turns humans into monsters and environments into a living battlefield. At first, the humans think Syd is a bad guy, but when they realize he wants to take on the tower as well, they join forces. Filena, another mysterious character - who also has a grudge against the Diablosis - shows up. Unwilling at first, she eventually partners up with Syd and together, they will climb the tower and destroy it.
From there, the storyline becomes secondary and Quantum Theory becomes a nine hour, point A to point B, straight-up shooter where you’ll be blasting your way through linear and closed levels, killing everything that isn’t remotely human, picking up different weapons, using a Gears-like cover system and Filena (your AI partner) as a weapon. No matter which way you turn it, its resemblance with Gears of War is uncanny. The third person view, Syd’s physical resemblance to Marcus Fenix, the sprint-to-cover system with the shaky camera, the post-enemy kill comments, the evasive barrel roll move, the blind-fire from cover and of course, the cover system itself. Basically, it would be less complicated to enumerate what Quantum Theory doesn’t do compared to Gears: the active reload and the chainsaw melee. Aside from the loose aiming and the dumb enemy AI, Quantum Theory manages to offer decent gameplay. While the cover system could have used additional tweaking, the game is far from being broken. I mean, I’m talking about a game that has been heavily inspired by somebody else’s work whether it’s Gears, the classic Kill.Switch or even the misunderstood Dark Sector. It would have been extremely disappointing to see it fail somehow.
Since there’s no online co-op (a huge miss for a partner-based game), your AI partner can help you perform special actions during heated battles. With the press of a button, Syd can grab and throw her at his enemies, where she will then perform a powerful slice attack. In combat, the Syd/Filena combination can also perform combo melee attacks. While the latter isn’t as responsive and efficient as one would have thought, the throwing mechanic is rather helpful and satisfying when a pack of enemies are running at you. Sadly, when Filena isn’t used in combat, she’s completely useless as a partner, which turns out to be a real disappointment when playing at harder difficulties.
Once you’ve completed the campaign, Quantum Theory has competitive online play for up to eight players via Xbox Live and Playstation Network with the standard modes such as Free-For-All and Team Deathmatch which could keep you busy. Unfortunately, even though the Leaderboards show a certain community, I had a hard time finding people to play with on a constant basis.
In regards to environments and character models, Quantum Theory’s visuals are a bit rough on the edges and aren’t as impressive as what we’ve become accustomed to in the last year or so, but I’ve definitely seen worse. Since the action takes place inside the living tower, you do get to see the Diablosis affect your surroundings, which is rather cool. Whether a wall erupts from the floor or a moving bridge approaches, you can take advantage of the shape-shifting world for evasive or defensive strategic manoeuvres. While this adds intensity to certain moments in the game, it won’t happen often enough to keep players engaged.
As for audio, a rather poignant orchestral score follows the action and while the scriptwriting is funny, weird and downright clichéd (an Eastern game trying hard to make it sound Western always amuses me), the uninspired voice-over work fails to impress. Seriously, voice over paychecks should be sent once the work is completed. That way, the final product has a better chance of sounding more inspired.
As mentioned earlier, Tecmo Koei is trying to offer something different. Last year’s merger may have affected the Tecmo name (although the only good franchises they have are Ninja Gaiden and DOA) but as a new entity, the idea and willingness to create new experiences is more than welcomed. In the end, Quantum Theory may not be as detailed, vibrant, engaging and breathtaking as one would have hoped but it does offer a certain enjoyment despite its visible flaws.
+ Non-stop action
+ Solid cover system despite a few nitpicks
- Linear and uninspired level design
- No online co-op
- Subpar plot, laughable voice-over work
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Release Date : 2010/09/28
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Tecmo Koei
Developer : Team Tachyon
Category : Action
ESRB : M
7.0 / 10
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