Quantum Theory

Quantum Theory Bites the Dust

The cliche laden post apocalyptic shooter is nothing new and flawed in it's execution.
Author: Andy Curtiss
Published: October 7, 2010
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I am one of those sci-fi nerds that likes the idea of a post apocalyptic setting - whether it be a videogame or a movie. I usually find myself hooked into the story because of some circumstance or event that intrigues me and makes me want to know more. There's a tricky balance to this, because you don't want to inundate the audience with too much info right off the bat because then they become overwhelmed. But if you give them too little info regarding this setting then the audience feels no connection - no reason why they should care. Somehow Tecmo Koei's newest creation, Quantum Theory, manages to do both. You find yourself surrounded by a crazy set of circumstances and creatures with little explanation that makes any sense. Combined with unrefined controls and mediocre graphics, Quantum Theory isn't what you'd call an optimal gaming experience.

Itís been suggested that the first few hours of any new gaming experience should be the most entertaining and enthralling. And, indeed, this makes sense. The first few hours should be what hooks you into the game and makes you want to play more. You should be experiencing new story, new gameplay, and new visuals that make you want to continue to play. None of these things feel fresh enough in Quantum Theory to make me actively want to continue playing however. The setting itself could be described as Halo meets Call of Duty. Think worn-torn city with a splash of alien presence. And the player character, Syd, is certainly nothing new: mercenary of shady past who cares about nothing save for killing the enemy. On top of that, his look is gothic bodybuilder meets Beyond Thunderdome. Combine all that with a control system that feels clunky and youíll see where Iím going. Syd has an issue running apparently. He can dash like a champ but canít seem to turn. Heíll sooner run face first into a building then make the turn to save his life.

The premise is that the Earth has become unlivable. But painfully few details as to why are even given. Humans have congregated in the ruins of cities to form colonies of survivors. Then suddenly a tower appears, but no one knows when it got there, how long itís been there, who built it, or what it is. After years of the tower standing there doing nothing, it suddenly starts spurting all-purpose brown goo. This all-purpose brown goo is called ďdiablosis.Ē And Iíve started calling it all-purpose because when it touches a human, it transforms them into a shambling, zombie-thing that turns upon their former allies. But when the diablosis touches a car on the street or any other solid object it dissolves it in mere seconds. And as if all that wasnít enough, when enough diablosis accumulates in one area it turns sentient and forms into a worm-like beast the size of a football field and flies through the air. It melts, it zombifies, it flies through the air. But wait, thereís more.

Aside from the whole tower and diablosis thing, Quantum Theoryís overall look is mostly bland. The gameís intro and first bit of gameplay is outside the tower Ė working your way there with a militia squad that youíve just happened to bump into. The outside areas are pretty standard Ė nothing remotely creative. I know thereís only so many things you can do with a post apocalyptic setting, but it just seems that they could have created something unique. Youíre essentially traveling through the remains of a city that appears to have been thoroughly bombed out. Everything is quite drab and grey. Once you reach the tower mentioned above, the environments get a little more rich in color and become a little bit more unique, but by this time I feel like it's a little too late. Don't get me wrong - we're not talking like it's hours into the game when you finally make it there. But if this were not a review, I'd have been too bored to keep playing to this point.
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