Quantum Theory screenshot
Quantum Theory screenshot

It's fair enough to be heavily influenced by popular games and genres - video games have been around so long now that a truly original idea is very rare indeed - and taking the best elements of different games often has stunning results - just look at Uncharted for proof. What isn't so clever is ripping off another game entirely. This is what Tecmo Koei has done with Quantum Theory, the most blatant Gears of War clone I've ever seen. To make matters worse, it has none of Epic's near-peerless grasp of the genre.

Gears of War might look like a fairly simple game to copy, but it didn't take long with Quantum Theory to realise the secret sauce is most definitely missing. To begin with, the main character Syd looks embarrassingly styled, as if created to try and appeal to every demographic. The end result is akin to a character from High School Musical who's been genetically spliced with Chris Redfield from Resi 5 and then sent to hard-man school with a tub of VO5 styling gum.

Syd is always shouting out terrible one-liners, clearly intended to be cool, but coming across the same way your 55-year-old dad might if suddenly cast as a 16-year-old in The Inbetweeners. Saying "Bye, bye" as an enemy explodes isn't cool or edgy, it's irritating. Japanese developers have made some of the most incredible action games of this generation, yet for whatever reason Tecmo Koei decided to badly mimic Western games instead, resulting in what feels like a 'My First Cover-based Shooter'.

A plot that centres on a shape shifting tower and giant worms sounds quite exciting, but the game consistently fails to do anything with it. The pace plods along so slowly that when an enemy actually runs at you it's a real shock. For the most part Syd leisurely wanders about, throws himself behind cover and then fires a host of generic weapons at a cast of enemies that look so out of place onlookers may well shout out "shopped!"

Gunplay is slow and laboured, the cover system lacks finesse and the level designs are so boxy you'd be forgiven for thinking you're actually in an ever repeating maze. There's absolutely nothing memorable about any of it. You get some on-rails shooting sections, but with absolutely no cover to be found, the sluggish aiming and sharpshooting enemies makes for an utterly frustrating experience. Giant bosses also make an appearance, and often annoy due to their willingness to attack while Syd is still on the floor recovering, meaning you've got next to no chance if you get caught in a death loop.

Quantum Theory screenshot

Even big set-piece moments fall completely flat thanks to the frankly terrible graphics that would have just about passed at the launch of the Xbox 360. Looking this shabby these days just isn't acceptable. The entire game is one blurry mess, and when something intended to be dramatic happens it often looks embarrassing. Collapsing buildings slowly fall to the ground, before coming to rest fully intact; enemies explode into nothing but a green mist and the frequently used "look at event" button more often than not results in a close up view of a wall.

Quantum Theory's one mild innovation in the genre is how you use a female AI partner, Filena. Bizarrely, Syd is able to throw Filena at enemies, either to slice them in half with her blade, or to temporarily stun them. It's an odd move in a game about big guns and ugly green monsters, but does at least mean there's something to talk about that isn't in Gears of War. On the same note, melee attacks can be combo'd if you time a second button press properly, resulting in Filena following up with a second strike.

I can see very little reason why you'd want to do this, but multiplayer is available for up to eight players. The lack of co-op play would usually be a big negative, considering it's more or less an essential part of the Gears experience, but the chances of being able to find anyone who'd want to play with you would have been slim anyway.

Quantum Theory could have been a game that showed what a well respected and established Japanese publisher could do with the now tried and tested third-person shooter formula, but it fails on every level. It looks and feels terribly dated, has next to no creative spark, completely lacks imagination and is certain to be forgotten very quickly.

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clangod's Avatar

clangod

Quote:
...the frequently used "look at event" button more often than not results in a close up view of a wall.
:lol:

I'll never get sick of reviews for bad games...
Posted 17:41 on 28 September 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

Those crazy guys at Famitsu gave this a rather decent 31/40!!!
Posted 17:00 on 28 September 2010
Robo_1's Avatar

Robo_1

Fair play to you really. With Tecmo having clearly invested a good chunk of their advertising budget into this site, it must be difficult to then turn around and tell your readers not to bother with the game.

Personally I was very interested in the game, then I played the demo and well... lol.
Posted 16:40 on 28 September 2010
IamBugged's Avatar

IamBugged

wow I accually nearly bought this game
Now I'm glad I didn't
Posted 21:26 on 24 September 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

So wait,
we can win this game?
Brilliant.
Posted 15:03 on 24 September 2010
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

Hmm, guess I won't be getting this.

My one dispute with the review would be that, if the graphics are that bad, why did they get a 5, as on a scal of 1-10 5 is average (duh?) so surely they can't be that bad if they're average?
Posted 13:25 on 24 September 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar

Ghost_Dog

Should I ignore all the advertising for it then?
Posted 13:11 on 24 September 2010
Roland_D11's Avatar

Roland_D11

The demo was awful, I'm not surprised by the score. But I love reviews for bad games, they are usually more entertaining than reviews for good games. This one is really good, Tom.

And the innovative mechanic: I wonder if there would be an outcry if Marcus could fling Anya around in Gears 3 ;-) .
Posted 11:42 on 24 September 2010
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa

Great review Tom, very funny in parts. They have definitely stolen unscrupulously from GoW from the pics I have seen, I will not be picking this hunk of gash up.
Posted 11:31 on 24 September 2010
cousinwalter's Avatar

cousinwalter

surprised it got that high going by the demo
Posted 11:29 on 24 September 2010

Game Stats

Quantum Theory
4
Out of 10
Quantum Theory
  • Combo moves are something different
  • Clunky controls
  • Ugly visuals
  • Feels sluggish
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 26/03/2010
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360
Developer: Team Tachyon
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Genre: Action
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 15,998 16
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