Otto Kivling (Programmer)
|Release date(s)||WW5 April 2016|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, third-person shooter|
Intel Core i5 4690, 3.9GHz or AMD equivalent (recommended)
Intel Core i5-4460, 2.70GHz or AMD FX-6300 (minimum)
- "Time Is Power."
Quantum Break is a third-person science fiction action shooter developed by Remedy Entertainment. It was originally released worldwide on April 5, 2016 for the Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms. It was published and funded by Microsoft Studios, who owns the IP. Written by Tyler Burton Smith, Mikko Rautalahti and directed by Sam Lake and Mikael Kasurinen, Quantum Break follows the story of Jack Joyce, a resident of the fictional town of Riverport, Massachusetts, who, after a time travel experiment goes wrong, gains the ability to control time and must stop a growing fracture in time from bringing about the end of the world. Quantum Break was advertised as an "entertainment experience" that combined live action scripted television and traditional third person gameplay. Using gameplay mechanics traditionally associated with interactive stories, certain elements of the plot can be changed based on the decisions players make during "Junction Impacts" and are reflected in the both the game and the television series.
Announced in February 2016, the Windows 10 release of Quantum Break was advertised as a "Windows 10 exclusive" that supported cross-play with the Xbox One and would not be released on Valve's Steam client. The Windows 10 version of Quantum Break received heavy criticism for its technical issues, which included framrate drops, repeated crashes on computers using Nvidia drives and poor optimization.
- "When time breaks, catastrophe becomes your playground. As hero Jack Joyce, you'll fight your way through epic disasters that stutter back and forth in time. But surviving this unstable world--and halting the end of time itself--is only possible by mastering your new time powers."
- —Xbox One Site
- Jack Joyce (Shawn Ashmore) - The protagonist of Quantum Break. Jack Joyce returns home to Riverport when his childhood friend, Paul Serene, asks for help regarding a top secret project. After Paul's time machine experiment goes wrong, Jack is exposed to Chronon energy and discovers he has the ability to control time. Jack and Paul become mortal enemies after Paul kills his brother, William, and Jack seeks to avenge his brother by stopping Paul from letting time end.
- Paul Serene (Aidan Gillen) - The antagonist of Quantum Break. When the time traveling experiment at Riverport University creates a fracture in time, Paul is sent to the year 2021, the End of Time. Returning to the past of 1999, Paul establishes Monarch Solutions, a corporation created to ensure mankind's survival beyond the fracture in time. Like Jack, he was exposed to Chronon energy and can manipulate time.
- Beth Wilder (Courtney Hope) - A double agent within Monarch Solutions, Beth was has been preparing for the fracture in time since she was approached by her future self at the age of eight years old. When she meets Jack Joyce, she convinces him to help her find his brother's Countermeasure device in order to stop Monarch Solutions and repair the fracture in time created by Paul Serene.
- Martin Hatch (Lance Reddick) - The mysterious CEO of Monarch Solutions and Paul Serene's confidante. Up front, Hatch ensures that Monarch Solutions operates as it should when the fracture in time occurs. He guarantees that Paul's plans for the future go according to plan and Monarch's secrets remain hidden from the public. However, Hatch works behind the scenes with his own agenda regarding the End of Time.
- William Joyce (Dominic Monaghan) - The older brother of Jack Joyce and the creator of the time machine, William created the Countermeasure after Beth Wilder from the future of 2016 saves him from Paul Serene, and warns him of the fracture in 1999. His own efforts to prevent the fracture are met with failure, but his apparent death at the hands of Paul Serene ensures that his brother will not only seek revenge, but carry out his and Beth's mission to prevent the End of Time.
- Sofia Amaral (Jacqueline Pinol) - The head of research at Monarch Solutions' Chronon division department, Doctor Sofia Amaral works with Paul Serene to ensure the success of the Lifeboat Protocol, an operation that gathers Monarch's best scientists together to create a solution for the End of Time after it occurs. When she is kidnapped by Jack Joyce and Beth Wilder, they intend to use for their own plan to save the world.
- Amy Ferrero (Amelia Rose Blaire) - An idealistic college student at Riverpoort University, Amy Ferrero is looking to prevent Monarch Solutions from erasing any more of Riverport's historical landmarks. When she bears witness to Monarch Security's raid on the university, Amy's life and family is threatened by the corporation. However, depending on the choices of Paul Serene, Amy may die or live to help Jack and Beth accomplish their goal.
- Nick Marsters (Sean Durrie) - A former football player turned taxicab driver, Nick Marsters held Monarch Solutions in high regard for bringing Riverport out of the financial slump it had fallen into years ago. However, when he is almost killed by Monarch Security officers carrying out the Hardline Protocol, his opinion of the corporation changes very quickly. Nick does what he can to help Jack and Beth achieve their goals, all while causing minor headaches along the way with conspiracy theories.
- Clarice Ogawa (Jeannie Bolet, Jules de Jongh) - A commanding officer in Monarch Security, Clarice seeks to find out the truth about what happened during October 9th and 10th when Jack Joyce and Beth Wilder attempted to steal the Countermeasure, the Lifeboat Protocol's Chronon Field Regulator (CFR). Clarice works closely alongside Martin Hatch and aids him behind the scenes to ensure his plans to sabotage Paul Serene, succeed with little interference from within or outside Monarch.
- Liam Burke (Patrick Heusinger) - A soldier hired by Monarch Solutions, Liam is one of Monarch Security's best officers and a former candidate in the Striker Program. Liam is willing to defend the corporation from outside threats until he discovers Monarch's intentions to leave him and his pregnant wife, Emily Burke, to the mercy of the End of Time. Allying himself with Fiona Miller, Liam tries to gain access to the Lifeboat Protocol in the hopes of protecting Emily.
- Charlie Wincott (Marshall Allman) - Monarch Solution's hacker and security monitor, Charlie Wincott aspires to climb the social ladder of Monarch Solutions to a loftier position. But, his attraction for Chronon scientist, Fiona Miller, leads him down a path to Monarch's true intentions. When faced with the choice of saving himself or helping others, like Liam, Fiona and Jack, Charlie may choose to save himself unless given incentive to do otherwise.
- Fiona Miller (Mimi Michaels) - A Chronon scientist who works as Beth Wilder's informant within Monarch, Fiona attempts to gain access to Henry Kim's lab on Gull Island to ascertain information on the CFR and the Lifeboat Protocol. With the help of Liam Burke, she uses Charlie Wincott to do it.
- Main article: Quantum Break (video game)#Summary
- Main article: Quantum Break (video game)#Development
Pre-production on Quantum Break shortly after the release of Alan Wake's American Nightmare on the Xbox Live Arcade in 2012. The game and the Northlight Engine, which was built using a modified Havok engine used for Alan Wake, was developed prior to Microsoft's implementation of DirectX 12.
Quantum Break was built largely using the DirectX 11 platform. Remedy Entertainment presumably experienced difficulties with the game when they ported the game to DirectX 12. Graphics Programmer Ville Timonen stated that optimization of the game would be entirely dependent on the developers as DirectX 12 did not handle optimizing like DirectX 11 drivers. Remedy would also have to be mindful of memory usage, performance and centralize their focus on optimization to create "bottlenecks".
Timonen also stated that the DirectX 12 could outperform the DirectX 11, but only if the API was "overhead bound". DirectX 12 allowed the developers to "avoid swamping the driver with calls" with the use of instancing, LODs and culling.
January 2016, a Brazilian advisory board contained a rating for a "PC port" of Quantum Break. It was later removed, and unacknowledged by Microsoft. February 2016, Microsoft announced and confirmed that Quantum Break would be ported to the PC, exclusively for the Windows 10 platform.
Reaction to the announcement of the PC port was largely negative within the Xbox One community. Some accused Microsoft of being dishonest about their intentions to promote Quantum Break as exclusive to the Xbox One console.
Aaron Greenberg explained that the Xbox One remained a priority for Microsoft annd that the game's announcement for PC should not change buyer perspective. When asked if Quantum Break would be available on the Valve Corporation platform, Steam, Greenberg reiterated that the game would be a "Windows 10 exclusive".
In a similar move to what was done with Alan Wake, Remedy Entertainment coded Quantum Break with an eyepatch modification. If the copy of Quantum Break was suspected of being pirated copy, players would have to play the game with an eyepatch on the Jack Joyce character model.
Marketing Promotions and Release
February of 2016, Microsoft began promoting a special edition Xbox One console. The bundle included a copy of Quantum Break, as well as the digital download of Alan Wake and the accompanying DLC specials, The Writer and The Signal. The bundle contained a "cirrus white" 500GB version of the Xbox One and cost $349 USD.
Players who pre-ordered a digital copy of Quantum Break from the Xbox One store, or the special edition bundle, were given a free token that unlocked the Quantum Break release for the Windows 10 operation system.
The following are minimum and recommended system requirements put forth by Remedy Entertainment for Microsoft Window 10 platforms.
|Quantum Break (2016) Reviews|
|Electronic Gaming Monthly Now||7.5/10|
|Official Xbox Magazine (UK)||8/10[note 1]|
|PC Gamer US||70/100|
|Compilations of multiple reviews|
(Windows 10) 67/100
(Windows 10) 66.00%
Quantum Break released April 5, 2016 to generally positive reviews. According to aggregating review websites, Metacritic and GameRankings, the Microsoft Windows 10 version of Quantum Break received 67/100 based on 8 reviews from Metacritic and 66.00% based on 2 reviews on GameRankings. The Windows 10 version was poorly received due to numerous performance and stability issues, most especially on Nvidia GPUs, along with restrictions imposed by the Universal Windows Platform keeping users from resorting to third-party workarounds. Remedy later announced that they were working actively to fix the issues.
Ultimately, a Steam release was announced, and this version is compatible with Windows 7 or higher.
Windows 10 Reviews
Daniel Wilks of PC PowerPlay believed, on Windows 10, Quantum Break was "A great concept let down by laughably poor execution on the PC platform". Wilks praised the chosen format of the story, blending 22 minutes of live-action television with forty minutes or more of gameplay, but criticized the performance of the game on the Windows 10. He states, "No matter how powerful your machine, Quantum Break shows erratic frame pacing. What this means is that the timing between frames is not in the least bit stable so no matter if you have the game rate running at 100 frames a second or have it frame locked to 30, the animation stutters and looks janky".
Reid McCarter of Kill Screen.com believed the overall presentation of Quantum Break made for better drama as a live action series than a video game. Though he praises the performances of the cast, he criticized the live-action series segment, believing the execution of the series was "flat" while the video game itself was more vibrant than its accompanying counterpart.
In his review for PC Gamer, Andy Kelly praised the presentation and narrative of the game, but overall felt the game was unremarkable in its mechanics. "[...]it’s an unremarkable shooter that tries to distract you from its lack of ideas with dazzling production values and polish. It’s a lavish, passionately made thing, but more concerned with the plot than the game holding it all together". Kelly criticized the Windows 10 version of the game, noting that, in light of Remedy Entertainment's record for releasing PC ports of console games that ran well, Quantum Break’s misstep was a costly £50 on the Windows Store vs the Xbox One's £45. "It’s incredibly demanding (or badly optimised, depending on how look at it). Even on low settings at 1080p with a GTX 970, it struggles to maintain a steady frame rate".
Hayden Dingman of PCWorld.com remarked that, while he enjoyed Quantum Break, it was a release that needed work. "It's not the worst port I’ve ever played, which is a sad commentary on the state of some software we’ve seen in the past few years". Dingman compared the Windows 10 release to the original PC release of From Software's Dark Souls, stating, "it smells like Microsoft or Remedy last-minute decided to bring Quantum Break to the PC. It certainly doesn’t feel like a PC version was planned from the start, regardless of whether (as Sam Lake told MCV last month) Remedy was “pushing for” it. This kind of corner-cutting usually doesn’t happen when you start off development with the PC in mind".
Prior to any patches, in an extensive review of Quantum Break, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry segment, written by John Linneman, reviewed the overall performance of the game on various settings. The overall summary of their tests was that the game failed to function properly, "failing to deliver expected levels of performance, features and customisation", largely on account on the limitations set for by the Universal Windows Platform.
According to Digital Foundry, Quantum Break was designed to specifically for an Xbox One console, and wasn't coping with the use of DirectX 12 and the UWP API. Issues with the Window 10 version of Quantum Break were a result of the restrictive measures within the UWP, which lacked customizing options. The lack of consistency in the game's performance on Window's 10 suggested that the game needed more time for testing and better driver utilization for Nvidia.
With regard to framerate, Foundry noted that sixty frames per-second wasn't possible to maintain, even with the use of a 60Hz monitor; the game could not go above fifty frames per second or match the "refresh rate" of the screens used during testing. Running on the lowest settings of a Core i7 system using a Titan X running at 720p on the lowest settings, 50 frames per-second was the limit. The same results occurred on AMD GPUs as well.
Using 50Hz monitors resulted in a frame-rate of 43 frames per-second. Performance decreased considerably with a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor, even when the frame rate was at its maximum. 30 frames per-second on the Windows 10 resulted in "jerky experience"; the Universal Windows Platform prevented common fixes solved with the Nvidia half-refresh rate option and the Riva Turner Statistics as the application prevents such tools from being used. Linneman states, "There are problems with this game, such as frame-pacing, which could be fixed by users right now but that becomes impossible due to UWP's limitations".
The visual quality of the game dips. The Xbox One used a reconstruction technique produced a clean image and that kept hardware resources free. On the Windows 10, Quantum Break’s visual setting is an inauthentic 1080p that reproduced a blurry 720p image. In terms of data usage, Quantum Break is game divided into manageable parts that load when needed, but the method is demanding on the PC's hardware. When installed on a solid state drive, such as a 700rpm HGST or Samsung 850, performance was below acceptable, resulting in stuttering and transition difficulties in environments.
Quantum Break crashed frequently on PCs using Nvidia. Linneman states that the display driver --- be it a older or latest version of the Nvidia driver --- and not the game itself, was the result of the crashes. The game was deemed unstable on Nvidia drivers such as the GTX 970 and it's AMD R9 390 equivalent.
One major issue with the Xbox One was that of volumetric lighting and shadowing techniques. While it was addressed for the Windows 10 by way of increasing the texture resolution, higher presets within the options are inhibited on account of the reconstruction techniques that were used for the Xbox One. Texture pop-in as a result of the aforementioned was a common occurrence in addition to anisotropic filtering, which resulted in a low settings by default with no options to adjust for higher settings outside of using the PC's graphic card control panel.
April 13, 2016 Remedy acknowledged the problems with the game and stated that they were "working diligently" to fix them. April 25, 2016, Remedy announced that the first update for the game was in certification, but would require Microsoft to update Windows 10. April 29, 2016, Quantum Break received an update that added a quit button and would address framerate issues.
Late April 2016, Head of Communications, Thomas Puha relayed that a patch for the Windows 10 release of Quantum Break would include bug fixes, fixes, some user interface changes, improved localization and load times. May 17, 2016, a patch adding VSync and FreeSync support was announced.
During the announcement of the Timeless Collector's Edition in August, Thomas Puha was misunderstood in a Twitter discussion regarding persisting issues with the Windows 10 version of the game. News outlets reported that he stated that the Windows 10 release of Quantum Break would no longer receive updates once the Steam and physical retail version of the game was released in September. Puha later corrected the media error by clarifying that the Windows 10 version of the game would continue to receive updates and that no version of the game would be "left behind" for another.
List of Patches
The following are a list of patches provided by Remedy Entertainment since the game's release in April of 2016.
- Added 4.27.2016
- Microsoft has identified a Windows 10 memory management issue which may cause Quantum Break to crash on some GPUs. This crash is seen more frequently at higher game settings. Microsoft plans to fix this in a future Windows Update.
- Added 4.28.2016
- Issue: Light Flare / Blinking Lights
- Fixed in the Xbox One version Title Update released 4.27.2016.
- Added 4.28.2016
- Issue: Cloud Save Failure
- Rare instances of cloud saves failing and causing loss of progress have been fixed in the Xbox One version title update released 27.4.2016. If you've encountered the issue before the update, the lost progress can't be restored even though the Xbox One manager shows an existing savegame.
- Added 5.3.2016
- Issue: Stuttering Frame-Rate / Frame Pacing
- Fixed in the Windows 10 version Title Update released 4.30.2016.
- Added 5.3.2016
- Issue: No Option to Quit from Main Menu
- Fixed in the Windows 10 version Title Update released 30.4.2016.
- Added 5.3.2016
- Issue: Crashing on Launch
- Fixed some launch crashes in the Windows 10 version Title Update released 4.30.2016. If the game still crashes at start-up, try reinstalling it completely.
- Added 5.3.2016
- Image Quality
- Film Grain on/off toggle added in the Windows 10 version Title Update released 4.30.2016.
- Added 5.3.2016
- Issue: Upscaling
- Added option to disable 4xMSAA upscaling in the Windows 10 version Title Update released 4.30.2016.
- Added 5.3.2016
Issue: Cloud Save Issue on Windows 10 and Xbox One
- Fixed in the Windows 10 version Title Update released 30.4.2016.
- Added 6.1.2016
- Issue: Windows 10 Frame Rate Locked?
- Fixed in Title Update 3 released 1.5.2016.
- Added 6.1.2016
- Issue: Crashing on Launch
- Fixed SSE4.1. related launch crashes.
- Windows 10 Performance Issues
Remedy is looking into how to improve the overall performance of the game. Part of that is working closely with AMD and NVIDIA to address issues and improve the gameplay experience.
Sometimes, after a longer play session, the game can end up to a state where the video memory becomes fragmented, and an important asset gets moved to system memory, which slows the rendering performance significantly. This problem is very rare and Remedy will continue to investigate and improve the video memory behavior in future updates.
If you experience this issue, exiting and restarting Quantum Break will resolve this issue for now. This is one way to identify if you have encountered this issue or if it’s another potential problem.
- Graphics Drivers
- We recommend, for AMD Radeon GPU’s, AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.1
- We recommend, for NVIDIA GPU’s, 362.00 from NVIDIA.
Keep in mind, these drivers might have an impact on other software on your computer.
- Does Quantum Break support SLI or other multi-GPU solutions?
Quantum Break on Windows 10 unfortunately doesn’t support DirectX12 multi-GPU rendering. Due to the engine architecture, the work needed to support multiple GPUs would have been significant and out of scope for Remedy for Quantum Break.
- Render technique and resolution on Windows 10
The Windows 10 version of Quantum Break uses the same reconstruction method as on Xbox One. If your resolution is set to 1080p, the game temporally reconstructs the image (except UI) from four 720p buffers rendered with 4xMSAA, just like on Xbox One. Engine assigns input geometry samples from 4xMSAA rendering into shaded clusters in order to maximize covered geometry while keeping the performance on acceptable level by reducing expensive shaded samples. When you change the resolution, the buffers used to construct the image are always 2/3rds of the set resolution, i.e. in 2560x1440 they would be 1706x960.
- Download Issues
We are aware some users are having issues downloading the game from the Windows Store. There are some known bugs with the way the progress bar is rendered. Microsoft is standing by to help anyone who has issues downloading and the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer will massively improve the overall experience for these kinds of big games.
- General Issues & Solutions (Xbox One and Windows 10)
- Film Grain
This is an artistic choice from Remedy Entertainment. We wanted a cinematic look for our game and “film grain” is part of that look. Depending on the brand of TV you use or if your Xbox One is connected to a monitor, the film grain can look very different. Always use “Game Mode” on your television if such a feature exists. Make sure you adjust your sharpness setting down on your monitor or TV as well as the brightness setting in Quantum Break.
- Ambient Subtitles
While atmosphere is an important part of Quantum Break, we decided to not include subtitles for ambient sound (e.g.– in-game radio broadcasts) to ensure those subtitles did not conflict or overlap with the subtitles for actual character dialogue.
- No Dialogue on Xbox One
If your game is missing dialogue, this is probably because you are listening in stereo, but the Xbox One is set to play back surround 5.1 or 7.1.
- To solve this on Xbox One
- Scroll left from Home to open the guide
- Select Settings
- Select All Settings
- Select Display & Sound
- Select Audio output
- Set the output to Stereo
Xbox Live and Windows Store
The Windows Store is a Microsoft application, implemented by Microsoft Windows in early 2012 for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, meant to fully utilize and distribute the Universal Windows Platform application. During the latter half of 2015, the Window Store was integrated with the Xbox One Music and Xbox Video stores. Microsoft implemented a Crossplay feature on Xbox One and Windows 10 that allowed games typically purchased or played through Xbox Live could be streamed through the Windows 10, however, they have yet to implement a PC-to-Xbox One streaming system. Competitive play between the two platform users would be possible as a result of the games sharing the same ecosystem. Microsoft combined both the Windows Store and Xbox Live Store together in it's anniversary in August of 2016.
In 2014, former Microsoft-owned studio, Lionhead Studios expressed grievances with Microsoft's plans to implement Xbox One and Windows 10 cross-play in the cancelled game, Fable Legends. Lionhead Studios required more money and time to perform the extra task of being one of the first games adapt to play exclusively on the Windows 10 operating system as well as the Xbox One and the Directx 12 hardrive.
Prior to the switch, Legends attempted to make use of Microsoft's failed initiatives with the Cloud and Smartglass applications. According to a source, the developers had not been made aware of Windows 10 and planned on releasing the game later on on PC through Stream. Another source explained that the majority of the userbase on Windows 10 experienced installation problems.
February 2016, Quantum Break appeared on the Windows 10 store but was not available for "pre-load" purchase. March 2016, according to Remedy Entertainment forum admin, "Lauri", the Window 10 store did not support pre-orders.
April 5, 2016, when Quantum Break was released, users expressed difficulties with downloading the digital version of the game from the Windows 10 Store. Some users noted that attempts to download the game would not start and would often resort to accessing the system files to correct the issues. Others were faced with error messages that notified users of a lack of space on their Hard Drives or received error codes that would not allow the download process to begin proper.
- Quantum Break on Windows 10
- Quantum Break - Games on Microsoft Store
- Buy Quantum Break for Xbox One Review - Microsoft Store
- ↑ Defer to the UK issue of Official Xbox Magazine, released April 18, 2016