Q.U.B.E. 2 – Review
Follow Genre: First-person puzzle game
Developer: Toxic Games
Publisher: Trapped Nerve Games
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Tested On: PC

Q.U.B.E. 2 – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Fun gameplay, great graphics, fitting sound effects, interesting story
Bad: Not very challenging
User Score
5.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Almost seven years after the success of the game Q.U.B.E., Toxic Games introduces us its sequel, Q.U.B.E. 2. Often compared to the popular Portal series, it is a first-person puzzle game where you proceed in the game by solving puzzles. Luckily, no portals in sight here, instead you’ll use your special gloves to activate blocks with different colors. With an improved look, new mechanisms and a more elaborate story, the sequel will leave you puzzled as you try to progress through the different chapters. If you have a few hours to spare in your weekend, make sure you check this out.

Story

The story is brought during the prologue of the game. You play as Amelia Cross, a stranded archaeologist who has awoken in an ancient alien landscape. This seems to be made out of a cube-like structure, some of which you can control with the gloves you seem to be wearing when you wake up. The only help you get is from commander Emma Sutcliffe, another survivor who you can only talk to through some sort of communication system. Even though she tries to help you, it all seems rather vague and sometimes it feels like you can’t trust this Emma girl. Since you have no memory of how you got there nor of what happened previous to you being stranded, you have no choice but to let Emma guide you and explore the environment.

For those of you familiar with the original Q.U.B.E. game, you will agree that the developers of Toxic Games put a lot more into the story for the sequel. With Emma coming off as rather sketchy, the story keeps you interested to find out whether or not she can be trusted and what the hell is going on.

Graphics

Q.U.B.E. 2 offers great 3D graphics. The environment you set out to discover looks beautiful and is filled with shadow and texture details. The developers obviously chose white as the dominant color. For those playing with a weaker PC, a lot of video settings are available when it comes to graphics, making the game playable for a wider audience.

A nice addition to the game is the full color blind support. The cubes you use are normally distinguishable by color. However, the color blind mode shows symbols on the cubes, rather than colours.

Sound

There is not a lot of music throughout the gameplay. Luckily it isn’t completely quiet either. Of course there are the sounds of the environment, which play an important role. It sounds a bit like you can hear wind, machines working and other sounds one might encounter in an abandoned building. This helps you stay in the mindset of the game and the location it takes place in.

Besides this, there is the voice acting when conversations take place between you and Emma. This is well done, but nothing special. You feel the emotions in Amelia’s voice, like how uncertain she is, a little bit scared but determined to find out what happened and where she is. Then there’s Emma, who gives the impression of a woman who has something to hide almost every time they talk. If the player wishes to, subtitles for these conversations can be turned on as well.

Gameplay

Q.U.B.E. 2 is a first-person puzzle game and the sequel to the popular game Q.U.B.E. Make your way through four acts, divided in sixteen different chapters.

You work with three different colours, which can be generated with your gloves; blue, red and green cubes. These are introduced along the way and you learn working with these as you go. You start off by being able to use one block of every color at a time but it even comes to a point where you can use as many blocks of each color as you want. Useable blocks can be located on the floor, the ceiling and the walls, high and low.

Now, for the uses of the blocks. The blue one can create a bouncy cube. You step on it and you bounce all the way up. This is helpful for when you have to get to higher grounds, since you can’t really jump that high. The red one creates a large bar. You can extend or retract it using your gloves. The green block generates a cube, which you can then further manipulate. For example, if you need to push down on some sort of platform in order to get something moving, you can simple drop a green cube on it. However, if the platform is on the other side of the room, you can maybe create a bouncy blue cube and drop a green one on it, so it shoots to the other side of the room. Along the way you’ll face challenges where you have to combine two, or all three colors in order to pass to the next part of the game.

The puzzles you have to solve aren’t that difficult, certainly in the first few chapters. It isn’t until you’re totally free to use as many blocks of each color as you want that it gets a little tougher. But even then, it won’t take you that long to figure a puzzle out. It’s a bit of a shame they didn’t make the challenges harder but still, the game is enjoyable.

The developers did a lot to make the game accessible to a large amount of players. In the options menu, there is one tab that says ´accessibility´. Here you have four options you can turn on or off. The first one was already mentioned in the graphics section, namely the color blind mode. Next to this, there’s also a jump assist option, a camera bob option and the option to auto turn when the game is launched. Furthermore, players can choose a gamepad option, which is very welcome and controls can be reassigned according to the player’s wishes.

Q.U.B.E. 2 saves and loads automatically, which of course comes in very handy. If you like keeping track of your statistics, multiple are available. For example, you can see the total distance you’ve covered, your in-game playing time, how many cubes of each color you’ve placed, and so on.

Conclusion

It’s fair to say that Q.U.B.E. 2 is an improvement on its precedent. Even though the gameplay isn’t that challenging, solving different puzzles is still enjoyable. When you do encounter a more difficult puzzle, it’s fun trying and figuring it out. Besides the gameplay, the game is still satisfying in many ways. Both the graphics and sound are nicely done and make you want to continue. The story also plays a big role in the likability of the game. It keeps you interested as you want to know how you got here and what this Emma person is all about. So overall, Q.U.B.E. 2 is a fun and entertaining game and can definitely be recommended.

 

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Q.U.B.E. 2 - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Maui Vindevogel


23 year old based in Belgium with a passion for writing

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