Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 11.09.2015

Review for Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut on PlayStation 4

Every genre has a game that new titles will inevitably be compared to, for Q.U.B.E that comparison is Portal. A player stuck in a strange test facility with some technology device that has to solve physics-based puzzles to progress through a series of rooms… It's hard not to make the comparison. This particular genre also has a bar set considerably high to take on, too, as the Portal games are well loved and well-remembered with good reason but will anyone remember Q.U.B.E After reviews of the original PC release, and Xbox One Director's Cut edition?

The original Q.U.B.E was released for PC in 2011 and was quite different to the Director's Cut, with no story or voice work and instead just the series of levels to progress through. The addition of a story has a major impact on the overall delivery, with the mystery being well written and the two voice actors giving solid performances. In a sterile white-walled environment where everything is made up of cubes, the lead has no memory of where they are or why, but has a strange voice transmission guiding them. The voice explains they are in space, on a mission, and that they have lost their memories. This voice turns out to be an astronaut that is orbiting the earth and as their orbit brings them close enough, they are able to relay messages from Earth. A second voice appears soon after, however, saying that the first one is lying, that the player is a guinea pig, and a prisoner in a test facility deep underground.

Regardless of which is telling the truth, there is an ultimate need to escape and so begins the trek to break free of the boxy prison. Equipped with a pair of gloves that allows for the manipulation of coloured cubes in each environment, players must use this core mechanic throughout; playing around with the different colours, all of which behave in different ways, means a pathway to escape from each area can be made. There are Red blocks that can be extended out from their surface up to three times, useful to stand on and raise the protagonist higher and higher. Yellow blocks can make a section of three raise from the surface in either the pattern of one-two-one or one-two-three, handy for making stairs or blocking objects in. Blues act as springboards to propel either the player or objects up or across environments. Green cubes generate an unattached square that can be moved around independently and, finally, purples rotate the entire wall they are attached to.

Screenshot for Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut on PlayStation 4

The puzzles develop nicely with a steady flow of difficulty in progression and each area has a different theme. The game starts out with simple puzzles - the walls of the starting rooms are setup with the different coloured cubes already in the correct position, and the requirement to just establish the pattern to progress; this does a good job of getting users accustomed to the fundamentals. Things then move on to people having more influence on the puzzles, having to move the entire room at points to organise the order of the blocks before establishing how to use them to escape. There are interesting themes examined, from playing in the dark with cubes that illuminate to guiding rolling balls using the cubes as blockers and pushers; plenty of thought and design has gone into the planning of the areas.

Sadly, while the development and design of the puzzles are solid, they are brief and very easy to solve. It would have been great to see more under each of themes and definitely more difficult and larger ones. This is a common theme with many of the aspects of Q.U.B.E.: Director's Cut - there are promising premises but everything falls a little short. The story, for instance, seems to be building towards something but is completely linear with little development and the ending still feels unfinished.

Screenshot for Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Q.U.B.E.: Director's Cut on PlayStation 4 is filled with a wide variety of puzzles that are enjoyable, yet nowhere near as interesting or challenging as some of the greats of the genre. The recently announced sequel will hopefully take the promising premise the game sets up and produce something with more challenge, with bigger scope, and basically make everything a little less forgettable.

Developer

Toxic

Publisher

Toxic

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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