The QUBE 2 review

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references

It's been quite some time since the original QUBE was launched, but we can say that the guys from the English studio Toxic Games have spent these years in a fruitful way, bringing the game to other platforms and then dedicating himself to the realization of a sequel that absolutely lives up to expectations. For those unfamiliar with the series, this is a first-person puzzle-based adventure in which we play the role of a character equipped with a special suit that allows him to interact with certain devices to create cubes of different color and functionality; all within an "aseptic", mysterious and labyrinthine location.



The reasons why the protagonist of the first episode was there are revealed in the finale, and in QUBE 2 the story is further enriched, dutifully emphasizing the narrative sector and to create a truly charming atmosphere. In this case we check the archaeologist Amelia "Milly" Cross, who wakes up wearing the same suit we talked about earlier, but without knowing how she ended up in the huge structure that is the setting for the new chapter. She is contacted by radio by the commander Emma Sutcliffe, who briefly explains the situation and what her role should be: to find out more about the mysterious tower that stands on the surface of the inhospitable planet on which it is located. Surprises, however, will not be lacking.

With the mere laying on of hands

QUBE 2 takes up the formula of the first episode, but introducing new features and, as mentioned, a much more engaging and meaningful story, with two different endings and convincingly recited by the performers who have lent their voices to the characters (audio and subtitles are in English, for the record). Using a controller it is possible to jump by pressing A / X, eliminate a cube with X / Square and act on the backbones and triggers to change the equipped skill, interact with the devices and make them produce "bouncy" surfaces of electric blue color , red quadrangular parallelepipeds or green cubes.



Each of these objects has a specific function, and the game manages to introduce them very well, gradually, gradually raising the level of challenge and the complexity of the puzzles that we will have to solve to get to the end of the adventure. If you need to reach a raised platform, activating a reflective surface can make us "bounce" where we want, perhaps on a previously created parallelepiped, where we dropped a cube to create a sort of ladder on which to climb. However, these are only the basic functions: going forward in the campaign we will encounter mechanisms of various kinds that will intertwine their characteristics with the mechanics related to the creation of the cubes: mobile platforms, switches, magnets, pumps from which oil and flames come out. to make it burn, creating "fiery bullets" as needed to make it come into contact with doors that open only in the presence of heat.

More and more complex

If the first episode of QUBE had in some ways a problem with the balance of difficulty, which increased a little too markedly during some phases, in QUBE 2 the progression of the challenge was handled almost perfectly. We completed the story in just over six hours, proceeding smoothly and without ever encountering insurmountable obstacles, which means that the developers have avoided putting dark and difficult to interpret solutions on the table. Of course, it is also possible that the experience with the first chapter has provided us with a solid foundation from which to start to solve the puzzles of this new adventure, which in fact in the final part brings out really intricate puzzles, composed of various sequences that intertwine. .



Sometimes it is necessary to be really precise and reactive, but in general the solving of puzzles is a matter of logic, of reasoning: activate the switches to see what they do, observe the position of the panels with which you can interact, put a bit of wit and not never sins of imagination: there are moments in which the same cubes will turn into real means of transport, to be projected using bouncing surfaces and / or inverted magnets while we are on them. The formula works very well, taking advantage of the experience gained with the first episode to shuffle the cards a bit, avoiding repeating the same situations and indeed managing to innovate the gameplay in an intelligent way through the inclusion of many new devices. Proof of this is also the presence, from a certain point on, of areas with a large electronic unit in the center to be reactivated by following the "off" cross cables, which lead us to as many switches which, of course, can only be reached after solving a puzzle. .

Cubic atmosphere

In the original QUBE the story seemed to play a secondary function compared to the action, revealing some details about the mysterious scenario only towards the end, when the previously aseptic and perfectly intact walls of the structure gave way to devastated areas. events. In this sequel, however, the situation is very different and the weight of the plot is felt right from the start, involving us in the journey that the protagonist decides to make inside the "sentient" tower which is the backdrop to the adventure.



Triggered this mechanism, all aspects of the game begin to compete to create a certain type of atmosphere, sometimes disturbing but always engaging, able to keep glued to the screen (it is no coincidence that we have completed the game in just two long sessions) and to push towards the next puzzle, arming itself with patience and ingenuity to quickly understand what needs to be done to move forward. You move, in this strange structure, without hitches: the small stairways are covered automatically, while on the larger blocks you have to jump, but in all cases the navigation is fluid and generally does not happen to get lost, also because it is always the light to guide us.

Thus it happens that in the middle of the campaign the scenery changes completely, becoming more "rustic" than it was possible to imagine, given the circumstances, and adopting completely different, warmer and more lively shades of color. A small stylistic revolution that also in this case gives a great charm to the experience, enhancing its being a sequel, with a growth that also takes place on an artistic and technical level. The beautiful music effectively emphasizes the most exciting moments while on the graphic front, the work done by Toxic Games seemed impeccable to us, with the only exception of a decidedly old-gen water yield, although present on only one occasion. For the rest, the Unreal Engine was exploited well and on the test configuration it guaranteed sixty frames per second stable at 1440p with all effects at maximum, whereas instead to play at 2160p you have to file something or be satisfied with forty frames: a choice that we do not suggest to make, given the importance of fluidity in some moments.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 6600K
  • Scheda video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Jetstream
  • Memory: 16 GB of RAM
  • Operating system: Windows 10

Minimum requirements

  • Processor: 2,5 GHz Intel or AMD quad core
  • Scheda video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470, AMD Radeon 6870 HD
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM
  • Hard disk: 4 GB of space required
  • Operating system: Windows 7 64-bit

Recommended Requirements

  • Processor: 2,5 GHz Intel or AMD quad core
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, AMD R9 290X
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Hard disk: 4 GB of space required
  • Operating system: Windows 7 64-bit

Comment

Tested version PC Windows Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store Resources4Gaming.com

8.0

Readers (7)

8.0

Your vote

QUBE 2 is the perfect sequel to a title that struck us six years ago for its Portal-inspired visual style, but also and above all for a really solid gameplay, based on ingenious and tantalizing puzzles in which the creation of different "cubic" shapes it was functional for reaching inaccessible areas or activating devices. While remaining faithful to the original formula, the new episode shuffles the cards on the front of the puzzles, introducing many new situations and becoming the protagonist of a substantial evolution also in terms of narration and the visual sector, changing at a certain point the approach to scenarios to open up to places much warmer and more colorful than it was reasonable to expect.

PRO

  • Refined, multifaceted, tantalizing gameplay
  • Great atmosphere, effective storytelling
  • Technically and artistically improved
AGAINST
  • Thanks to the involvement, it is completed quickly
  • All in English
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