Q.U.B.E. 2 (XBOXONE)

q2covernxgAmelia Cross wakes up in a strange environment. She has no recollection of how and why she got there. Luckily, her radio springs to life with the voice of commander Emma. The commander is there to help Amelia to the exit. She lets slip that the strange environment is actually an alien planet. Amelia will have to use her wits to find a way home.

And so, I, playing as Amelia, start wandering through the pristine white corridors on the planet. Which proves to be a tad more challenging than expected. In almost every room, there’s a puzzle waiting. One that needs to be solved, before I can progress to the next room. Behold: the gimmick of Q.U.B.E. 2!

The game is entirely in first-person, a POV which is usually reserved for shooters. But in Q.U.B.E. 2 there aren’t any guns to be found. Amelia’s suit has the ability to change the color of certain ‘interactive’ panels of the rooms with a simple hand-gesture. Three colors are available. Green makes a cube appear. Blue acts as a springboard and red brings forth long beams. Combined, these three abilities help us past hazards and hurdles. Reaching higher ground, avoiding huge fans and laserfences or activating pressurepads  suddenly becomes child’s play.

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Which is exactly what makes Q.U.B.E. 2 so brilliant. The gameplay is just simple enough to pick up right away. There wasn’t a moment I felt frustrated at the difficulty of a particular puzzle, because, using an ounce of common sense, solutions are as clear as the light of day.

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Which is, regrettably, also a minor gripe of mine… The puzzles seem a tad too simple. It feels as if Amelia’s running from room to room, without ever facing a real challenge or threat. The puzzles also start feeling repetitive in the long haul, because of that.

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Luckily, there’s still the well-penned story, the excellent voiceacting and the stylish design of the planet, tickling my minimalism-loving brain just the right way. If you ever feel like picking up a nice looking, none-too-challenging puzzler, then Q.U.B.E. 2 is the way to go.

Jan

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