Quantum Error PlayStation 5 Review

Quantum Error is an error-filled mess.

By smestey, Posted 31 Oct 2023

Video games are difficult to develop, and as their complexity grows, so does the level of work needed to ship a title. That's why it's so remarkable that 2023 has been able to deliver incredible hits like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Baldur's Gate III, and Resident Evil 4 Remake. It has not all been great, as there have been some disappointments, such as Redfall and Lord of the Rings: Gollum. Unfortunately, TeamKill Media's Quantum Error is parked firmly in the latter camp.

TeamKill is a surprisingly small studio made up of only four developers who are brothers. Quantum Error is the studio's second game but the first in a planned trilogy. Due for release on November 3rd, the PlayStation 5 title running on Unreal Engine 5 makes creative use of the DualSense features such as the Adaptive Triggers, Built-In Microphone, and Haptic Feedback. For those not in Sony's ecosystem, an Xbox Series version is in the works as well.

QuantumError, PlayStation 5, Review, Screenshots, Cinematic, NoobFeed

In Quantum Error, players will take the role of Fire Captain Jacob Thomas in the year 2109. After quitting the armed forces to become a firefighter, Thomas is sent to the Monad Quantum Research Facility located 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco due to an attack by the terrorist group Medusa, engulfing the facility in a series of dangerous flames. However, when Thomas begins to combat the flames, he finds Medusa is not the only threat roaming the complex.

While this may sound generic on paper, Quantum Error does attempt to add some spice by introducing Lovecraft-esque elements into the game. Sadly, these elements are presented and teased as soon as players start up the game and then seem to be forgotten for large chunks of playtime, preventing players from getting invested in this aspect of the game. Instead of intriguing the audience, they only serve to confuse and disorient players as there is no context for their appearance. These elements seem to mostly be here to offer a new enemy type other than the cannon fodder afforded by Medusa grunts, of which you will be fighting excessively.

Quantum Error is described as a survival horror game and is primarily played in the first-person view (though it can also be toggled to third-person). All the usual trappings of the genre are present here. Resource management is the name of the game, and players must monitor their health, ammo, and oxygen as they make their way through a series of different floors fighting a blend of terrorist agents and strange creatures. Quantum Error's decision to make Thomas a former military veteran and firefighter was genius as it gives an in-game reason for the healthy arsenal of tools at his disposal. Not only are all the shooting staples here, such as a pistol, shotgun, and rifle, but he also has access to his firefighting gear, such as an axe, chainsaw, and Jaws of Life, which are used mostly for the puzzle-solving aspects of the game. 

The puzzles are generally simple but still entertaining. A fire may be spewing out of a pipe, so it needs to be clamped at an earlier point in the line using the jaws of life. Smoke may be covering a room, requiring players to vent the area and/or equip a gas mask. Quantum Error also does some creative tricks to help with immersion, such as allowing players to press their hand to a door to check for heat, which is signaled by vibration in the left part of the controller. Very few games allow you to take the role of a firefighter, so these moments were standouts.

QuantumError, PlayStation 5, Review, Screenshots, Shooting

Players can also use stealth, but this never seems to be the most efficient method. Not only does it seem like enemies will find you no matter what you do, but during the game's several boss fights, combat will be required, and this is where Quantum Error falls apart. 

Everything in this game feels clunkier than it should. Reloading, aiming, and movement feel much slower than expected, which can make combat fairly frustrating. This is made more disappointing, given the cumbersome nature of selecting weapons. Players have access to two equipment wheels by holding the left or right d-pad buttons. The left brings up firefighting equipment, while the right brings up weapons. While this is a logical way to organize equipment, actually switching between the two takes far longer than they should.

Since weapons have such a paltry ammo capacity, players will be switching between them frequently. This problem is exacerbated by numerous bugs where the wheel would not pop up, or it would not equip the right weapon. I lost several sections of progress due to a weapon running out of ammo and then the weapon wheel not loading up correctly, causing me to take large chunks of damage or die. 

Death is already a massive problem in this game, as the appearance of a Game Over screen being triggered is usually very unclear. On more than one occasion, I would need to play through a section two or three times just to learn what I was doing wrong. Nothing is more indicative of this flaw than an enemy type who is legitimately invisible. There is no indication that one of these enemies is near other than HP starting to drop. The only way to spot them is to shoot wildly and hope you hit them. This is a terrible enemy type for a game that stresses ammo conservation and is made worse by the game's infrequent save stations.

QuantumError, PlayStation 5, Review, Screenshots, Firefighting Training

Before critical moments, the game will autosave, but these times are few and far between. In general, players can not save unless they enter Argus Rooms, which are scarcely located around the facility. These specific rooms are usually located on one path of a fork in the road, and if players take the wrong one, they will most likely be forced into a series of combat encounters, which, if they fail, will force them back to the last save-point.

There are map terminals; however, these are only in specific areas and do not seem wholly accurate to the layout, so they aren't much help. This makes exploration, which is a vital part of any survival horror title, frustrating as you run the risk of losing large amounts of progress. Quantum Error also only allows one save slot, so once you overwrite your progress, there is no way to go back to an earlier point, which is bizarre for a modern game and further compounds the exploration issues of which there are several more.

Ammo and health are generally only found in crates that must be opened with a crowbar. This would not be a problem, except players can only have one weapon equipped at a time. I spent an ungodly amount of time switching to the crowbar to open a crate for a small health pick-up, just to switch back to a weapon, only to switch back to the crowbar for another crate. This is assuming you don't hit the bugs I mentioned earlier. These are far from the only bugs I encountered in this title.

I encountered more bugs in this game than in any other title I have ever played. Probably the worst offender is a somewhat frequent issue where grabbing a fire hose or fire extinguisher won't equip the item despite it now being attached to the character model. For sections that require a fire to be put out to proceed, this would require a hard reset. One bug in particular allowed me to bypass an entire section of the game purely by accident. I was pretty happy I encountered that one. Seeing as though the game is incredibly light on scares, and all combat sections play out largely the same, I don't feel like I missed out on anything other than some collectibles.

QuantumError, PlayStation 5, Review, Screenshots, Firefighting

There are several collectibles in the game. The biggest one (literally) is rescuing researchers located in the facility. Players can interact with them, which will cause them to follow you until you get them to a safe location. I saved a couple but didn't notice any rewards for doing so, which led me to stop. There are also rubber ducks located around the facility, which, if all are found, will let players get a squirt gun. I assume this is a super weapon, but I can't confirm. Finally, players can find two collectibles, one to increase player specs such as health and oxygen and the other to increase weapon capabilities such as damage. Given the complex nature of so much of Quantum Error, these upgrades were refreshingly simple. 

While the graphics look great in stills, they look dull and lifeless in movement. This is particularly noticeable during cutscenes, where screen tearing occurs during every transition. That is not an exaggeration or hyperbole. Even simple movements from one character's face to another would cause graphic issues. This, combined with the game's frequent audio sync issue where dialogue doesn't match up to the speaker's lips, destroys any presentation. 

While sub-par cutscenes would not be a deal-breaker in a game that mostly wants to give you an excuse to shoot creatures, Quantum Error seems interested in telling its story. Cutscenes are frequent and can be pretty lengthy, with shots reminiscent of films. Quantum Error tries its best to get players invested in the plot, but these issues are too numerous and distracting. This is not the only issue with the presentation.

While the voice acting is generally serviceable, the dialogue leaves much to be desired. A villain describes himself as "evil" which is awful character writing and speaks to the absence of any nuance in the game's conflict. Outside of dialogue, this game has so many sirens and alarms that are all ear-splitting. In my fruitless attempt to make this tolerable, I muted the game, only to realize it doesn't have subtitles of any kind. Accessibility is a massive conversation in the industry, so it is baffling that Quantum Error is missing such a common feature that sums up the game as a whole.

QuantumError, PlayStation 5, Review, Screenshots, Female Character, NoobFeed

Quantum Error is too ambitious to the detriment of basic features. It wants to be a survival horror game, a first-person shooter, and a sci-fi thriller film but doesn't pull off any of these particularly well. Its most interesting aspect is its firefighting, but this is also what it spends the least of its playtime focused on. It is incredibly impressive that it was built by such a small team, but that doesn't make it any more enjoyable to play. Especially given its price is competing with AAA titles such as Resident Evil 4 and Alan Wake 2. However, even if this game was cheaper, there are still too many bugs and flaws for it to be recommended to anyone. I think TeamKill has a bright future ahead of them, but they need to reign in their ambition.

Simon Estey
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Quantum Error


Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4
Publisher(s): TeamKill Media LLC
Developer(s): TeamKill Media LLC
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Story Driven, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2023-11-03

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