I rather enjoyed the Director’s Cut of Q.U.B.E. when it released back on consoles in 2015. It delivered an interesting story and puzzle challenge whilst keeping the gameplay tight and focused. You can read the original review here, there’s little point in recounting it verbatim. What Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary offers up is a version of the game for the latest generation of consoles, as well as sprucing up some elements for the PC audience. There are both versions of the game – the original and the Director’s Cut – and the tale has been expanded alongside new content; it’s a good package. Given how mind bending the puzzles are, is it worth a revisit? Or if you’re new should you dive in? I’d have instantly recommended it 8 years ago, but now… it’s a different story.
As before, you wake up alone in a strange place with a voice on the comms telling you that the world is in danger, you’re the only one that can save it, and that you’ll probably not remember anything of who you are and why you’re there. Equipped with a pair of gloves that are remotely able to manipulate coloured blocks in the environment, you head deeper in to the vast labyrinth to search out the truth. Using your wits alone you have to figure out a path forward by moving blocks, creating platforms and leaping around, and the lack of guidance actually works quite well in conveying that isolated saviour of humanity vibe. As things move along in Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary you’ll discover more of the underlying story, get more info from your sole link back to Earth, and find ways to stop your brain leaking out of your ears when the puzzles get out of hand.
The key new features of Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary are predominantly visual, with the whole game getting an overhaul to take advantage of the higher power of the latest hardware. It’s an understatement to say that it’s a step on, all the environments feel like they have more weight and substance, and there’s great use of light and shadow to instil the sense of grandeur that the mysterious place holds. You’ve also the choice of playing the original version of the game or the Director’s Cut, depending on how you like your stories fed to you. Getting through both will mean committing to a decent amount of play-time, and then there’s the addition of Section 8 after the main campaign winds up that brings between 4 and 6 hours more (according to the developer). Clearly, there’s loads to go at and enjoy in this package… but, there was a serious drawback that I can’t get past (literally).
Merrily clocking through the puzzles and reminding myself of the mechanics, I romped into Section 3 of Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary feeling pretty invincible. That was a mistake. After a few of the setup puzzles I reach the first real challenge of the area, only to discover that it’s glitched in a way that makes it impossible to complete. You’re meant to rotate the puzzle and move the ball around to reach the goal, yet each time I tried it flung the ball across the screen to destroy it, or dropped it out of play. Restarting the level, resetting the game, and rebooting the console has not fixed it; nor has any patch been forthcoming to sort it out. I’ve been sat on the review copy for a while waiting patiently for it to be corrected, but now think that’s never coming. I’ve captured the problem in the video below, and it’s worth being aware that I can’t find any reference to it online, so there’s every chance this is just impacting my game.
I really wanted to see the improvements in Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary and see if it could elevate itself to improve on the original score I gave it, and for a time it was heading in that direction. Yet I can’t progress, the game is broken (for me at least) and that means that there’s nothing further to say. Not since GRID 2 have I encountered a genuine game breaking bug that’s never been fixed, and I’m slightly surprised that there’s one here at all. For now, I’d simply recommend picking up the old version in a sale and enjoying it with out the enhancements, it’s still a fantastic puzzler.
A PS5 review copy of Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary was provided by Toxic Games PR team, and it’s available now on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC for around £20… but be wary of dropping cash if it’s not actually going to work.
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