"Quantum Break," one of the most anticipated games of 2016, was the first big test for Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform. The game, released April 5, was developed for the Xbox One and PC with developers Rememdy Entertainment using the same code for both ports of "Quantum Break." While the Xbox One version is working with minimal complaints, the PC port has been plagued by technical problems.
The biggest issue facing "Quantum Break" for PC is one of performance, according to Digital Foundry. A 60Hz monitor, with the PC horsepower to back it up, means a game's frame rate should match the monitor's refresh rate. That's not the case with "Quantum Break," as the game can't go beyond 50 frames per second, a troubling flaw considering 60 frames per second is standard for most PC games. Even capping the frame rate at 30 fps, which is what can be found on the Xbox One, reveals its own set of flaws. Unlike the smooth experience found on the console, the PC version of "Quantum Break" is a choppy affair.
At fault for these issues is the new Universal Windows Platform, according to Digital Foundry. Developers are still learning how to optimize a game for the Xbox One and the more powerful PC, which is why image reconstruction used to create crisp graphics on the Xbox One leads to blurry graphics on the PC. Computer gamers are an industrious group of consumers willing to fix perceived problems via patches or mods. That option is not available with "Quantum Break" due to the Universal Windows Platform. Any performance issues will require an update from Microsoft.
On top of the frame rate concerns and poor image quality is the game's tendency to crash on PCs with Nvida drivers. While not a game breaker, the lack of a quit button is an odd omission that further underscores the disappointing port of "Quantum Break." With a choice between a game for the PC or console, the former usually wins in a landslide due to the graphical improvements. For "Quantum Break," Digital Foundry recommends the Xbox One version.
Technical difficulties aside for the PC version, "Quantum Break" has received good, but not great, reviews across both platforms. The game currently sits at a 77 on Metacritic, with the best reviews coming from Destructoid, Polygon and Game Informer with scores of 85. The Washington Post (70), GameSpot (60), the Guardian (40) and Time (40) were among the more negative reviews of the game. While the overall gameplay of "Quantum Break" was well-received, the live-action episodes were too jarring of an experience for many critics.