Originally released as a short, free-to-play space shooter, Quantum Legacy has returned as a much longer and more feature-laden full-priced release. The gameplay remains the same as before. This is an on-rails space shooter that simply has players shooting bad guys while activating their shields at just the right time to avoid damage.
From a presentation standpoint, Quantum Legacy HD is particularly impressive. The space vistas are gorgeous. Whether staring at starry backgrounds or nearby planetary bodies, the overall backdrop offers some of the best-looking graphics we’ve seen in a space-based game. Explosions and ships look good as well, and even the audio and voice work are well done.
The story about a mysterious force invading a deep space outpost is told mostly through in-mission dialogue. You’re never really given any idea who your character is or what the backstory is, and the enemy ships tend to all feel like clones. Especially odd are the bizarre remarks they make when dying, such as calmly spouting off catch phrases like ‘Defense rests.’
This time, please mind the prime directive.
The gameplay itself is a simple mix of attack and defend. The whole game consists of blocking enemy shots by tapping the shield button just before impact, while tapping fire at the right time to hit an enemy when their shield is down. Since the ships can’t activate shields and weapons at the same time, there’s definitely some timing involved.
It’s possible to steer the ship with the tilt controls, which conceivably helps line up shots better. In practice, however, it makes virtually no difference at all, especially since the weapons auto-aim anyway. As you progress through the 20 missions, the game hands out new shields and weapons and a few different ships. It’s not exactly RPG-like progression, but shields that recharge your health and more powerful weapons are always welcome.
Of particular note is that Quantum Legacy was made by a tiny team, which makes the great presentation even more impressive. Just the same, even for an on-rails shooter, the game play just feels too simple and repetitive. This isn’t a bad game, but it definitely could use more variety to make the action match the level of the graphics.