Everything works in Theory.
You ever been to a flea market in Chinatown? It's amazing the stuff you can find there: katanas, fireworks, nudie decks of cards, and cheap imitation designer blue jeans. Yes, if you're looking for chintzy knock-offs, you can't beat Chinatown.
[image1]Now let's pretend Japan was Chinatown. I know that sounds confusing and culturally insensitive (why not just Japantown?), but roll with me on this one. Now let's say that instead of buying those fake Levi's, you purchase a knock-off game that's nothing more than a shell of what it's imitating and with much poorer stitching. That's my analogy for what Quantum Theory is.
It's the cheap import counterfeit version of Gears of War made in some far off land and peddled at your local underground markets (or GameStop). It's the gift you get from your grandma for Christmas when you asked for Gears proper, and all she can say is “What's the difference?” Well, granny (you smarmy old...), I'll tell you what the difference is. Gears of War is fun to play and Quantum Theory at the very, very least isn't as much fun. And that's being extremely nice.
Not every single aspect of the game sucks ass, though. While it does pretty much rip off all of its gameplay mechanics from Gears, it does have its moments of brilliance where it improves upon the basic concept of the duck-and-cover shoot-out genre. Levels sometimes have environments that shift around, changing shapes and the like, making it difficult to bunker down behind cover in some areas and adding a sense of urgency to the combat. And the way all your enemies explode in blood splatter when you kill them is awesome.
[image2]There's also an interesting mechanic that allows you to throw your AI partner at enemies mercilessly, a la Colossus and Wolverine's fastball special. It's a unique feature that can get you out of some tight spots, but it has a very short recharge time, so it can be very easy to abuse, making the levels in which you're teamed up much easier than those where you're not. And since that happens sporadically, it can make the difficulty jump around a lot as well.
Beyond that, everything is downhill from there. A lot of areas, such as the brighter cathedral levels, have an unfinished look. It all reminds me of playing a Devil May Cry game... on the PS2. And then there are the evil dirt worms that are all over the place. I don't know what the fuck is up with them. I don't care what form you put clumps of dirt in; I will not find them scary. And then there are the levels that involve you riding on the giant worms as the background twists around you. Do you know how hard it is to play a game that's all about being able to aim accurately at your target while it spins 360 degrees around you? Seasick vomiting hard.
And it's not like it's any easier to aim before that. Tweaking the aiming sensitivity to a setting that works, at least for my play style, is impossible. It's either too fast or too slow with nothing in between. Getting a good decent headshot is essentially a crapshoot (pardon the pun). You just end up aiming, zooming in, re-aiming, and then zooming back out to follow your enemy because they move from their positions so goddamn much. Maybe that was deliberate to up the challenge, but it more so feels like poor aiming mechanics than anything else.
[image3]There are multiplayer features as well, but no one is playing Quantum Theory, so it's impossible to say whether or not it's any fun as other people would have had to have purchased it to make that possible. I think they're all playing Gears of War 2 and laughing at me for wasting my time with QT. But I could just be paranoid.
The one major difference between the fake Calvin Kline's and the rip-off game is that you can probably get the GoW2:GOTY edition for the same price or cheaper than the imposter. Meaning there's very little value to Quantum Theory beyond wanting to take a look at a Japanese company's take on Western gaming. But if this is it, then they should just stick with the Pokémon.