Admit it, when you are stuck in a game the first thing you do is seek help from the internet. It starts innocently enough with just a few tips, but often it quickly escalates to YouTube where you can find videos that will fix all gaming dilemmas. However, when you have an early review code for Q.U.B.E. 2 there are no tips or magic YouTube videos to hold your hand through difficult puzzles. Forced to face the game alone, I made the sad realization that my gaming habits have become deplorable and just how easily I give up or seek the comfort of outside help after only a few attempts.
Q.U.B.E. 2 is a first-person puzzle game from Toxic Games and the much-anticipated sequel to Q.U.B.E. Now, everyone knows you can’t talk about first-person puzzle games without mentioning Portal and Q.U.B.E 2 does the genre proud. You assume the role of archaeologist Amelia Cross who finds herself stranded on a strange ancient alien world with no recollection of how she got there. There’s also a pair of magical manipulation gloves on your hands that will be essential to your travels back home. Help comes from the distant voice of commander Emma Sutcliffe who will advise you on your newfound superhero gloves and how to use them in your exit strategy.
Similar to Portal’s test chambers, Q.U.B.E. 2 features a series of rooms in which you will need to use three colored cubes and each of their different personalities to escape. The game unfolds in eleven chapters with over eighty puzzles to solve ranging from easy to maniacal. A blue cube acts as a launch pad and is important for launching objects or even yourself to areas that are unreachable through regular travel. Red cubes form rectangles that can be useful in many situations from stopping an object, pushing other blocks, and forming a platform. Lastly, the green cubes are the most versatile as they can be moved, launched, caught on fire or covered in grease/oil for different speeds and to reach longer distances.
Later in the game, we are introduced to magnets that have the ability to attract or repel an object. These were my biggest issue in the game as controlling the magnets behavior was often wonky unless you were immediately in front of it, which was rarely the case. Chapter seven was when I hit my first wall in the game and probably would have sought internet help or possibly even abandoned Q.U.B.E. 2 completely had I not committed to reviewing the game. Don’t be discouraged or afraid of that statement because the more difficult the game became, the more rewarding and exhilarating it was to solve the increasingly difficult puzzles.
In between rooms, there are often statues that upon interacting with provide fragments of information of an unfolding philosophical cautionary tale about mankind. At the end you are presented with two paths which I assume may give you different endings but unfortunately, I ran out of time to explore more than one. No spoiler alert, but the ending contains a twist that would make M. Night Shyamalan proud.
While you genuinely want to know the outcome of the story, Q.U.B.E. 2 is all about the puzzles. It’s a shame that so many great first-person puzzle games get lost in Portal comparisons, but since we will probably never see a third Portal, Q.U.B.E. 2 is a worthy replacement. My one complaint would be that the puzzles needed a better progression in difficulty, they were easy and then without warning spiked to sadistic and then back down again.
Q.U.B.E. 2 PS4 Review
Overall - Fantastic - 8.5/10
The cake might still be a lie but Q.U.B.E. 2 is no joke featuring well crafted and clever puzzles that will inspire both rage and happiness as any good puzzle game should. At times the control mechanics are a bit off, and puzzle difficulty progression could be tweaked a little but overall the game is definitely worth your time.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using a PS4 Pro