Quantum League is a multiplayer FPS that kind of took me by surprise. I was given the game to review based on the fact it seemed to be a lot like Overwatch. Now, I’m not gonna claim to be any huge fan of Overwatch or anything, but that was kind of all I had to go on. Boy, my expectations got obliterated.
Usually, when I review something, I try to compare it to something that the reader might be familiar with. But I’ll be honest, while Quantum League might have some superfluous similarities to games like Overwatch, from a gameplay perspective, it is entirely unique. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve never played anything like it.
My partner Falcon already shared his first impressions, so you might wanna go and read that if you want a rough overview of the game. But I’ll give more of an in-depth look at Quantum League. We’ll go over my own experience with it, the mechanics, the weapons, and the characters. So let’s get started.
Fragging In 4 Dimensions
This is usually where I talk about the story, but I’ll be honest, I don’t even know if this game has one. Quantum League does introduce you to core concepts in its tutorials but I don’t think at any point are you given any backstory for the game or its characters.
I mean, the game is a budget title. It costs as much as a pizza at the moment. So it’s fair to expect that it’s more focused on gameplay over fluff. But I’m pretty sure there’s literally no story in this game.
That’s not to say the game doesn’t have a setting. It is distinctly set in the future, and obviously, time travel has been made possible. At least a short version of it. But apparently, instead of putting this to any use that would benefit the world, we use it to have really short matches where time is rewound every 15-20 seconds. Go figure.
But who knows, maybe this quantum mechanic has already been used for good and we’re just at the point where the only thing left to do with it is killing each other. Okay so maybe it’s a good thing this game doesn’t go too deep into any lore about why these people are using time travel to kill each other over and over. Let’s just get on to the core gameplay.
Quantum League is probably the FPS I’ve played that has the absolute shortest matches, though only technically. Each match consists of 15-20 seconds, with the goal of what to do within this timeframe depending on the game mode. You might think this sounds like an awfully short time until you consider the fact you repeat this loop 3 times. The actions you performed in the previous timeline are still being done in every reiteration and you just appear as a clone of yourself.
This is what makes Quantum League so unique. It’s more heavily focused on strategy than most FPS games I’ve played, even ones that claim to be tactical. When we interviewed one of the developers of the game, he said a lot of the influence came from X-Com, which is very easy to see.
Desynced From Existence
With how each round adds more and more complexity to how the match plays out, this means that previous actions you completed might not play out if your older clone is killed before they can carry out their actions. Vice versa it also means that death is not necessarily the end as you can still perform actions while “desynced” as the game calls it. Those actions will still be performed if you managed to save your older clone from dying in the next loop.
To resync, you can either keep yourself from dying by killing the opponent first or resync using health orbs scattered around the map. Resync orbs can be highly valuable so it is up to you if you want to save them or grab them to keep your opponent from using them.
If this makes your brain hurt a bit at first, that’s fine. It kinda did for us too. But the game does an exceptionally good job at easing you into its concepts. Eventually, you start thinking ahead more and more, setting up possible traps and finding ways to gain an advantage. Though you never lose that feeling that everything can change drastically in that final loop.
In truth, all of the game modes in Quantum League are about maintaining control rather than getting kills. You don’t really get rewarded for killing, and there’s no kill/death ratio counter in the game. Instead, the game is about maintaining dominance over your opponent, making the game more about outsmarting your opponent than just killing them.
Loops Of Fury
In terms of match sizes, Quantum League only supports 1vs1 or 2vs2 matches. But with how the game works, that means in a 1vs1 match you will eventually have six players on the field, and 12 players in a 2vs2 match. It’s kind of like playing with bots, except you get to program them.
There are 3 game modes available. Point Capture, Domination, and Free-For-All. Each mode adds its own challenges to the gameplay, so let’s take a look at them in more detail.
Point Capture is essentially King of the Hill. The goal is to capture a single point on the map and keep your enemy from doing the same. With the quantum mechanic in Quantum League, this becomes easier said than done as the enemy can kill your first clone before it even reaches the point, or you can then kill him in the next loop to keep your old self from dying.
Domination is similar to Point Capture, except the goal is to keep as many points on the map under your control as possible, rather than capturing a single point. Similar to Point Capture, you can use Quantum League’s game mechanics to your advantage here and essentially set up how you keep control of the points. Though in my experience, things can change in the blink of an eye, so don’t get too cocky.
Free-For-All is pretty much as you would imagine, but wait. In Quantum League, you don’t really die as much as you just get desynced. So rather than killing the opponent, the goal is actually just to keep as many enemy clones desynced as possible.
Quantum League offers six distinct characters to play as, dubbed Athletes in the game. Each character has their own unique look and ability. There isn’t really much in terms of backstory or customization, beyond buying different skins. But let’s look at each character and the perks that they offer.
Bjarne is described as a “fearless badass and Top Time Skipping Chef”. Not really certain what that last bit means. Maybe he just likes cooking with time or something, who knows.
His ability is Clone Tracker, which makes him able to spot opponents with low health through solid objects. A handy ability for finishing off clones. And he’s also possibly Norwegian judging by the name.
Jackie’s the most athletic among the characters. A self-described hard worker who puts family above all else. In her classic look, she’s seen wearing a pair of headphones, a top with the number 2 on it, and sports attire.
Her ability is Desynced Speeder, which allows Jackie to move faster while desynced. This could be advantageous for getting to health orbs faster. We’re not sure how this ability is affected by her being resynced on later time loops, however. One would assume the speed buff wears off when she’s resynced, so it may not be advantageous to resync her if you’ve used this ability before.
Justin is a graffiti artist, though he also loves beatboxing and basketball. He hates bullies and is usually wearing a hoodie. His signature animation shows him doing a growl at the camera.
Justin’s ability is Prefire Booster. This ability allows Justin’s clones to deal more weapon damage on future timelines. This could give you a tactical advantage for certain setups.
An underground punk band singer and bar brawler, Levka knows how to handle herself. Due to her looks and ability, Levka actually became my favorite athlete quickly.
Her ability is Ghost Vision, which allows Levka to see recently killed players and ghosts who are firing their weapons. This is advantageous since it gives you a rough idea of where the enemy is placing their desynced ghosts. Very useful for planning tactics ahead.
Toure is a professional football player, a natural sprinter, and Quantum champion. His usual costume consists of a hoodie, a beanie, and athletic pants. Though his signature costume includes a visor and bandana.
Toure uses Kinetic Shield, an ability that allows him to accumulate a shield while sprinting. This shield reduces all incoming damage to him. Of course, while sprinting you’re a bit limited to what you can do, so this becomes more of a tactical advantage.
Next to Levka, Violet is the other musical talent on the team. She’s the top contender for the London Underground League. She has a passion for tech, crafts and music.
Violet’s unique ability is called Arsenal. It allows her to replace her sidearm blaster with a primary weapon on subsequent loops, which can come in really handy. Ever wanted to wield a shotgun AND a sniper rifle? Or an SMG AND a grenade launcher? Violet has you covered.
Weapons Of Quantum Destruction
Interestingly the arsenal in Quantum League is surprisingly mundane. While the weapons all have a futuristic visual style, they’re still the same classic weapons we’ve seen in other games. Unlike a lot of other class-based shooters, all characters can use the same weapons.
What makes Quantum League a bit unique though is that you can only have a single primary weapon per loop. This means that you can do one loop with a grenade launcher, and then use a different weapon in the next loop for a tactical advantage.
You can test out all the weapons in the shooting range, which you can find in the game’s training menu.
Your sidearm and can be used with any of the other weapons. With some weapons like the sniper rifle it can be used as a fairly decent backup weapon since it has a higher fire rate and works well at most ranges. It’s a reliable pistol that doesn’t feel too weak.
The weapon in the number 1 spot. It’s a sniper rifle that allows you to pick off enemies from a distance. Its slow fire rate and high damage makes it a weapon that rewards skill, as it tend to be. Headshots are instant kills as well.
Normally SMGs aren’t really a go-to weapon, but in this game it’s actually one of the most viable weapons. Despite its high fire rate it also has a fairly high damage as well, making it feel quite overpowered. For most matches, the SMG can easily overpower any of the other weapons, despite its lack of any distinct tactical advantage. It’s useful at pretty much most ranges too.
While the grenades do not explode on impact like most grenade launchers, they do deal a degree of damage over time. Due to the grenades exploding on a timer, you need some skill to use the weapon correctly. But in the right hands, it can give a tactical advantage.
Just your average shotgun. It deals a fair amount of short to mid range damage, and does so in bursts. It’s a surprisingly useful weapon though, especially on smaller maps.
Has a shorter range but has the advantage of dealing constant damage, since it sends out a constant beam rather than shots. It works similar to a more focused flamethrower in that regard and is very useful at short range. It might do more damage the longer you hold down the trigger, though I’m not sure.
Quantum League features an in-game currency called Quarks. You can earn these by playing the game and leveling up. Though the game does offer the option to buy more Quarks using real money.
While this may irk some players, one important distinction to make is that you cannot buy anything that would give you an advantage. There are no weapon variants that are more powerful, and all of the weapons are always available to all players. The only thing you buy using Quarks are cosmetic skins for your weapons and athletes.
In our recent interview, the developer clearly stated they have no plans of making the game free-to-play, since it would simply not be sustainable for them. Though in my opinion, microtransactions in a game that costs around $8 is not really an issue.
While the game plays great with a keyboard and mouse, our runs did show that the controller inputs are a bit imprecise. Some button presses simply didn’t register. Now, we’re not sure if this is also an issue on console, but it is on PC, so it is something to be aware of. By no means a dealbreaker, but something to take into consideration.
At least on PC the game lacks any auto-aim options for controller users. So in general, the game feels much better with a mouse and keyboard. I honestly hope the gamepad controls are better on consoles, where you simply don’t have this luxury.
Very Inventive, But Lacking
As it stands, Quantum League is a very stripped down experience. It has a really unique core gameplay mechanic that is a LOT of fun, especially with friends. But it also has pretty much no story, cookie cutter weapons, bland character designs, and a lack of variety. It relies solely on its mechanic to draw in players, and that might not be enough.
That brings me to the biggest issue with the game right now, which is the lack of players. Finding people to play with is sometimes next to impossible, with ranked servers in particular feeling vacant. Quantum League might be a niche game, but it is one that deserves to be played and watched.
So we highly suggest you grab it on Steam. The price is more than fair for one of the most unique multiplayer FPS’s ever. So go check it out now!
While Quantum League is a bit lacking in story, variety and the guns feel a bit vanilla, its unique core mechanic is strong enough to make this a must-play title for competitive FPS fans.
- Excellent music
- Incredibly fun core mechanic that feels really fleshed out
- No performance drops on our test runs
- No connection issues other than occasional lag
- Doesn't force you to think in 4 dimensions, but rewards it massively
- Somewhat bland character designs
- Strangely vanilla weapon loadout
- Lack of gameplay variety or singleplayer options
- Small playerbase
Sound and Music