Analysis of QUBE 2. A sequel that knows what is done

Written by Kamran Haider

Nothing like the ingenuity to solve problems. After the good feelings with which we left QUBE, the team of Toxic Games returns to the fray with another remarkable video game of puzzles in the first person as we tell you in the analysis of QUBE 2., improves what is seen in the original as much as artistic as in the design of their puzzles, which are more ingenious and varied.

That smile gives you away. You’ve got it! You have successfully overcome one of the convoluted puzzles of QUBE 2 and you can not hide the joy; that enormous personal satisfaction with which they usually leave you the great video games of puzzles. This is it. For the ingenious design of its challenges, for how it expands the game mechanics of the original, proposing more daring and varied challenges … and why not say it too, for that careful aesthetic that catches from the first minute. Since, in the skin of Dr. Amelia Cross, you wake up in a strange alien world inside another cubic structure like the one we explored, years ago, in the first video game of the independent studio Toxic Games. In general nothing changes with respect to that remarkable first-person puzzle game that, after the wake of the great Portal , surprised us with the intelligent design of its puzzles and, later, it would also be with a Director’s Cut edition that endowed the action of an interesting plot background that, precisely, continues this sequel.

Thanks to the aura of mystery that surrounds this puzzle adventure in the first person and, above all, its ability to surprise with more and more elaborate challenges, the QUBE sequel has everything necessary to meet the expectations of fans of the genre. , and although he achieves this in a big way, he also leaves with a bitter aftertaste for not risking more in the design of his puzzles; for staying in the comfort zone without finally offering that freedom of action that they promised in their beginnings. “We have developed tools that players can use to solve puzzles, subverting the one-dimensionality of the original in favor of something more open, something that allows players to leave their own mark on the solutions,” they commented some time ago, and something of that exists, because there is more interaction with the scenarios, more ways to take advantage of the special gloves with which the protagonist is equipped. But in the end there is only one solution to each puzzle; a unique way to solve the tests, and it is something that at this point feels somewhat disappointing.

Reinventing the formula

Soon the team after QUBE 2 to demonstrate that this is not a sequel that simply bet for a “more of the same” but with better looks. The essence is identical, that is, create cubes of the energy of three different colors to overcome the obstacles that await on the road. You can extend or retract parts of the stage using the color red, or take momentum thanks to the blue blocks, or directly create cubes with which, later, interact in many different ways if you bet on the color green. It’s that simple … that complex.

Because Toxic Games manages to surprise again and again with more and more convoluted challenges that will lead us to perform authentic follies in increasingly larger, increasingly open scenarios , in which we will even have control over certain surfaces, moving platforms from here over there, or using rotating panels, to find that exciting “eureka moment” that makes us scream with joy when we overcome a puzzle.

There are a few moments like that, and we appreciate it because, in the end, it is what we are looking for in this kind of videogames. That’s why I appreciate the good work of the team after QUBE 2. Their puzzles are ingenious, intelligent and, within that science fiction environment, tremendously intuitive. Even being challenging, even putting the difficult things, the game remains within the logic with challenges that you solve by pure intuition, after meditating every step you take, and not so much by walking trying crazy until you come up with the answer of pure chance.Reinventing the formula

Visually speaking this sequel has stuck a giant leap with respect to the original game

I do not want to go into many details because if something I appreciate the game is how it presents the new challenges and, without saying anything, without offering any explanation, in a matter of seconds you master the technique. Examples? The use of air currents, or magnetic fields, or even oil with which we can cover the energy cubes for … you will find out!

But it is this ability to surprise, to maintain high interest, that makes QUBE 2 such an interesting title. The bad thing is that, as I said, there is little room for improvisation. You can only act on certain panels without leaving the script established in the resolution of the puzzles. There is something exploration because the scenarios are increasingly colossal, but at no time feel free to explore or try new ways to overcome the challenges.

It is not a bad thing per se, although it does detract some charm from this sequel. Also in the plot offers lime and sand. The story is followed with interest, really manages to create an attractive halo of mystery that catches, but while it raises an interesting message, with force, which incidentally has been translated into Spanish, its outcome is not as bright as you would expect. The narrative is not at all intrusive, it occurs sporadically in the moments of transition when you go from one room to another; which is something that those who want to solve puzzles without much concern will appreciate.

It is this ability to surprise, to maintain high interest, that turns QUBE 2 into such an interesting title

Visually speaking this sequel has stuck a giant leap with respect to the original video game, providing not only a greater variety of locations but also a better taste for the aesthetic. Even the rooms where there are only cubes everywhere are attractive thanks to the use of colors and lighting, with surfaces that reflect energy beams with great realism. There are dark, gloomy areas, and other more colorful, bright, intermingled with natural surfaces, with areas where there is nature or fire ! and it is great because somehow the game invites you to move forward. You want to explore that strange and colossal structure in which the action takes place, also endowed with a good musical accompaniment, although with little presence throughout the game.

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Although the original playable base remains intact, QUBE 2 manages to surprise thanks to the ingenious and intelligent design of some puzzles that, while not particularly difficult, do stand out for their ability to offer increasingly elaborate and spectacular challenges. With a great staging and an attractive plot background, if you like puzzles video games, you should not lose sight of the new work of Toxic Games.

  • It maintains the essence of the original but poses new challenges
  • Your ability to surprise yourself with more elaborate challenges
  • Great staging; some scenarios stand out for their great beauty
  • The story is followed with interest but it does not stop surprising
  • It does not pose particularly difficult puzzles. It is missing some more freedom
  • The adventure may end too soon

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Kamran Haider

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