Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut adds plot, explores virtual reality, and joins consoles
Q.U.B.E., or "Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion," has been pulling us through color-coordinated, geometric puzzles since its original desktop release back in 2011. The Director's Cut takes us back into the labyrinthine ship for more puzzles, a time trial mode, and, most notably, a revamped storyline.
Since its inception, Q.U.B.E.'s physics-based gameplay and sterile sci-fi setting has been frequently compared to Portal. While Q.U.B.E. has kept up with fresh and innovative mechanics, its meager plot never had the chops to go toe-to-toe (wire-to-wire?) with GLaDOS's iconic characterization and Aperture's world-building. With this in mind, Toxic Games brought in thriller genre veteran Rob Yescombe to beef up Q.U.B.E.'s narrative.
On the new edition's official Steam Page, Yescombe discusses the themes underlying the over-arcing mystery of the game. "We are conditioned to expect death and doom," he writes. "We’re resigned to it. At its heart, this story is about that state of mind and how it affects the way we view our experiences, in games and in life. The Director’s Cut will feel either heroic or unnerving, depending on your own personal trust issues."
To bring this story to life, Rachel Robinson and Rupert Evans play the disembodied angel and devil on our protagonist's shoulders, lending their voices to Commander Nowak and Nine-One-Nine, respectively. As you journey through the ship, they offer clashing perspectives on your situation, often creating more questions than answers.
While the narrative may be predominantly auditory, the gameplay is a visual spectacle. Now you can experience the puzzles first-hand with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, available now for the Director's Cut desktop release. Console VR is still unconfirmed, but with Xbox's partnership with Oculus and Q.U.B.E. 2 confirmed for Project Morpheus, a future addition is entirely possible.
According to the game's official press release, Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut will be released globally for the PlayStation 3 and 4 on July 22 (July 21 for American players) and the Xbox One on July 24. A Wii U edition will navigate its way onto the eShop this August.