Square Enix’s ‘The Quiet Man’ is Suspiciously Bizarre and Compelling

The Quiet Man PAX West 2018 Preview

Originally announced at E3 2018, The Quiet Man is an intriguing title that aims to blend live-action scenes with in-game CGI scenes. While the reveal was met with an overall less-than-enthusiastic reaction, my hands-on experience with the title at PAX West 2018 was promising. With a bizarre, compelling narrative and a suspiciously interesting combat system, my thoughts on the narrative action title quickly flipped.

The Quiet Man places players in the role of deaf protagonist Dane, which also puts them into a “soundless world”. The premise of the story is that a songstress is kidnapped by a mysterious, masked man, leaving Dane to fight his way to her rescue while also battling his own demons. Because of the “soundless world”, much of the narrative is up to the player to make their own interpretation of the game. While the story is driven forward with the live-action sequences, the actual gameplay sequences are what I kept looking forward to.

Action Packed

The combat is choreographed by Tatsuro Koike, who may be best known for directing the action in the Yakuza franchise. The combat mechanics were simple and easy to pick up, providing some satisfying yet brutal combinations. While the actual combat was satisfying, the movement was a bit clunky when walking, but definitely felt better when holding the sprint button. While the game does not have a release date yet, I am optimistic that the combat will feel even better by its release.

With the game playable in one sitting, I am curious to see how deep the combat can go. While narratives can be deep enough, such as in a three-hour movie, gameplay tends to require building with a few different pieces before the “complete” experience can be had. While I enjoyed the demo, the game being completed in one sitting does make me wonder how the final game will be experienced.

As a game I went in curious to see more of, I came away pleasantly surprised that I had enjoyed it more than I expected to. While the concerns are still there, the short vertical slice served to me was short, sweet, and enjoyable. Of course, the game is still in development and thus this preview should be read in consideration of that fact. Releasing on PC and PS4 for $14.99, The Quiet Man has yet to receive a release date, but the cinematic adventure may find its place among other narrative experiences.