There are always a lot of good games coming out, whether it’s the latest instalment in a franchise you know and love, or an intriguing new spin on an old idea, vying for your attention. The biggest deal for me this year though is Remedy Studio’s Quantum Break, and with the news that it’s just gone gold, it’s high time you started getting excited about it too.
The way it all works, as explained by charismatic Studio Head Sam Lake, is that the game sections follow one side of the story, while the live-action parts focus on the other. Since you play Jack Joyce fighting against the shady sounding Monarch Solutions, you’d assume they are just Generic Evil Company #3453, but with Gillan’s role being described as ‘friend-turned-enemy’, hopefully there will be more depth to it, which will be explored in the TV show element, and the TV element will change based on your choices in-game.
...Quantum Break looks like it has some interesting mechanics to play with, being centred around the concept of manipulating time
I know what you’re thinking: ‘I remember a game trying to tie-in a TV show element before, what was it called again? Oh, that’s right, Defiance, I wasn't mad about it...’ You’d be right, and though the game and its SyFy TV show weren’t that well-received critically, that doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with the idea. In fact some of the moments where the two pieces overlapped was enough to raise a smile with minimal effort, here the TV show is entirely incorporated into the game, so there’s no issue of battling for ratings or dealing with network executives to worry about.
The real strength of a game though, is the actual game, and Quantum Break looks like it has some interesting mechanics to play with, being centred around the concept of manipulating time - particularly in combat, but also hopefully with some puzzle elements too. Being able to freeze enemies in place in a time bubble while you pummel them with bullets, or sprint across an area while they are stuck in place fills me with excitement, similar to the time-bending antics of Max Payne. This is no accident of course, in that Payne was created by the very same studio, and reportedly the game builds on that very same world-building engine, albeit an incredibly re-tooled version.
While it isn’t everything, the next big thing that gets me excited is the style. The way sound reacts to the manipulation of time and everything we have seen about the game to date makes it a compelling experience to jump into as well.
Whether the game will be the smash hit the Microsoft arguably needs from one of its (console) exclusive IPs remains to be seen (the game is out on 5 April), but, like a few other titles we’ve seen here and there, there’s plenty about this title which points to it adding up to more than the sum of its parts.