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  • Breaking News

    Quantum Break Could Really Be Awesome

    VIDEO GAMES, DELIVERED THE NETFLIX WAY
    Quantum break is an entertainment experience,” says Remedy Entertainment’s creative director sam lake. ''it's the fusion of a cinematic action game and a live action show.” Remedy wants it to be consumed as a unified work, alternating between extended chapters of gameplay and half hour episodes thet expand the narrative. “Both the game and the show ship on the same disc,” teases lake, making Quantum Break feel a like full season of TV with a triple A game attached.


    DON’T EXPECT A STANDARD COVER SHOOTER
    At a glance, Quantum Break looks fatally familiar. But getting your hands on a controller reveals there’s far more to it. While you’ll spend some time ducking behind a litany of waist high cover to avoid being peppered by bullets, Jack Joyce will find his time split between deftly navigating spectacular scenes of destruction and utilising time manipulation powers to overpower his enemies. Then again, why expect anything less from the studio that delivered subversive thriller Max Payne?

    DON'T BRING A GUN TO A TIME AMPLIFIED FIREFIGHT
    “Using his time powers, Jack can rush through time, becoming a blur that confuses and strikes his enemies. Jack can also stop time in a focused area, freezing objects and opponents he can even stop bullets and then release them back for maximum impact,” explains Lake. “When Jack uses his time powers, the enemies lose track of him. This results in exciting cat and mouse gameplay.”

    UPGRADEABLE, BUT NOT OVERPOWERED
    In an effort to ensure you’re never in a position to completely overpower your enemy, Remedy has implemented a gradual upgrade system that evolves your time amplified powers over the course of the game. “In a way, you can think of Quantum Break like a superhero origin story with Jack as the hero. He is learning to use his new powers at the same time as the player is trying to understand them,” says Lake, adding, “All of the time powers start off being easy and fun to learn, but more power and depth is added to the mix as the challenge of the game grows.”

    EXPECT A SATISFYING ESCALATION OF POWER
    Remedy’s escalating time powers really help establish the notion that reality is breaking down. As the time rifts get more severe, you’ll have the ability to use your powers for longer and against more enemies. However, Remedy has implemented a system to ensure you can’t use the powers ad nauseam. “It’s time based regeneration for the powers and all of the powers use the same resource. You need to be thinking about which time power to use at any given time,” Lake confirms.

    IT'S XBOX ONE’S BEST LOOKING GAME
    Remedy is utilising its proprietary Northlight Engine to handle the graphics and cinematics, and the character models are blowing us away. With actors reprising their roles between the game and the show, Remedy has made the in-game digital characters as lifelike as possible. Actors aren’t just motion-captured, they are required to go to a dentist and get a full dental mould before they start filming this is then inserted directly into the game model to ensure mouth movements look as real as possible.

    THE WORLD IS BREAKING APART
    “Time is breaking down entirely,” says Lake. “To the world at large, this crisis is invisible. When time stops, everybody freezes. But Jack’s powers let him function even in these time stutters.” These time stutters create scenes of absolute anarchy, with our most recent hands-on session pushing us to escape a suspension bridge that had recently come into contact with a giant cargo ship. “The stutters create hostile environments and you must use your time powers to survive in a different way from how you use them in standard combat.”

    YOU AREN'T THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN CONTROL TIME
    Monarch Solutions a villainous corporation has a group of elite soldiers able to manipulate time breaks like Joyce. “Monarch Solutions has developed technology that allows its elite troops to operate within stutters,” says Lake. “These elite troops have heavy-duty exoskeletons and custom-built weapons.” You won’t get through these battles by just pulling off precision headshots; you’ll need to use everything you can to take out these time-bending mini-bosses.

    BATTLING INSIDE OF BROKEN TIME
    When battles activates within a time stutter, you’ll have the opportunity to use what Lake calls “destructive loops” to sway the conflict in your favour. “In stutter combat there are always unique aspects like different things that can be destroyed, or a car that can be thrown to explode on enemies,” Lake tells us enthusiastically. “The stutter always tries to go back to its original state. For example, you might explode the car and the explosion freezes in time and does damage to anyone nearby, but then after a moment time rewinds back to its original state.”

    PLATFORMING THROUGH SCENES OF ANARCHY
    As we attempt to navigate a shattered suspension bridge, we’re forced to experiment with falling debris and exploding cars frozen in time as temporary stepping-stones in a time stutter. With little indication of when time will spring back into action, players will need to be quick. “The stutters in time manifest themselves as frozen moments that shift and collapse without warning, creating a timeline with violent, destructive loops that crash into each other,” says Lake.

    PLAY AS THE VILLAIN, AFFECT THE TV SHOW
    “The game is about heroes, the show is about villains,” teases Lake, as we begin to understand the way the game and TV show will intertwine. “Each act culminates in something we call a ‘junction in time’, where you will actually be playing as the main villain [Paul Serene]… He can see glimpses/visions of different potential futures. When you play as him, you explore and investigate these glimpses and then you make a decision about which of the two futures within each junction moment comes to be.”

    SET IN A WIDER REMEDY UNIVERSE?
    A recent behind-closed-doors presentation let us catch a glimpse of Jack Joyce rocking a Night Springs t-shirt, which was of course the fictional Twilight Zone-like show from Alan Wake. This tease that Quantum Break could be connected to Alan Wake has us nursing a migraine just thinking about the possibilities. Remedy refused to comment on the reference, but with Max Payne already popping up in Alan Wake, the thought of this all being part of a wider meta-narrative has us insatiably excited.

    A CRAZY BRANCHING NARRATIVE
    Because of the time junctions, you’ll be able to weave your own narrative throughout Quantum Break. The last moments of a game act will not only inform what you see in the live-action show, but also how the next section of the game will develop. “You make that decision and then we jump into an episode of the show and immediately you see the consequences of that choice that you’ve just made,” Lake says. “That means we’re shooting alternate scenes for the show and, depending on your choice, you will get your own version of the show.”

    THE SHOW IS ESSENTIAL
    “The show is in the style of a modern TV series, and you follow the schemes and power at play within Monarch, the villains that stand in Jack’s way… [they] are tied together in multiple ways that the player can affect with their choices,” confirms Lake. “Of course, we’re not forcing you to watch the show, [but] from our perspective it’s an extension of when a story-driven game gives the player the choice of skipping all of the cinematics. You will be missing out if you do that and you won’t be getting the full experience.” If you don’t have the time to immediately watch an episode, you can save it for later or view them at your own convenience in bulk on a Smartglass enabled device.

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