Game On: “Quantum Break” features unique TV shows based on video game play
First shown during 2013’s E3 press conference, “Quantum Break” is the newest game by Finnish game developer Remedy, the company that made the stylish shooter “Max Payne” and the amazing horror novel brought to life “Alan Wake.”
“Quantum Break” is a unique mix of third person action shooter and a live action television show with a great cast of famous actors. Over the years, there have been many attempts to bridge the gap between games and TV with little success. Remedy games are no stranger to combining original shows into games, like it did in Alan Wake, but the latest game has full-length, half hour episodes instead of short clips.
In previous games Remedy tried to tell a great story while having frantic action, the stories were good but not as developed as in “Quantum Break.” The story is about a man named Jack Joyce, who gains the ability to manipulate time after a time traveling experiment when wrong.
In “Max Payne,” the Remedy introduced “bullet time,” which is the main visual effect of the “Matrix” movies. “Quantum Break” expands on these abilities allowing for some awesome feats like slowing down time to dodge bullets, freezing time to hide in another location, even an ability that makes you super fast. In the main story, Jack must use his abilities to try to save time which is collapsing. The cast of the game is full of big time stars including actors from “Game of Thrones.” This really lends emotional weight to the story.
The breakdown of time creates some of the most interesting moments in the game. There will be pockets where time is totally frozen and you can move around freely and take a close look at everything in the environment. It is really bizarre to see time standing still and later in the game there are scary moments where some enemies start moving during the frozen time, making for some startling moments.
Playing around with time is a blast, it’s a good thing because most of the weapons are pretty plain and boring. The shooting is competent but it isn’t super innovative.
At several points throughout the game there are breaks in the action where you get to watch a full episode of the TV show. The story of the show is based on your actions through the game. Remedy filled several versions of each episode so the one you see will be different based on the decisions you made in the previous chapter. It’s not the best show, sometimes it comes off like a cheap sci-fi channel show but it’s amazing that the episodes can be changed based on your game play.
Overall I loved “Quantum Break.” The action is fun especially the time manipulation abilities, and the story is great because of the acting. It’s accentuated by being able to watch the TV show which changes based on your actions. “Quantum Break” isn’t perfect but it is one of the most interesting games I have played in a while.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
System: Xbox One, PC
ESRB Rating: M for Mature: Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language
Publisher: Microsoft Developer: Remedy