There's More to Quantum Break Than You Might Think

I got 99 problems and time is definitely one of them.

Quantum Break is a game about a man seeking to rescue the very fabric of time. But if you caught the gameplay demo that Remedy debuted on stage at Microsoft's Gamescom 2014 press conference, you might be under the impression that time must be rescued with a whole lot of gunfire and slow-motion punches to the face. See, there was a pretty big focus on combat in this first look at the upcoming Xbox One exclusive. So much so that you might be forgiven for thinking that's the entire game. Well, don't worry. There's a whole lot more to Quantum Break than that.

In a follow-up appointment here at Gamescom, I got a chance to see what happens after that stage demo ends. First, let's set the scene. Our hero, an everyman named Jack who can continue moving even when time has literally come to a standstill, is caught up in a tussle with the militarized security guards of Monarch Solutions, a shadowy corporation with some very evil intentions who want to keep Jack from reaching his goal. Some shots are exchanged, a bunch of armed guards get taken down, and there's a whole lot of chaos on a bridge overrun by destroyed cars and terrified bystanders.

Yesterday's gameplay premiere ended with a climactic fight on the bridge, but today's demo took things a few steps further. What followed was a sequence that focused on Jack's struggle to traverse through some truly harrowing stutters in time, moments when everything has frozen in place save for a few select objects. What made this scene interesting is that time froze just as a runaway barge came crashing into the bridge, sending the whole thing crashing down in a hailstorm of twisted metal and mangled concrete.

This left Jack in a pretty tricky position. With no way to predict how long time would remain frozen, he had to dash across the tumbling wreckage of the bridge before it all came crashing down into the river below. Making things even more tricky was the fact that certain objects are caught in a "destructive loop," to use a term offered by Remedy creative director Sam Lake. Imagine a taxi hurling forward into another car, or a truck carrying a load of gravel overturning and spilling its load onto the asphalt. Now imagine that happening over and over again even as the rest of the world around it appears to be frozen in place. It's kind of a head trip, but that's Quantum Break in a nutshell.

The whole thing felt a bit like a 3D platforming game, something in the mold of Uncharted where the grace and athleticism of Nathan Drake has been traded for some truly incredible visual effects. The one area where Jack holds an advantage, though, is in his ability to manipulate certain objects--freezing falling debris in place to make a functional walkway and that sort of thing.

The sequence of leaps and shimmies looked somewhat linear, leaving me wondering how much Quantum Break relies on sheer spectacle to keep these moments interesting. But in the moment, watching the scene unfold, it certainly made me eager to try the game out for myself...even if I didn't entirely understand what was going on.

In other words, I was happy to see there's more to Quantum Break than just combat. It can be an absolute mindf**k of a platformer when it flips that switch, adding another layer to its story of a world where time is slowly coming undone. It's a game that I'm still trying to wrap my head around, but I'm ready to take on the challenge.

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100 comments
strrckshn
strrckshn

What's this a Michael Bay Movie. Where is the Gameplay.?

All everyone is saying that it got Awesome Graphics.
I want Gameplay simple as. Too Casual looks like a easy Game.

hexadecimal255
hexadecimal255

Game looks like it sucks. Its bernard's watch for a new generation. Sucks all type of balls.

psifire
psifire

game looks like it's gonna be fun, can't wait to play

dexter-404
dexter-404

this game looks pretty and sounds awesome especially the time powers


PS4 fanboys: skip the article this is an xbox exclusive that means it's a bad game i not going to pay attention to how awesome it looks


moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

Game looks pretty but if this game is just 3rd person shooting & some linear platforming I can't imagine it being the revolution they're trying to sell it as, I hope its a great game but perhaps if microsoft stopped trying to market every new game as the second coming I might be a little more forgiving of trailers that just look like a graphics showcase.

voljin1987
voljin1987

Looked like what would happen if max payne was on valkyr. Am sold

IFLBerlin
IFLBerlin

I thought the Demo... well, it was pretty boring, to be honest. I had hoped for much more - then again, that might just have been the guy playing, blurring between two cars back and forth, shooting a bit, then blurring again. 


Was disappointed to see very limited Hand2Hand animations, and that you apparently cannot mount/mantle/parcour over obstacles, not even in that blur-mode.


The only thing that really interests me are the time puzzles, but there I simply fear for the game being made for the least common denominator, i.e. easy enough for everyone to get through it (Think the Crime Scene "Investigations" in Batman Origins).


All in all, I think it had a lot of potential with the premise, but if that is what they choose to show as a demo, I'll have to wait for much, much more to convince me to get this...

CyrenII
CyrenII

I must say, even though I won't be purchasing an Xbox One, this game looks frigging amazing and I hope it sells and turns out really well. Remedy are excellent developers that deserve nothing less than the best.

Here's hoping that Microsoft decide to release it for PC some time in the future so that I can actually support these fine folks

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

Looks awesome to me!

kuda001
kuda001

Demo was very impressive.

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

wait Altering time is going to fix Time? I hope Jack finds out he is the problem all along and dies at the end. Sounds about right for Time Travel stuff.

irwin888
irwin888

I absolutely LOVED Alan Wake! Simple yet fun mechanics and gameplay, and some of the best writing I have ever experienced in gaming. Definitely one of my all time favorites. I'll be honest, though, when I say this game seems to represent more flash than substance - albeit some very beautiful flash, heheh. With Remedy at the helm I do believe this could be something great. If they can truly make this an experience beyond an over-glorified shooter/platformer, it should be quite a show. It's hard to believe you can can get any depth beneath the surface of most games these days, but if anyone can pull it off, I think it's Remedy.

mr_nee
mr_nee

I though he'd say after gunfights there are puzzles to solve but instead "With no way to predict how long time would remain frozen, he had to dash across the tumbling wreckage of the bridge before it all came crashing down into the river below. "

But no - it's all cover shooting and time bending mechanics, nothing else. 

Still this game and, maybe, MCC are my two reasons to get bone eventually. Eight more (hopefully some kinect party games) and I'm sold

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

After the initial trailer I was looking forward to this game but after seeing gameplay it looks pretty average.

Graphically is looks like a late last gen game, I don't really see how it's leveraging new technology. I was mainly interested to see how the time shifting mechanic would affect story but this gameplay just looks like a worse version of Watchdogs. As someone who is now primarily a PC gamer I was initially worried that I might be missing out on a good Xbone exclusive. I am relieved.

Deano
Deano

so far the game looks technical but very boring, can't they make a game that isn't a third person game with max payne type mechanics

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

Looking forward to this one Remedy.  Also, could you "remaster" Alan Wake to Xbox One?  Thanks.

oldtobie
oldtobie

Don't look around too fast, you might show viewers that 17 fps.

Lordcrabfood
Lordcrabfood

Of all the games shown, this is the one I am most looking forward to. Remedy has never let me down yet. This is a day one purchase for me

Stogin
Stogin

Can't wait to check this one out, looks pretty fun, glad it's not just a shooter.  Remedy is a great developer, Alan Wake is still one of my favorite games from last gen.

lubbalots
lubbalots

a game like this in 3D would be mind blowing!

faizanhd
faizanhd

I think they should have showed off the time powers more than the shooting.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

I like it. sad it's exclusive but Microsoft needed SOMETHING next gen and actually makes a player WANT their console.

ChemicalReaper
ChemicalReaper

Man, Remedy is absolutely one of my favorite developers. It's a shame that people who exclusively own PS3/PS4 won't get to play games like this and Alan Wake—at the same time, I'm glad Microsoft is willing to take a chance and fund the team as they try new things.

Barighm
Barighm

Sounds cool, sort of like how Alan Wake would mix in some weird supernatural sequences or the odd jumping bit, but the way hype works these days it's hard to get excited over articles like this one.

YD_11
YD_11

Looks and sounds pretty amazing to me

daviz88
daviz88

i will admit the game looks cool, but really gamespot?

alexbartle
alexbartle

looks amazing. next gen is starting to appeal to me more and more watching these gamescom trailers. Console launch shoulda had games like this

xantufrog
xantufrog

Looks very interesting. The lighting and physics look most impressive from a technical standpoint. I wonder how they are balancing difficulty with time freezing mechanics

Razor10000
Razor10000

in my opnion this is the best xboxone exclusive. gamescom gameplay looks awesome.

nikon133
nikon133

Blind fanboysm never fails to amuse me :)

I'm PS3/PS4/PC gamer and i really like what I have seen in QB. The game ticks a lot of elements I love in other 3rd person games - Uncharted (platforming, cover shooting), Infamous (superpowers), God of War (time manipulation puzzles)... while still managing to look fresh and gorgeous, even if individual elements are already seen to some extend. And with Remedy behind, I'm convinced story will be good as well.

In short, I'd really like to see this coming at least to PC later on. I'd like to see it on PS4 even more, but I'm not holding my breath - it looks like Microsoft has this one tightly in their hands.

geekasauruswrex
geekasauruswrex

Probably the perfect analogy to describe this game lol

fulfledgedgamer
fulfledgedgamer

@Kinguard73 

Microsoft has exclusive games. Sony has. And Nintendo.

Dummies like you say, when MS has an exclusive game, OH WOW Nice one MS, what a fascists crap company keeping games from other consoles!!!!!!!!

Sony has a game YAY Sony!!!!! They're the console to have this generation!!!!!!!

Nintendo... Duuuuuur itsa Nintendo game!

mr_nee
mr_nee

@ChemicalReaper Alan Wake is also on a PC. While console is the best place to play, any gamer should also own a decent (not elitist) gaming PC

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

@ChemicalReaper I disliked Max Payne 3 but I enjoyed pretty much every other game they've been involved with.  It is one of the main reasons I'll be picking up an Xbox One.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@Razor10000 IMO too. I'm more of a story first guy that's why I sided with Sony. MS needs to fund more games like this to win me over

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

@nikon133 microsoft will never let this game go to ps4. it is literally the last line of defense for the xbox one if you don't count halo or gears of war (and we all know they are going to be rehashed like every cod game is rehashed, and everyone will get bored of them).

hexadecimal255
hexadecimal255

@dexter-404 @IFLBerlin no, it does not. it looks, well, second rate. if that was on the 360 the game would have been good. graphics look great, and the visual representation of the quantum entanglement whilst shooting at the robotic time ignoring things was entertaining. The game mechanic is the game. You had similar manoeuvrability on original x box games. Turd polishing. Man who built his house upon the sand. 


if you base is this week, no amount of interesting game mechanics will change the fact that its just no a brilliant game. just another game, but i guess thats what we like.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@Aaronp2k @nikon133  No but likely it will go to PC making you wonder why you bought a Xbox One  to begin with. They need to keep this ONLY on Xbox One. Not 360 not PC ONE. that's it.

nikon133
nikon133

@Kinguard73 @Aaronp2k @nikon133 Well, Windows is still their child. Titanfall made it to Windows and Xboxes, so there's always a slim hope formula will repeat.

As to Kinguard73's reply - I don't expect that THIS QB will make it to PS4, ever... but not unlike Titanfall (or Mass Effect back in the days), Quantum Break 2 could still be multiplatform; presuming that there will be one. Yeah, I know some franchises have remained exclusive forever, but they usually come from studios closer to console makers. Halo, Gears, God of War, Gran Turismo etc... but many games break off exclusivity deal after 1st or XY release - think Mass Effect, think Final Fantasy, Tekken. Remedy has history of mixed exclusives and multiplatforms, so I'd say there's some chance that future QBs will see light on more hardware.

But we will see when the time comes.