The Xbox One had a rocky start this year at E3 to say the least. While Microsoft’s policies weren’t exactly accepted, we did get a look at some promising up and coming titles – Quantum Break by Remedy Entertainment and Microsoft Studios is one. The game generated a whole of lot excitement, even when it was revealed in back in May, and with good reason!
Remedy’s latest game is tackling a pretty big subject in the sci-fi genre with time travel. In recent years we’ve seen quite a few movies and TV shows approach subject of time travel or time manipulation differently and Remedy is going the same route with Quantum Break. Players will have control over at least a bit of the fourth dimension. This may seem like a lofty goal, but Remedy certainly has a history of achieving success with games such as Max Payne and the Alan Wake behind them.
Quantum Break has players following the main characters Jack Joyce, Paul Serene and Beth Wilder, two of which will be playable. Our characters have been granted special abilities that allow them to control and manipulate time due to a scientific experiment gone awry at the prestigious – and totally fictitious – North Eastern U.S. Riverport University.
The nature of the experiment, as well as the accident that occurred, is still being kept under wraps by the development team. Since messing with the fabric of space-time is never a simple feat and most likely will have some far-reaching, plot affecting consequences for our characters, and by extension, players, Remedy doesn’t want to give away any of the juicy storyline bits. We do know that the experiment has caused time to begin to unravel and fall apart; with places in time speeding up, slowing down and sometimes stopping altogether. Our heroes seem to be the only ones who know how to stop it.
Time Travel and manipulation have been all the rage in the last few years. The popular TV show “Doctor Who” received a reboot a while back, which caught on like wildfire and movies like “Looper” had a huge impact on fans of science fiction. In fact, time travel has always been something that people have been fascinated with, cropping up in popular literature, and movies for a long time. Quantum Break however may be the first game of it’s kind really tackle this subject with this amount of depth.
However, Quantum Break isn’t going to just be a game. There will also be a Television show accompanying it.
This game/TV series hybrid seems to be following in the footsteps of Defiance. Trion Worlds’ Defiance, which is both a persistent online shooter and show on SyFy has been doing pretty well for itself. The big difference here is that Quantum Break is a single player title and while it could be a risky move, it could also pay off huge for the developers. This is true even more for the carefully crafted world with added backstory, extra depth and hopefully some good character crossover between the two mediums. Instead of releasing the show one episode at a time, it looks like Remedy is planning to releasing the series in it’s entirety with the game, linking the two for a joint storytelling experience.
Remedy has always been a stickler for the details, crafting and building convincing worlds for us to play through. One of the best things about this developer is they take their time with a game. The development team has been working with college lecturers versed in the subject of “time,” to make sure they are adhering to the known theories of it so that both the show and the game live up to the high standards of sci-fi fans.
This idea also appropriately fits with Microsoft’s plan for the Xbox One to be an entertainment centre, rather than a simple gaming console. While it clearly is a device meant for gamers first, this approach helps in reaching out to a larger and more multimedia-centered audience. Folks that are interested in great storytelling as well as deep and immersive, interactive experiences should be following Quantum Break. It’s an Xbox One exclusive and it’s easy to see why Remedy decided to develop this game for Microsoft’s next console. They’ve put a lot in place to help make this title successful. The overlapping media is certainly going to get people wanting to play the game and watch the show interchangeably.
Both Remedy and Microsoft have undertaken a very big project here, one that has not been done all that much in the past, but has been shown to be successful. This combination single player video game and TV show certainly holds promise in bringing us some great entertainment. While there are probably some pitfalls and missteps along this path, Quantum Break is certainly in the right hands with Remedy Entertainment and could end up being the best game they’ve developed yet.