MDG puts Quantum Break through its paces

3 min read

Quantum Break is quite possibly the most exciting game video gaming history. 

Is that a big call? Yes. Am I naturally prone to hyperbole? Yes. Do I stand by it anyway? Absolutely.

A time-warping video game, interwoven in a TV show that alters based on the game. You had me at “time-warping video game, interwoven in a TV show that alters based on the game”

It’s likely you’ve heard of Quantum Break, given it has been hyped even pre-Xbox One launch, but I can now state what you think you’re expecting will fall short of what you will experience.

Quantum Break is from the same folk who brought us the Max Payne games and Alan Wake. So you know you are in for an ‘experience’ that oozes style, sex appeal, and bullet-time; but what happens when you give that team a bigger budget and more time? Quantum Break happens, is what.

I was given about an hour of exclusive (along with many many others) hands on time with the game, which allows me to play the first act and watch the first corresponding ‘TV show’.

I don’t know if ‘TV show’ is the right word for it, but for the sake of this, it is.

There’ll be no spoilers here, but the story is about time-manipulation. And that story is absolutely at this game’s core. It is a story-based third-person killer, with a cast that would very much be at home on HBO. A guy you’ll know from X-Men (Shawn Ashmore). That manipulative guy from Game of Thrones (Aidan Gillen). That guy with crazy proper posture from The Wire and Fringe (Lance Reddick). And more.

And they are sensationally recreated, voice acted and motion captured. Truly, there were times where I thought the game switched to the TV show, but it was still in the game. Mental.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the story, but I’m in.

This would all be pointless though, if the gun play was rubbish.

It isn’t.

The controls are smooth, the gunplay is intuitive, the aim is seamless, and the often frantic movement is easy to follow in the 3rd person camera.

But it’s the game’s time-shift focus that sets itself apart.

The player can move faster through the room, slow enemies, block bullets, and these can all be upgraded. The moves are self-explanatory and can be linked. Words also do not do it justice.

When you link a series of time-shifted movements and kills, you really do feel #neklevel badass. 

The TV show will then kick in to continue the narrative. In the era of HBO quality TV, it’s essential for Remedy (creator) that these are more than a frustratingly long cut scenes, and stand up on their own. These shows pick up where the game halts, and will roll in varying directions depending on the decisions you make in the game.

I genuinely enjoyed what I was watched. I asked myself during it, if this was on TV, would I be watching it? And so far the answer is absolutely yes.

Will this carry all the way through? The marketing people who were there tell me I will. I’ve certainly not seen anything to disprove their paid confidence. 

The game-play decision-making future-altering feature is also intriguing. I’m not a big replay guy, yet I’ve already decided it’s fun enough, and the TV show credible enough that I will replay just to see what happens.

And just like that – the demo was over, and I was ushered out the backdoor.

And we now have to wait until April 5 to go balls deep into it. But 1 hour in, and I am saying it’s worth the hype.

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