Quantum Break preview

Quantum BreakXbox ONE exclusive, Quantum Break, is shaping up to be one of the big games to look forward to in 2016, with a unique style of gameplay that looks and feels like a cross between the third person intensity of Watch_Dogs, physics defying genius of The Matrix and the time control brilliance of side scroller Braid. If that sound a little too messed up, check out the trailer below and it’ll all make sense.

Developed by Remedy Entertainment with the help of creative director Sam Lake, who’s previous collaborations have brought us Max Payne and Alan Wake, we’ve got high expectations for the potential of the game. It’s a third person shooter at heart with a lot of action build into its makeup, but the addition of the time control element gives it a whole new dimension to explore in the genre.

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Release date

Distributed by Microsoft studios as an exclusive title, Quantum Break will only be available to play on the Xbox ONE, so it’s easily one of the most important releases of the year on the Microsoft side of the fan boy divid . The US and UK release date has been confirmed for the 5th April 2015, making it a banker for Easter gaming action. The game has had a number of delays since it was first announce back in 2013, with 2014 and 2015 release dates both subsequently shifted forward in time, so hopefully the spring 2016 launch stays on course.

Story

Get set for some seriously heavy shizzle as the story for the game centres around a time travel experiment that goes wrong, leaving in its wake a trail of catastrophic destruction as time itself starts to unravel. You play Jack Joyce, who gets caught up in the disaster that ensues with time stuttering in and out of synchronization with reality leaving him to navigate through frozen and slow motion time systems.

However, with time slowly coming to an end, he’ll need to try to master his newfound predicament to save the very existence of humanity. The bad news is that he’s also got to face the might of Monarch Solutions, led by his former friend Paul Serene, which will stop at nothing to take Jack out of the equation.

Gameplay

At it’s very basic level Quantum Break is a classic third person shooter action adventure game with an episode based development. However, with the addition of the time anomalies and Jack’s ability to control time, turns the genre on its head a little, making for some very unique gameplay.

Quantum Break gameplay

Naturally occurring time loops, cracks, freezes and flickers, which have been created by the time machine accident, can crop up at any moment throughout the game, presenting a whole series of positives and negatives as you go. A fractured, frozen moment as a giant armoured truck careers in your direction can be pretty useful, allowing you to scramble over it and out of harms way. However, if you play that in reverse you can probably see some of the mayhem you’ll have to keep alert for.

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Jack has also been granted incredible powers over time following the failed experiment and it’s this element that gives him an advantage over the standard Monarch Solutions militia. If there’s a group of heavily armed enemies in front of you and time’s going crazy with gun shots fizzing in your direction you can freeze or slow down time to allow you to get out of the way, round the attack and take them all out with relative ease, if your moves are well delivered.

The problem is that they’ve also developed tech to manipulate time, so many of the things that Jack can do naturally, they can do with the help of their Proton Pack-like time rigs. This is when things get much tougher in the game as the playing field is leveled somewhat, but if you can move fast and bust up their packs then they’ll be thrown out of your time and sent back into the broken take that is affecting everything else.

Using the environment around you will be a big part of making it through the levels unscathed, exploding petrol barrels and cars to take out a large group of enemies with similarities to elements of Watch_Dogs. However, if you can combine that with your time control then you can decimate an entire area without even being seen, combining hand-to-hand combat, gun fire and explosions to neutralise everything that might stand in your way.

Check out the extended gameplay trailer below to everything in action for yourself.

Quantum Break gameplay

Graphics

You’ve only got to take a look at the trailer below to see that this is going to be a very good looking game. The facial design and animation is very impressive, and the body movement of characters looks hyper realistic, owing a lot to the motion capture and physical mapping technology that was used in the development of the game.

Jack Joyce couldn’t look any more like Shaun Ashmore (X-Men: Days Of Future Past), who has been cast to play the character, if it was just another movie he was starring in. That goes for the rest of the cast too, which includes Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), Lance Reddick (The Wire) and Courtney Hope (Prowl) all looking incredibly life-like.

The time effects add a lot to the unique style of the game with some stunning slow motion explotions and enemy takedowns. The time vortex move looks incredible and the sheer pace and none-stop flurry of action in the game is delivered with super slick animation, transitioning between time states beautifully and bringing in everything from monster weaponry fire to heavy vehicles.

First impressions

We can’t wait to get our hands on Quantum Break to try out some of the more difficult later levels in the time bending adventure. The cinematic style makes it look like you’ve been thrown directly into the midst of a big budget sci-fi action movie and it looks like it’s going to be a blast to get to control time.

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