Up until now, one could best describe Remedy’s Quantum Break as ambitious –what with the crazy freeze-framing trailers and an accompanying live action TV show- but could you call it a game? Thanks to a lengthy gameplay demo at Gamescom earlier today, the answer is now a definitive yes. And we can all now also say that Quantum Break is clearly a Remedy game, combining the cinematic fidelity of Alan Wake with the time-warping gunplay of Max Payne.
Opening with some atmospherics and more of that cool distortion effect, the game’s sharp Xbox One visuals are the first thing to really catch your eye. As Jack Joyce, the player has to navigate their way to a protest in the city of Riverport that’s about to get violent. Look closely, and you’ll pick up some small details about the city, and the unrest that the Monarch Solutions corporation seems to have caused there.
It’s not long before our first real look at Quantum Break gives up the ghost of what the gameplay will actually be: third person cover-based shooting. Armed with only a pistol, Jack looks pretty outclassed when three of Monarch’s heavily armed goons are sent after him. Good thing Jack’s got a secret weapon in his time manipulation powers. The gunplay is Max Payne, but the powers have a wider utility you’d find in something like Singularity. The player can use Jack’s power to speed from cover to cover, or roll up on enemies to deliver devastating melee attacks. At range, the player can freeze opponents in a time bubble, leaving them begging for an easy headshot.
The gunplay looks to be fairly standard for the genre, though the time powers and dramatic camera zooms on final kills and explosions add some flavor. When the big setpiece “time-freeze” arrives, Quantum Break’s novelty really shines through. The player can walk around and interact with an event that’s been paused, presumably to figure out some way to improve the situation. But watch out: looks like Monarch’s got their hands on the same tech as Jack.
Check out the full trailer below to see the distortion-heavy boss fight at the end, along with the rest of what Quantum Break will be offering come 2015.