Yesterday, at Gamescom, I got to see a little more of Quantum Break, over and above what Microsoft showed at their conference earlier this week. This demonstration included both gameplay (which you can read about right here) as well as some insight into the live action series. According to Remedy, the latter is something that every gamer should pay attention to if they really want to enjoy the game’s overall narrative, which has some form of interaction.
Fleshing out a story via alternate media isn’t uncommon these days. Many titles now receive a comic, for example, that sheds light on some part of the story (or a character) that may not have been apparent in-game. Remedy are taking this concept a little further.
In Quantum Break, there will be five chapters worth of gameplay. In between each of these are live action episodes (four of them) which clock in at around 20-22 minutes each. They can be skipped if desired, but doing so would be silly, and ruin the overall narrative experience somewhat.
You see, what happens in the episode directly relates to what is happening in-game (and vice-versa), and it’s something that players have a small measure of control over. Small decisions need to be made which will affect how certain segments in the Quantum Break, both live and in-game, play out.
Even without this decision aspect, it’s interesting to see how the live narrative components interact with those of the game. For example, in our demonstration, we got shown a short snippet from one of the live action episodes, and in it, two characters approached each other with guns equipped and ready to fire (the header and image above are from that scene as a matter of fact). A few tense moments pass, where one could shoot the other in a split second. Then, out of nowhere, their weapons are gone. What happened?
We then see a different perspective – one that happens in-game. In the truck next to our female character sits the Quantum Break protagonist, Jack. We see him exit the vehicle and disarm both these other characters (keeping the weapons for himself) before walking away.
These two sequences – the live action and gameplay one – may not necessarily happen in this linear fashion when the final product ships, but it’s just one example of many interactions that’ll take place throughout Quantum Break experience.
Remedy always place some serious emphasis on their narratives and how they share them. In Max Payne for example, it had the whole graphic novel feel. In that game, the protagonist, Max, narrated the story between levels via comic book panels. In Alan Wake, Remedy’s more recent franchise, pages of a story come to life around Alan.
Remedy are now trying a new formula with Quantum Break’s narrative. Personally, I think it’s a neat idea, and I hope it’s one that pays off.
Besides, just look at that cast. There is some phenomenal acting talent to be enjoyed – both in-game and out!
Last Updated: August 7, 2015