With launch drawing ever closer, we interviewed Thomas Puha of Remedy Entertainment, developers of the upcoming Quantum Break for Xbox One and Windows 10.
Remedy has a back catalogue that includes titles such as Max Payne and Alan Wake, and Puha made comparisons to both games. When asked about what we will see in the game compared to the studio's previous titles, this is what the man from Remedy had to say:
"With Alan Wake, the mechanics and action got quite repetitive. Early on you learnt everything you could and then you kept repeating that until the end of the game. It's very important for Quantum Break that we have enough different mechanics and enemy types to keep the action exciting. We really worked hard to make sure it's not your 'average' third person shooter."
What helps make Quantum Break stand out is the unique mechanic where the player has the ability to control time in certain areas. It should offer the opportunity to go on the offensive much more than in traditional cover shooters.
"We don't want you to take cover, and the AI is designed in a way that they will come find you if you're in cover. All the time powers are designed to make the player feel really aggressive and strong. You can just time dodge in the middle of enemies and they will get kicked back, allowing you to use the shotgun, and use the shield to protect yourself whilst you load the gun. That took a long time to find the sorts of powers that we were happy with. Early on in the project we had time powers and the game played more like a traditional cover shooter. Behind cover, using time powers, we thought 'this isn't the game we wanted to make'. We had to go back to the drawing board and redesign the time powers to get to where we are now. So hopefully that mechanic is something that will make the action exciting."
In another comparison to Remedy's previous titles, Puha describes how the Quantum Break experience differs from Alan Wake and Max Payne. While it will definitely have dark parts to the story, Puha describes it as much more of a 'summer blockbuster' type of game than Remedy's other titles, saying it will be much more accessible to a wider audience.
"I can't spoil what happens in Quantum Break, but it's also a very different experience than Max Payne as well as Alan wake. Both of those games are very dark in many ways. With Quantum Break we really set out to do a more 'big summer blockbuster' kind of game, which is easier to get into. The important thing to understand is that it doesn't mean the game is dumb. There's a lot of story in there, and story and characters are super important to Remedy. There's definitely dark aspects to the Quantum Break story, but I won't ruin it. It's very different to Alan Wake and Max Payne."
Another really interesting aspect of Quantum Break is that it will be released alongside a live action series on Xbox One, complete with a star-studded cast, that tells the story from the villain's perspective (you can check out the latest live-action trailer just below). Remedy's motivations behind having a live action series to complement the game.
"We'd played around with live action in Max Payne, and then in Alan Wake, and now we sort of really get to expand on that. It's an interesting medium. Since we have the live action to tell the story from the villain's perspective, it's like we don't think a 20 minute animated cutscene would've worked. People wouldn't have watched it, and also people don't understand how expensive it is to do cutscenes. You need a lot of animators, visual effects artists, and everything. We don't have enough people to do that but the live action was an interesting choice for us to tell the story from a different perspective and since it is a different perspective it makes sense to use a different medium for it."
Announced just last month, Quantum Break will also be coming to Windows 10 PC, despite being marketed previously as an Xbox One exclusive. There was some controversy amongst Xbox One owners, some of whom felt betrayed by Remedy and Microsoft for not keeping their promise of having the game as an exclusive. Xbox One owners who purchase Quantum Break will also get the Windows 10 version at no extra cost. During our interview the concern of fans addressed:
"From my personal perspective, I can somehow understand the frustration [from Xbox users]. I'm a console gamer at heart and console gamers tend to have these big exclusive games, and they are protective of them, they represent your love of the platform. But it doesn't take anything away from the Xbox One version that there's also a Windows 10 version, the positive thing is that there are more people that can play our game. It's not just good for Microsoft, it's good for the consumer and its good for Remedy, and we can reach a wider audience which is absolutely what we want. First and foremost, we designed it for the Xbox One, it's a great experience for the Xbox One. We're going to make sure the game is great on console but of course we are going to take advantage of the additional power that a powerful PC offers. At the end of the day, it's also a Microsoft decision as well of course, but I think the fact you can have more choice in how you play, that's a good thing. From a console fan perspective, I can understand that there is some frustration but there shouldn't be, it doesn't take anything away from you."
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