Quantum Break hands-on preview: Xbox One exclusive explored
Quantum Break is a hugely ambitious game which if developer Remedy's enthusiasm is anything to go by will be the most-groundbreaking title for the next-generation consoles so far.
An Xbox One exclusive due for late 2015, the game will be mostly a third-person action extravaganza, but with a TV show element that is designed to be watched at certain points as you progress.
Of course, Remedy is the studio behind classic action adventure titles Max Payne and Alan Wake, two outstandingly inventive story-led games for their time, and Quantum Break promises much of the same.
As Jack Joyce, you are caught in a failed time experiment and find that you have the ability to manipulate time itself. Cue interesting in-game powers that allow you to halt bullets, zip from one location of cover to another without enemies seeing and all manner of other superhero-style shenanigans. Unfortunately for Jack, others seem to have sussed the power too, and it's a matter of survival first and saving the planet thereafter.
The TV show element is live action and what you do in the game will determine which "director's cut" version of the show you see. There are different branches in the programming that will only play if certain in-game moments have panned out prior to its introduction. These TV clips happen at certain points and can be skipped entirely, but there will be clues in the narrative that will enrich and even help the gameplay segments.
We're not sure exactly how this will play out yet as Remedy is still to film them. There is a pilot episode that has been less than well received, but we're lead to believe that won't be in the final game.
As for the game itself, our Gamescom demo took us beyond the Xbox Media Briefing gameplay debut. As well as see the varied duck and cover battles shown during that event, we also saw a complete change of pace as Joyce had to traverse a bridge being destroyed by a crashing tanker. This was more like a platform game at this point, with aspects of the environment going forward and back in time violently enough to become tricky obstacles. You don't know when the frozen time stutter you are in will suddenly end and you meet your own sticky demise, so it's a race to get to safety before that happens.
Even at this early stage, Quantum Break looks beautiful - as you can expect from Remedy. It's just a waiting game now to see if the live action parts live up to the rest of it.