Set for release in just under a month’s time, Quantum Break is the next in a line of story-driven thrillers that Remedy Entertainment has become so well known for. Recently, we were invited to a press event to go hands-on with the game and get some early impressions of it.
Before diving in, we were given a quick introduction by Thomas Puha, Remedy’s head of public relations. One of the key points to Puha’s briefing was the claim that Remedy placed player experience at the forefront of all else, which I later found to have certainly been the case. On that same note, Puha also stated that the focus during development had been on ‘feelings over features’, with the game aimed towards evoking emotion from players.Quantum Break follows Jack Joyce (Shawn Ashmore) who, upon returning to his home of Riverport, gets caught up in a time travel experiment gone horribly wrong. Left with some newfound abilities, he also finds that the world around him is beginning to stutter in time, and that time completely stopping altogether is only inevitable. He takes the fight up against former friend Paul Serene (Aiden Gillen), similarly gifted with powers of time manipulation (and to use a cliché) in a literal race against time.
I must commend Remedy and Lifeboat Productions for assembling such a stellar cast to bring Quantum Break to life. Both the in-game and in the live-action element feature some noticeable names, such as Shawn Ashmore and Brooke Nevin (Animorphs), Aiden Gillen (The Wire) and Lance Reddick (Fringe). Interviewing Puha later on, it was said that these people had been hired not for their fame, but for their talent and ability to act both on screen and for motion capture.The game’s definite selling point is the fact that it is a wonderful blend of transmedia, drawing together both video game and traditional television storytelling. While the video game tells the story of protagonist Jack Joyce, the accompanying live-action episodes instead follow Paul Serene and Monarch. However, it is worth noting that watching the TV episodes is entirely optional; players can choose to just play through the game and still be able to follow the story. I must say that I feel that players should not resign themselves to the game alone, and instead watch the episodes in their entirety to get the most out of the experience.