Friday, August 5, 2016

Going back for more

I think I have decided that Quantum Break is good. It has the slow motion, chaotic action that I expect from Remedy and it tries something new by excising all of the boring, non-essential parts from the gameplay and presenting that as fairly well done live action vignettes. The only consequence is an unwelcome trip to the uncanny valley - seeing the person that a 3D model is based on seconds before playing as said 3D model never ends well.

So that Max Payne 2 piece I talked about two days ago? Yeah, the slow mo dive roll is totally here, only this time as a speed dash slow mo move that knocks weaker enemies back. At higher levels you can add a melee attack on to the end of it for extra crunchy goodness. Dodging bullets, punching one guy as the next guy is frozen in mid air and then filling him full of holes will never get old.

Quantum Break also attempts to take the idea of time travel a little deeper than 'just go back in time and fix what was broken.' As a rule I despise time travel as a plot device. It is a crutch, a modern deus ex machina. Nothing is ever for sure because the hero can always go back and try again. Not so in Quantum Break. Everything has already happened, even was is going to happen in the future has already happened, so trying to change something is pointless. Everything is predestined and everyone is just playing out their assigned parts.

A bit depressing, to be sure, and I suspect that the player character is going to be the one person who can upset things, but it at least attempts a new spin on time travel. The idea of the time machine having broken time itself and that this fracture will eventually lead to a zero state in which time itself stops, forever, and no one will know is also scary.

Impossible, of course, but unnerving.


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