- Quantum Break (2016 on Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Quantum Break is a third-person action game with cover shooter mechanics. The game's protagonist is Jack Joyce and it starts in medias res at the fictional Riverport University, set in the Northeastern United States. He is there with his gifted brother William Joyce who works at the university as a physics scientist. They are experimenting with time travel and at the start of the game it is revealed right away that the experiments have gone wrong. They also cause stutters that affect the flow of time in the everyday environment. Jack needs to escape from the facility with his brother while soldiers arrive, attempting to cover up the disaster. His brother is soon taken away and Jack looks for a way to find him back, with the help of a woman called Beth Wilder he meets early. Jack, together with Paul Serene introduced later on, both receive different time-manipulation abilities through the experiments. They are initially best friends, but their powers take them in different directions. Unlike Jack, Paul has precognition and can foresee the future. He wants to get rid of Jack and Beth to be the only one who can exploit the powers.
The game consists of five large acts where the player controls protagonist Joyce. Between those five acts there are four episodes where the game follows antagonist Serene. These are presented as four episodes of about 20 minutes each of a live action TV series. They are watched, not played, but there are interactive parts to it. At the beginning of an episode there are "junction points" where major decisions can be made that influence the further events, leading to a branching story. Likewise, certain discoveries and choices in the acts, through 'quantum ripples', also influence the story in a minor way, so the TV series are not a fixed, identical sequence for every player.
In the acts Joyce needs to shoot his way through levels. The opposition mostly consists of soldiers who work for Monarch Solutions, a corporation founded by Serene, and hunt down Joyce for him. He can carry up to three different firearms such as pistols, shotguns and machine guns, each with their own ammo type. However, ammunition is limited, encouraging players to use the many time-manipulation abilities or to shoot explosive elements in the environment to take out enemies quickly. Weapons can also be picked up from killed enemies. Seeking cover is done seamlessly when near a cover option, just through movement, and moving out of cover is done in the same way, without using an additional key or button. From cover it is possible to shoot around or over it, and pop out quickly.
Different time-centric abilities become available gradually. These mainly focus on defense and improved mobility and do not turn the main character into a superhero who is no longer vulnerable. In the later parts of the game, enemies appear who have time powers as well or are much harder to take out, such as snipers. Joyce starts with Time Dodge to quickly move for a few metres. Others are Time Vision as a radar pulse to spot enemies through walls and highlight items in different colours, keep track of objectives, find glowing chronon sources and find places where time can be rewound. Time Stop sends out a wave that stops enemies and bullets caught in it for a short time, Time Shield creates a temporary shield surrounding Joyce stopping bullets and damaging nearby enemies. Time Blast and Time Rush are offensive moves. Blast sends out an energy ball that damages and throws enemies, while Rush propels Joyce forward quickly, as an improved version of Time Dodge, providing the opportunity for a melee attack. Except for Shield all of these can be used while moving and they each have their own recharge timers, so many of them can be used in succession as a combo of movement and attacks. The abilities can be upgraded over the course of the game by collecting chronon particles at chronon sources.
Not all gameplay parts are about shooting. There are also stutters in time that act as puzzle sequences. These sequences resemble mazes where everything is frozen in time. During these, an ability can be used to restore parts of the environments to a former state and create a passage to progress, as some kind of environment-based puzzle-solving. There are also many collectibles to locate in the acts, such as documents, computers and media, providing more pieces for the story.
There is cross-save functionality between the two platforms.
- 3D Engine: Northlight
- Character Feature: Actual person's looks and voice
- Gameplay feature: Time manipulation
- Games made into books
- Live action cut-scenes
- Middleware: Bink Video
- Middleware: Morpheme
- Middleware: Navigation
- Middleware: Simplygon
- Middleware: Umbra 3
- Middleware: Wwise
- Physics Engine: Havok
- Quantum Break editions
- Theme: Time travel
Credits (Windows version)
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|Lead Game Designer
|Lead Environment Artist
|Lead Character Artist
|Lead Character Technical Artist
|Lead Audio Designer
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Average score: 73% (based on 8 ratings)
Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 10 ratings with 0 reviews)
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The game uses a custom, proprietary engine called Northlight, developed by Remedy.
Live-Action TV Episodes
The live-acting episodes that play during the game and slightly vary based on player's choices are not included on the game disc. Instead, they are streamed from the Internet, which may present a problem for people with slow Internet connection. While this is the only option for Windows Apps, the Xbox One offers a download of these episodes to avoid the low-bandwidth problem and the game can stream them directly from the hard drive.
Pre-order offers and bonus content
Anyone who pre-ordered the digital Xbox One version received the Windows 10 version for free, available through the Windows Store using a redemption code. It could also be acquired in the pre-order period through a number of retails and the Xbox One Special Edition Quantum Break bundle. This offer ran from 11th February 2016 to 4th April 2016. At the same time, every copy of the Xbox One version contains the following game and DLC as well:* Alan Wake (base game) * Alan Wake: The Signal (DLC) * Alan Wake: The Writer (DLC)
These are Xbox 360 versions, but can be played on Xbox One through Backward Compatibility. In addition, digital pre-orders and pre-orders at a number of retailers provide a full download for the Xbox 360 game Alan Wake's American Nightmare.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Sciere.
Additional contributors: MAT.
Game added April 4, 2016. Last modified January 12, 2024.