It's been a while since we've seen anything from Remedy Entertainment, the developer of the original Max Payne and the innovative Xbox 360 scarefest Alan Wake. However, the team has been anything but quiet, working on what will no doubt be one of 2015's most unique Xbox One titles, Quantum Break.
The game focuses on a heroic rebel named Jack Joyce, who finds his back against the wall as he faces off against the evil corporation Monarch Solutions, a company with no shortage of military personnel. However, Jack literally has time on his side, as he can slow down and stop time for a few precious seconds – enough to turn the tide in any given situation, whether it's rescuing an innocent person from harm or gaining an advantage against enemies.
Joyce's abilities can be used a number of ways. First, he can stop time in general, which allows him to skip over to a new area in a stage, throwing off enemies long enough so he can flank them from another position. However, as you might guess, this ability is limited, as he can't stay in slow motion forever.
In addition, he can also project slow-down time on one person in particular. By doing this, they stop long enough so he can blast them with bullets, or use a well-placed punch to knock them out cold.
However, with every situation, Joyce will need to utilize elements in each area to make sure that certain precautions are met. For instance, if there are innocent people in the way, Joyce will need to make sure they're safe before he heads in guns blazing. In addition, he can use items in the environment, such as exploding barrels, to take care of foes, but he'll need to make sure that he stays out of the blast radius.
Further into the game, you'll discover that Joyce isn't the only person who can use time to his advantage. Other characters can also utilize it, while at the same time using super-strength to crush him. As you’ll see in the long video clip below, Joyce battles a pair of exo-skeleton-suited powerhouses that have no problem throwing cars around. You'll need to move quickly to avoid taking damage, but look on the bright side – they create new cover points.
Gamers who played Red Faction: Armageddon and recall its rebuilding feature may also recognize the time-building capability in this adventure. When Joyce comes across a rickety bridge, he can use his time powers to hold it in place while fighting enemies, although that limits his other capabilities. He can rebuild fallen structures when the situation calls for it, such as creating a temporary platform so he can work his way to another point in the stage.
Over time, Joyce will be able to increase a number of his abilities, including melee attacks. It's helpful to learn new techniques, as enemies get tougher as the game progresses (like the exo-skeleton freaks we described above). In addition, he can expand his time powers to a certain extent, although Remedy hasn't revealed how far you'll be able to go.
Perhaps one of the quirkiest features of the game is being able to decide which path Joyce is on. This is due to help from main villain Paul Serene, who has the ability to glimpse into the future and decide what fate holds. Again, Remedy hasn't broken this down specifically, but it sounds like an intriguing idea that will add replay value to Quantum Break – and that's always a good thing.
We'll learn more about the game later this year, as Microsoft will no doubt give it heavy focus during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) before it arrives for the Xbox One.