Quantum Break was one of the first games to be revealed for the Xbox One, but it looked a lot more like a TV show than a game. In fact, it is a TV show--and a game--all at once. How does this work? Microsoft’s Phil Spencer recently shed some light on the game in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine. He started with the impressive footage shown at the E3 demo.
“The mechanic revolves around time, and people who can stop time,” Spencer said. He went on to explain that they are, essentially, allowing you to take control of what would otherwise be a cutscene.
“In the gameplay segment, there's the huge tanker hitting the bridge, you see the little warp effect which is the players actually impacting time. And they freeze the tanker halfway through ramming through this bridge. And that bridge scene, as its going on, you're actually playing in that bridge scene. Because we have the RAM, the GPU, CPU capability, we can take something that used to be completely passive and allow you to play through that scene.
The enemy AI, the enemy pathing, all of those will actually take place while that gameplay is frozen in time. And you can freeze that at any point; right at the beginning when the tanker hits the bridge, after it's torn all the way through, so it puts you in complete control of these huge set-pieces that turn into something that you get to play with.”
Spencer also went on to explain how he would like to see games and television eventually interact. Say, for example, you play through a game for a few hours and get to a certain decision point. That decision would then affect an episode of the TV series that would stream to your Xbox later that day. However, the show itself would also be interactive. While you won’t be able to “play” it in particular, you will be able to make choices, like in a choose-your-own-adventure novel. These choices will then come back to reflect in the game’s interactive sections.
Spencer made it clear that he is not confirming that this is how Quantum Break will definitely work, but that this is just one of the many possibilities the Xbox One can handle, and it’s something this his team “is right in the center of.” Quantum Break has not yet been dated for release, but it will be an Xbox One exclusive.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Senior Contributing Writer