Quantum Break Must Be Online For Live-Action Episodes

'I'm sorry, what?'

Max Payne and Alan Wake folks Remedy have enjoyed making little television shows and cartoons to run in the background of their games, stories which mirror or contrast with what’s going on in the main story. With their next shooter, they’re taking those cinematic dreams bigger. Quantum Break [official site] features full live-action episodes telling half of the game’s story with a cast including actors you may know from such fine TV shows as The Wire, Queer as Folk, and Animorphs. And, er, to see those episodes you’ll need to be online to stream the videos. It’s baffling.

Right, so, the basics. Quantum Break is set in a world where time’s broken, and a chap with a scruffy beard and a jacket gains powers to manipulate time. He uses these to shoot men in cool ways. While players control the goodie in gamebits, it also has about lengthy live-action episodes focusing on the baddies. The direction of the story will change based on decisions made, so they’ve had to record a lot of possibilities.

“We have 40 different variations of the show in total where basically your choices get to make it evolve and change whether it’s from a junction choice or we have these things called ‘Quantum Ripples’ which essentially unlocked sort of deleted scenes from the show,” narrative designer Greg Louden told Game Informer. “Then combined with that, the show length can change based on your decisions because some episodes are longer as a result and some episodes are shorter. It basically evolves and that’s why we needed to stream it.”

It’d end up too big for an Xbox One disc, basically. But the puzzling bit is that while the Xbox One will have an option to download all the episode videos in advance and skip streaming, the Windows 10 version won’t. That’s the opposite of what I’d expect. Louden explained to Game Informer that the PC version will support 2160p-resolution videos, which would be hefty files but… PCs are not typically short of storage space. Baffling.

I’d be surprised if this decision isn’t changed before Quantum Break comes out on April 5th.

Oh, and hey, apparently the game is fuelling more Alan Wake rumours with a live-action teaser trailer for a new Alan Wake. Might be a cheeky easter egg, might not.

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31 Comments

  1. Morte66 says:

    I’d be annoyed if the decision doesn’t change, but not overly surprised.

  2. photoheathen says:

    Microsoft is doing everything they can to make me not want anything to do with this game.

    • XxBrentos9xX says:

      Between this, terrible Gears launch, and the DirectX 12 exclusivity bullshit, MS is being incredibly disappointing.

  3. thedosbox says:

    This is a Windows Store exclusive right?

    But the puzzling bit is that while the Xbox One will have an option to download all the episode videos in advance and skip streaming, the Windows 10 version won’t. That’s the opposite of what I’d expect. Louden explained to Game Informer that the PC version will support 2160p-resolution videos, which would be hefty files but… PCs are not typically short of storage space. Baffling.

    I could see a case for not forcing people with data caps into downloading the higher resolution videos, but they should at least give people the option.

    • DuncUK says:

      I would guess the reason is a ham-fisted attempt at anti-piracy. If the files are sat on your hard drive, it would be a fairly trivial exercise for those so inclined to decode them and upload to youtube or their favourite video sharing site. The Xbox One being something more of a wall gardened affair can lock that away behind the hardware backed obscurity.

      Now that’s not to say that someone won’t figure out how to grab the incoming stream, but if I were to guess at the reason… this would be it.

  4. yogibbear says:

    So…. like being on shitty internet here… I’m going to have to wait like 20 mins for the videos to buffer…. and every time I replay it… it has to stream those videos…. and er…. eat into my bandwidth for the month every time I revisit the game. Great.

    • yogibbear says:

      Oh and EDIT: what happens if you’re not online? Does it give you a text based summary of what you missed? Does the game simply skip to the next bit?

  5. Anthile says:

    Surprised they didn’t claim it’s an anti-piracy measure.

    • ahac says:

      This is actually something that might work well against piracy. Even when the game gets cracked, the video will be missing and it probably won’t be that easy to add it back in.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      After reading this article, link to rockpapershotgun.com, I don’t see that as a valid reason. Even without the death of piracy being true I don’t see that as a good reason, but that’s just my biased opinion.

  6. GAmbrose says:

    To be honest, the size of decent quality 4k videos is ridiculous, so MS can’t win either way really.

    You’d probably be looking at a 150GB+ game download and bearing in mind a lot of gamers use SSD’s which are generally a bit pushed for space, you would have people complaining it was far too big.

    • thedosbox says:

      That shouldn’t stop Windows users from having the [b]option[/b] to download them – the same option Xbox users get.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        The Xbox One versions are only 1080p.

        Windows users should have the option of downloading either the 4k or 1080p versions (or even a 720p version for those on metered connections. Can’t be too hard to resize them.)

    • photoheathen says:

      They could win by saying “no” whenever someone came up with this gimmicky idea in the first place. That would have been a winning moment.

    • EvilSnake says:

      That’s why you make it optional.

  7. SMGreer says:

    You know, this is just me spit-balling here but maybe, just maybe, it’s a terrible idea to make your understanding of a game’s narrative wholly dependent on a tv show outside the game itself.

    Just a thought.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Terrible thought, that would be holding back “creativity”.

    • Hauskamies says:

      Make a game, or make a show. When I’m in the mindset to play a game, I actually want to play a game, not watch a show.

  8. slerbal says:

    Shame that this game is so tied up in MS’s crap store. I would definitely pick it up if it were on Steam or GOG, but everything about the MS Xbox everything approach makes me feel nauseous.

    • Zaxwerks says:

      I’m with you on this one. Microsoft have a track record of trying

    • Zaxwerks says:

      I’m with you on this one. Microsoft have a track record of trying something, it not doing as well as they’d hoped and then them totally abandoning it and shutting it down, so don’t trust the windows store and will stick with GOG and Steam, with Origin a distant third and uPlay the option to pick after I have had my testicles remove with a rusty spoon.

      p.s. the inability to edit or delete your comments is extremely annoying.

  9. Turkey says:

    So it’s pretty much a repeat performance from last time. An old exclusive and a new game that we only want some aspects of.

    Why can’t they do something cool like breathing some life into the mid-sized budget game market? Recruit some dev teams to make PC-ass PC-games. We already get a shit ton of AAA multiplaform games already. We’re not going to bend over backwards for the few exclusives left in the MS archives.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    So we are officially back in the early 90s again?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Oh, how I loved the FMV sequences of Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight. They felt like really well-made fan films, with just the right amount of cheesy acting that Star Wars is so full of. I wouldn’t mind games doing FMV sequences again.

  11. jodtee says:

    So instead of giving 60 Euro to the developers, i will generate 60 clicks for some random YouTuber. Do people in charge know that there are more options to experience their game than accepting such bs?

  12. Buggery says:

    I am looking forward to this game. I will but it on the Windows Store and it will be some B-grade cheesy fun. Remedy has a track record of making good games and lol if you don’t have unmetered internet access.

  13. Czrly says:

    I’ll never buy an App on the Windows Store because there’s nothing there that I can’t get elsewhere, better, more advanced and designed for PC instead of tablet, and probably free or even open-source. For games, I have Steam, GoG, Humble, Origin and a box full of old disks. My electronic store quota is already exceeded so I will be giving this one a miss, unless it comes to a store that I actually use. Even then, I’ll still probably skip it because of the streamed content. Streamed content is slow, clunky and hideously unreliable.