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.