MCM Expo: Quantum Theory – Hands On

Quantum Theory, coming from Tecmo Koei, isn’t – as one might reasonably assume from its title – a science based text adventure, nor does it attempt to revolutionise gaming using Bohrs idea that the motion in an atomic system is quantized, or discrete. No, this is a game about guns and hard-cases, perhaps a safer move in terms of gaming audiences.

In fact playing it safe, with regards to gaming mechanics, storyline and art style seems to pervade throughout my experience of Quantum Theory with a post apocalyptic setting, boss battles with ‘weak spots’ and an all too familiar cover and shoot system characterising the experience. Quantum Theory at first glance appears to be a clone of Gears of War. At second glance it’s quite astounding just how much they’ve taken from Epic’s blockbuster title (including something suspiciously like a ‘roadie run’); even the UI seems to be a re-skinned version of GoW’s, with a cover and aiming system that leaves the player in no doubt as to which title provided the ‘inspiration’ for Quantum Theory.

That’s not to say Quantum Theory is without merit; if you’re going to choose a game to ape then Gears is a very solid choice indeed, with intense battles, spectacular visuals and very solid shooting mechanics at the core of the experience. Most of these things are successfully transferred across to Quantum Theory, although some of the environmental textures appeared to be disappointingly low resolution.

As I familiarised myself with the controls, I found myself flung into one of the lower levels of the ‘Living Tower’, an evil monument residing within the post-apocalyptic world that forms the landscape of Quantum Theory. Within the tower I fought my way through a series of battles, as protagonists Syd and Fillena occasionally took breaks to explain the situation in frankly incomprehensible terms. Although in a short demo taken out of context of the wider game, we can forgive Tecmo if the storyline didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. One thing absent from the demo was co-op play, which is mooted as the game’s most interesting feature, with both characters able to combine to perform special acrobatic manoeuvres, something that -gasp!- isn’t present within the Gears of Wars series.

General gameplay involved taking cover and picking your time to pop out and take down enemies, who mostly came in two forms – standard grunts and larger more heavily armoured foes, with a smattering of pesky sniper creatures for good measure. A generous supply of weaponry was found scattered across the level, from sniper rifles to grenade launchers, via your usual shotguns and machine-guns. The art style found in the demo is a cross between the uber-macho Gears and more traditional fare you’d expect from a game hailing from the Far East – that is to say, main character Syd is a musclebound hero with slightly funky hair and red eyes.

Our time with the game culminated with a big boss battle, against a creature who looked like a bigger more craggy version of the foes we’d battled throughout the level. Featuring the traditional weak spots you might expect from a shooter, there was little new and original in this encounter. Despite that, it still managed to grip as I came to terms with dodging in time, using cover intelligently and finding a window of opportunity to strike back at my gigantic foe. Quantum Theory may be derivative, it may lift ideas wholesale from other games; yet if it can keep its shooting mechanics solid and provide the same level of challenge and action to be found here, it still has the potential to be darn good fun. Passers by in the Expo found themselves sucked in as the teenage boy in the stall next to us fought an epic battle with the boss, sadly putting the rest of us to shame (OK, yes I died, feel free to laugh). There was even a smattering of applause as he felled the giant beast, and few other games at the Expo managed to capture the attention of the casual roving eye as well as Quantum Theory.

Quantum Theory is due out in Autumn on PS3 and Xbox 360.

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Written by Michael J

Michael is a self proclaimed PC gaming fanatic and is equally at home with all genres, bar platformers and puzzle games. Except Bejeweled, he's awesome at that. Seriously, he is totally like second on his Facebook Bejeweled leaderboard. And they said he'd never amount to anything...

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