Quantum Theory was a game that didn't really earn itself much attention on the E3 show floor. Why? Because it looks like a Gears of War clone, and with the real McCoy elsewhere on the show floor, gamers portioned their time accordingly. Taking some time out of the hustle and bustle of the show floor, I spoke to Makoto Shibata, producer on the game, to give him a chance to explain a little about the game, and how it was different to Gears.
Q: For those that might not have heard of Quantum Theory, could you briefly explain the concept of the game.
Makoto Shibata So, Quantum Theory is a third-person shooter, with a cover system, but coming from Tecmo we wanted to add a little bit of action to it. When we talk about action there are two kinds; there's a combination throw, and a combination attack. So the combination throw starts off with a regular melee attack from the main character, but if you time the button presses right Filena will jump in for an extra attack, and if you time the button press right again, you'll team up for a third hit. There are two kinds of combo attacks; there's one that will focus on a particular enemy, and one that will take out a large area of enemies, and it obviously depends on the buttons that you push.
The other kind of action is a combo throw, and again there are two types that you can do. If you tap the throw button you'll throw Filena above an enemy, and she'll throw down stun grenades to stun an area of enemies below her. If you hold the button down, you'll throw her at one enemy directly to do a lot of damage. Wherever you throw her after she lands, her AI will take over and she'll start fighting from that position.
Q: Can a second player look forward to controlling this female character in any kind of co-op mode?
MS: The story mode is single-player only. We kind of think of Filena as an extension of the hero's actions. But with the online network modes, you can actually select the female character to play as.
Q: So there's a full online multiplayer available in the game?
MS: There are three online modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Guardian. In Guardian matches, the team leader is the female character, and the other players will have to protect her from the other team. So as long as the team leaders remain alive, other players will respawn. If the whole team dies, that's how you lose. There's also a custom match, a feature where you can change different settings to customise your own game.
Q: Your team name involves the Tachyon; a hypothetical sub particle that can travel faster than the speed of light, and the game itself is called Quantum Theory. Can we expect any quantum mechanics to appear in the game's narrative? I apologise for the nerdiness of the question...
MS: When the team was called Team Tachyon, there was certainly a link between the team and the title. The name Team Tachyon is actually no longer used, but the subject of the story remains the same.
Q: A few people have labelled Quantum Theory as a Gears of War clone. What's your response to this comment? What does the game do distinguish it from Gears?
MS: Here at E3, we want people to get their hands on it and actually play with some of the combination actions. We really think that gives the game a different appeal than Gears. Looking at shooters in general, they're always evolving, and we look to Resident Evil 4 as the start of the aiming and shooting kind of gameplay. Gears took that gameplay, added a great cover system and great network modes to evolve the genre further. We thought there could be other kinds of action other than cover to add to the mix. So that's why we're trying to incorporate those into the shooter. In the stage that we're showing here at E3, we're prepared for people to say "Oh, it looks like Gears" we understand this plays like a Gears type shooter - hide behind cover, shoot, keep going - but in the level there are different towers, and different structures of level designs that will really give it a unique feel, that will set it apart.
Q: And are you planning on supporting the game with DLC?
MS: We're still looking into specifically what we're going to do, but we're looking into more characters, network maps, weapons, that kind of thing.
Q: Thank you very much for your time.
MS: Thank you.
Quantum Theory will be released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year