E3 09: First look at Quantum

Tecmo is not known for its shooters, but the company is hoping that Quantum will get to change all that. Quantum is Tecmo’s first third-person shooting game, and the alpha build I saw on the E3 showfloor seems to hold quite a bit of promise.  Takine cues from Gears of War and Prince of Persia, Quantum should be an interesting game. I say “interesting” a lot in previews. It’s difficult to come up with other “cautiously optimistic” words. 

Anyway, hoof it to the jump and check out what I made of this interesting new game. 

Quantum is set in an “art nouveau” world that is slowly being consumed by a dark and malevolent growth. A number of towers have sprouted from the ground, which are believed to hold some key to saving the world, and it falls to a warrior called Syd to make his way up one of them and free the planet. During the course of the game, he’ll be joined by a female called Filena, and the two of them will partner up for most of the adventure.

Filena shares a notable similarity with Elika from Prince of Persia. However, Tecmo hopes to improve upon Elika by making Filena a far more useful partner than she ever was, with the player constantly teaming up with her to perform combo attacks on the enemy. While Syd predominantly uses guns to take on opponents, Filena gets up close and personal, and players will be able to chain attacks between both of the characters and basically control a two-person wrecking crew.  

Another key feature in Quantum is the “shape-shifting battlefield.” Bridges and pillars are constantly moving in the tower, creating some dynamic firefights. I got to see many pathways shifting around the arena, and Syd is able to take cover on them and shoot at enemies while speeding past. The effects are looking pretty incredible, and should provide many memorable setpieces if Tecmo exploits the gimmick to its fullest.

The gunplay is definitely inspired by Gears of War, and Tecmo isn’t ashamed to admit it, basically shrugging and saying “if it works, it works.” That’s an attitude I can admire. I’ll need to get the game in my hands to see just how well it does work, but if the team behind the game doesn’t try and change too much stuff (see: Dark Sector) then it should come off excellently. 

While players won’t be able to pair up to take on the story mode, Tecmo has confirmed two forms of online multiplayer. Both a Team Battle and a Battle Royale will be available. 

So far, this is looking like it could be great. Some hot setpieces, big boss battles, an evolved AI co-op mechanic and a three-way war between a hostile growth, a bunch of soldiers, and one musclebound meathead with his glowing girlfriend. That’s a recipe for some solid gaming fun.

The game will be available as a PS3 exclusive.

Jim Sterling