You kids have heard about Quantum Break, right? The new franchise coming out for Xbox One that attempts to blend gaming with episodic television watching? It is an incredibly ambitious idea, and one that looks to change the way we interact with our favorite shows in the future. But, there are two schools of thought going into this. One, this really could be a game changer if it works like intended. To be able to switch between gaming and watching, therefore immersing us even more in the experience could be unreal. In the same breath, I think this brings back memories of VCR gaming and FMV for a lot of us. If you don’t know what that is, you are either really young, or don’t watch Community.
So, in theory, what Quantum Break wants to do is blur the line between interactive fiction and passive fiction. In other words, if Quantum Break works like intended, it would be like The Walking Dead if, every now and again, you could step into the game and do things as a character that would affect the next episode on the show. The idea, in scope, it pretty cool. But here is the thing. Will they be able to blend the two mediums to work well enough that is feels organic, or will it just feel like a Metal Gear game, where I a putting down my controller for 30 minutes at a time so cut scenes can play out. If it feels like Heavy Rain, and like your decisions actually have an impact, this could really be a game changer, lame pun intended.
But, in the same breath, this is really huge and ambitious, and the chance of it working out as intended or suspected is often slim. Reality is, when I game, I am in the mood to game. And when I watch TV, I am in the mood for TV. It is not like I am just in the mood for “general entertainment.” That is not how this works. So if it just feels like I am putting down my controller every 20 minutes, that might not push enough people to want to experience Quantum Break.
Truth is, it is still way too early to tell, but we respect their ambition, regardless. We wonder how many other networks or shows follow suit.
[Photo via Remedy Games]