Quantum Theory

Not one to develop exclusively for PS3 or work in the third-person shooter genre, Japanese developer Tecmo has simultaneously broken two of its traditions with Quantum Theory. Let’s get the obvious out of the way, this looks like an art nouveau version of Xbox 360’s cover-fire based Gears Of War. Not a bad thing. PS3 could do with a hulking, no-brainer blast. The big twist Quantum Theory brings to the pot is that the cover you’ll be firing from will vanish as soon as it appears. The game’s landscape will change in real time.

A dark, spiked tower has erupted from the ground and threatens the world at large. This tower is alive and you, or rather the impressively named Syd, must enter the tower, ascend to its peak and gun the ass of anything you find along the way. As it’s alive, cover will erupt into view in the form of spires, spikes and rocky outcrops and then get sucked back into the tower’s body almost as quickly as they arrived, ensuring that you’re never going to feel safe in any situation.

The living tower and its transient cover-fire mechanic is a novel approach to what is fast becoming a crowded genre, even on PS3 (see Damnation and Wanted this issue). There will also be co-op play too, involving a female fighter Syd meets in the tower, called Fillena. She doesn’t have the armaments Syd comes with (he sports big guns and a power-glove) but she’s generally more nimble, something that’s possibly more useful if your cover keeps being taken away.

Tecmo has promised a different co-op experience to other games, with Syd and Fillena not seeing eye-to-eye on their mission, alluding to a final duel when you reach the tower’s summit to change the ending of the game. The competitive nature of the co-op is backed by a one-versus-one online match mode. If you can forgive the game’s Gears Of War look (close your eyes really tight and think about something else, Fillena’s saucy catsuit helps) and the fact Tecmo is in dangerously new territory here, then Quantum Theory looks quite exciting. A new kind of shooter that will keep you on your toes? You’re cover is vanishing, your partner is eyeballing you and there’s a hulking big monster crashing through a wall… Yeah, this could work.

Dec 30, 2008