"It looks like Gears of War."
"We get that a lot."
Tecmo staff must have been overjoyed when E3 rolled to a close, so they could finally get a break from explaining over and over how their newest game, and PS3 exclusive, just isn't another happy adventure of Marcus and Dom with a Sixaxis chaser.
Yes, Quantum does feature a bulky protagonist, in this case Syd, and sports an over-the-shoulder shooting system, complete with the ability to take cover behind solid and not-so-solid objects. Even the animation of the two games appears similar at first glance. But the more I watched, the more I realized that the aspects that bored me to tears in Gears were reduced or absent here. Quantum really isn't a "stop and pop." Cover can be destroyed or just shifts and changes on its own, while the base speed is faster, and the developers plan to crank it up even further before the release. The result is rushing from point to point with guns blazing, taking cover only for a moment to catch a breath before fighting on.
Even half-finished, this boss fight was more compelling than any of Gears' half-assed efforts.
Why Syd fights will be revealed through the course of the game. Civilization has collapsed and strange towers have been springing up all over the world, organic and alive. The game will take place entirely in one of these towers, battling against the monstrous Nosferatu that seek to protect the towers, and the soldier-like Guildskins armed to reduce theses eyesores to rubble. That's a lot of concentrated hostility for one man, though lucky for Syd he comes across a mysterious woman named Filena who's in the tower for reasons of her own, but not afraid to kick ass. While she fights well on her own, team-up actions will let the player hurl her at enemies - either as a living spear or to drop stun grenades from above. Expect more such actions as the game develops, but don't expect co-op. The main quest is strictly single-player.
Online matches for up to ten players will be supported, with the familiar modes of deathmatch and team battle. To change things up, one player on either side will play as a female character and de facto leader of her side. The chance to play a sexy and swift melee master with the power to heal has one big downside: she takes damage like a hemophiliac on a pincushion. Her team will have to work to keep her alive and slaughter the rival queen.
Environments follow a welcome art nouveau style with organic shapes crafted of shining bronze, deep greens, and other shades, similar to portions of Bioshock. The foot soldiers and snipers are futuristic and clearly stand apart from this landscape, while the monstrous fliers, fluttering like gigantic wasps, seem more at home. Nothing prepared me for the two-story tall lumbering boss, seeking to blast and pummel the hero into atoms, with its skeletal visage and cruel eyes. Even half-finished, this boss fight was more compelling than any of Gears' half-assed efforts.
The goal of the developer is less standard third-person shooter and more Ninja Gaiden with guns, complete with three levels of increasing difficulty. Right now there are the standard weapons of blaster, shotgun, and machine gun, but more exotic armaments like reflecting weapons and a grenade storm are planned for Quantum's release in 2010.