Tecmo's Quantum Theory is an intense third-person shooter with a few interesting twists, including the inclusion of a partner-in-crime who can slice 'n dice with the best of 'em. We wanted to learn more about the promising production – and we wanted you guys to participate, too – so we brought a bunch of questions to the developers.
The Director for the game, Makoto Shibata, was nice enough to take the time and provide us with answers.
PSXE: It looks like there are a couple main characters, and that they will act as partners. How much actual co-op gameplay/mechanics can we expect?
Shibata: " The main story follows Syd and his quest to destroy the tower. Along the way he meets up with a lady named Filena. They start out as enemies but realize that they should work together to stay alive.
When Filena is with you, you can perform combo throws and combo attacks. Tapping the L1 button will throw her up, and she will stun enemies in an area below her. Holding L1 will throw her straight at one enemy to do a lot of damage with her sword. For combo attacks, after Syd hits with a melee attack, you can press the square or triangle buttons to have Filena jump in with a follow-up attack. Press one of the buttons again, and they'll team up for a paired strike.
What we're trying to do with this game is bring some more action into third-person shooters. In the story mode, the focus is squarely on Syd, and we think of the combination throws and attacks that you perform with Filena as an extension of Syd's abilities.
She isn't just another weapon, of course. Filena is central to what is happening in the tower and how events play out. When she is with you, she will fight on her own if you don't use the actions. She won't just sit there waiting for you. Filena is definitely both a core character and core feature of the game. "
PSXE: Staying on the topic of the second character, might we have the option of a co-op mode where two people can work through the campaign together?
Shibata: " The way the story is structured, she's not with you all the time, so it really doesn't lend itself well to co-op. While Filena is an integral part of the game, we wanted to keep the main focus on Syd and his mission to destroy the tower.
We also wanted to try to give a new feel to a single-player game. We're coming at this with a background in action and horror games, which are predominantly single-player experiences. When coming up with a concept that felt like a Tecmo shooter, we naturally used our backgrounds in single-player games and wanted to bring something new to that area. "
PSXE: Everyone always says Quantum Theory looks a lot like Gears of War. What will differentiate your game from Epic's series; is it more about different gameplay, for example?
Shibata: " We get that a lot. The action-oriented gameplay with Filena and the shifting battlefields within the living tower are something that we think players haven't experienced before. In online modes, you can climb on walls that have been infected with this phenomenon known as the diablosis. You can climb up above people in these really twisted maps and fight from all kinds of crazy angles. It's definitely a new experience.
The setting is unique, too. It’s not a military shooter, and Syd isn’t a space marine. Once you get into the tower and see the design, we think you'll feel a difference with a lot of other shooters.
With regards to the Gears influence itself, obviously we looked at Gears. But it's not the only thing we looked at. We think Resident Evil 4 is basically the starting point for the genre. It merged moving and shooting into a really fun game. Gears took that moving-shooting gameplay, added cover and great online play for another excellent experience. We also looked at games like Army of Two, Killzone…pretty much any shooter we could get our hands on. We looked at what others were doing, and tried to come up with a shooter that felt like it came from Tecmo. "
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PSXE: As we understand it, the game was initially only set for PS3. What was the thought process behind switching to multiplatform development?
Shibata: " Tecmo has traditionally focused on development for one platform at a time. However, Koei has more experience with multiplatform development. With the merger, we saw that we could use both of our respective strengths in those aspects to bring the game to even more users. "
PSXE: We'd like to know a bit more about the story of Quantum Theory, and how "story-driven" the game will be. Is the plot a major focal point?
Shibata: " The plot is a major focal point. It's definitely not RPG conversation-after-conversation, but it does have a unique plot that we hope players will get into.
The story takes place in the future, after civilization has collapsed from a great war. Towers—called Arks—have grown up in various places around the world. No one gets in, and no one ever comes out. Now, though a phenomenon known as the diablosis has begun spawning from this one particular tower. The diablosis infects anything it comes in contact with, mutating it like a cancer. The remnants of humanity around this tower have formed a militia to bring the tower down. On the way to the tower, a squad runs into a mysterious guy named Syd.
Syd has been going around destroying the towers for his own reasons, so he joins up with the militia assault out of convenience. Inside the tower, though, a whole new kind of enemy awaits. The story continues as Syd progresses up the tower, meeting Filena and battling the different enemies within. The diablosis has infected part of the tower as well, causing it to change shape right before the player's eyes.
In the course of the story, you'll find out who Syd is, how Filena is connected to everything, and why the towers even exist in the first place. The tower observes everything that goes on inside, and its layout will shift as you fight your way through. It's kind of a character of its own. "
PSXE: The fall is always very competitive in this industry. What might you say to someone to convince them to buy Quantum Theory over other titles?
Shibata: " Quantum Theory is not a sequel. It's new. The combo actions give a different feel to single-player shooters, and climbing all over the maps online is a lot of fun. The setting and story combined with a new, action-oriented gameplay make Quantum Theory one of the most unique shooters on the market. "
PSXE: Lastly, it seems like everyone wants to know when we can expect the next Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. Do you have any details you can share?
Shibata: " Unfortunately, no details right now. All of our efforts have been focused on Quantum Theory. "
Awww…well, no new info on the latter question but at least we heard about Ninja Gaiden 3 at TGS 2010. We want to thank Mr. Shibata for taking the time to answer our (and your) questions, and we hope Quantum Theory turns out well. The demo was certainly fun, and we'll be interested to see how that wall-climbing in the online play works.
Next up: the Q&A with Insomniac regarding one of their new projects, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One . We've got your questions for that, too, but don't bother to ask them about Resistance 3 . They aren't ready to talk about it yet. 🙂