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Diverging timelines: Quantum Break and D4 take time in different directions

Xav de Matos, @Xav

In addition to both being developed exclusively for the Xbox One, D4 (Dark Dreams Don't Die) and Quantum Break hitch their core narrative device to the same time travel theme. Despite identical themes at their core, Remedy and Access tell their tales in vastly different ways.

Quantum Break appears to use the narrative device as part of a world-threatening evil. Two playable characters with the ability to manipulate time look to stop a madman with powerful abilities that dwarf their own. In Quantum Break, these scientifically-altered characters encounter scenarios where time breaks down around them, affecting everyone in the world. D4's approach is quite different.

In Swery65's title, the story revolves around one man's quest to save his wife. Rather than time manipulation being something affecting the entire world, it zeroes in on one man who can jump between the threads of time to solve crimes and attempt to learn the truth about his murdered spouse.

Gallery: Quantum Break (E3 2013) | 3 Photos

Quantum Break's tale is much darker in tone and style, utilizing a next-gen graphics engine that details world with realism – perhaps in an effort to allow the video game product to more easily mesh with its dramatic live-action series counterpart. Like past Access titles, D4 takes its serious narrative and soaks it with outlandish scenarios and humor. The art is cel-shaded, which make scenes like a fist fight on an airplane appear much campier than if they had been wrapped in a realistic layer. The fight between two characters seen during our demo of D4 is cartoonish in its violence; whereas using an oxygen mask's tubing as a makeshift garotte in a realistic engine would appear dark and morbid it somehow is transformed into a clever and humorous maneuver within D4's cel-shaded world.

Even control methods work toward each game's tone. D4 can be played with a traditional controller, but it's Swery65's hope that players consume the title sitting on their couch waving their hands along with the action that adds a layer of levity to the otherwise doleful story. Quantum Break tells its story in a much more serious manner, utilizing control schemes similar to that of other third-person shooters.

Gallery: D4 (E3 2013) | 6 Photos

Every product begins with an idea, but ideas are formed and shaped by past experience. Swery65 and his team often tread on the more ridiculous side of entertainment; Remedy often takes the deeply serious route. Both companies followed the same approach with Deadly Premonition and Alan Wake, respectively, two games with wholly original stories but similarities in inspiration.

Despite their similarities, D4 and Quantum Break are unique in their own ways and offer something new to players considering an upgrade into the next generation of Xbox.

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