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Xbox One's 'Quantum Break' Stars a Bunch of Moderately-Recognizable Actors

It's the guy from Game of Thrones and what's-his-name from The Wire in this time travel catastrophe.

by Zack Kotzer
Aug 4 2015, 6:00pm

Revealed back in 2013, Quantum Break is an action game about a time travel experiment gone horribly wrong, following those trying to cover up and clean up the mess. Previews of the game have shown how manipulating time can work to your advantage in a firefight, calling back to developer Remedy Entertainment's first major hit, the John Woo-inspired Max Payne. For this week's Gamescom, the largest gaming conference in Europe, the studio decided to reveal another feature entirely: TV actors.

Main protagonist, Jack Joyce, looks a little different now. To be more specific, he looks like Shawn Ashmore, best known from the X-Men movies, Fox's spooky ooky murder thing The Following, and also Animorphs. He's pitted against mad scientist Paul Serene, who's also looking a little different, now played by Game of Thrones' Littlefinger actor Aiden Gillen. They are joined by Lost's Dominic Monaghan and The Wire's Lance Reddick. Each will not only appear in the game as motion captured polygons, but in full motion video sequences.

Full motion videos (live action game segments known as FMVs) seem to be making a comeback this year. We've seen them in utterly baffling ways like the new Guitar Hero, and we've seen them used in inspired original ways like the surprise hit Her Story. Heck, you could have funded a rerelease of the most infamous FMV game of all, Sega CD anti-classic Night Trap.

Remedy has always toyed with putting TV-style content in their games. FMVs were used in Alan Wake as coy little Twilight Zone homages before expanding into miniature story sequences, usually confined to in-game television screens. Whenever you walked by a TV in Max Payne, it was usually playing a Twin Peaks ripoff.

Quantum Break is finally going for broke, with entire cutscenes using live actors. Now, this may seem pretty darn dumb, but compared to how recognizable casts have been motion captured in the past, perhaps normal, old-fashioned directed dramatic sequences are in fact the best way to go. Judge for yourself with the trailer above.