June 15, 2012

E3 2012 – Quantum Conundrum

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 9:11 pm

Quantum Conundrum E3 2012
Just for kicks, I’ve been trying to think of a way of discussing Quantum Conundrum without mentioning Portal, but that doesn’t seem to be happening today. Of course, referencing Portal to discuss Kim Swift and Airtight Games’ upcoming release is probably a good sign that we’re about to discuss a very solid title, which we are.

As with Portal, Quantum Conundrum features a series of puzzles that require the use of a rather strange device in order to solve them, and aside from the physicality of interacting with objects in this space, that’s probably where the similarities end – although there’s certainly a common thread that offers players a chance to see more in the minor details that merits mention.

Quantum Conundrum E3 2012
There’s plenty of humor to be found around the mansion laboratory, with Star Trek The Next Generation’s John de Lancie acting as a friendly and invisible guide – a much warmer disembodied voice than GLaDOS to be sure. Plenty of the books scattered around the mansion offered play-on-word titles, and as I first stepped into the “fluffy” dimension, it was impossible not to want to reach out and hug a heavy safe that now looked like a pillow.

Quantum Conundrum equips players with a device capable of swapping them between alternate dimensions, parallel universes where a major theme dictates the environment, from the aforementioned fluffy dimension where everything is soft and quilted, to a slow-time dimension where everything moves at a snail’s pace.

I picked up some important notes on flipping through dimensions, including the fact that each dimension has a fuel cell of sorts, which players will need to put inside a cylinder that holds four. This means that players will have to prepare the dimensions they may need, which on console controllers can be rather slickly switched between via the four shoulder buttons.

Airtight offered up a play-through of the reverse gravity dimension while I was visiting, which showed how players could flip between regular and reverse gravity to throw an object and have it reach across a room – as well as jump on said objects to go along for the ride in order to cross wide gaps in the environment.

I suppose if I mention the lasers and box spewing robot that this is going to sound like territory for more Portal comparisons, but Quantum Conundrum’s light-hearted aesthetics and environment shifting trickery appear to offer an evolution in the physics-based puzzle-solving department that Portal popularized. I particularly liked the minor touch that saw the paintings around the mansion change with the dimensional shifts.

On the way out I was told that Quantum Conundrum will feature fifty puzzling scenarios, and release for the PC first on June 21st, with plans to hit Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network this summer.

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