The parallels between Quantum Theory and Gears of War, are unmistakable. Taking the lead role is a scared space marine in oversized armor. For Quantum Theory’s army however the armor has been made overly intricate with a gothic style that is mirrored through out the world. It isn’t only the visual style Quantum Theory takes it cue from GoW on; gameplay, HUD, even controls are all laughably similar.
In defense of the shameless ‘borrowing’ of ideas, all game design is iterative. People build developing and perfecting ideas, and Quantum Theory does try to a few interesting twists. Deforming terrain morphs the towers as you run from area to another, like some kind of self-aware play dough. It was an idea that looked impressive in videos but in action it frequently resulted in the frame rate dropping off the chart.
The other change to the Gears formula is the partner system. Rather than an equally scared AI squad mate, in Quantum Theory a waif like woman joins you. She around levels with you and (in the demo at least) can do two thing. Firstly you can launch her like a javelin across the room, a useful ability when you need to rapidly flank an opponent and also causes damage to whatever she directly hits. The other thing she could do was to break the demo. Enemy AI seemed obsessed with hunting her even when unconscious, and she seemed to struggle making it around even the lowest of walls.
Quantum Theory still seems to be very early in development, and honestly I don’t understand why Tecmo decided to show it. The overall bad impression it gave only resulted in lowering people expectations for a game that, on paper, could still be good. The key mechanics are there and for the periods everything was working it felt like a reasonable GoW clone, unfortunately the times it wasn’t working so outweighed these brief flashes that I couldn’t enjoy them.