Tecmo’s Quantum Theory is looking like Gears of War, only Japanese and not very good.
It really is a cultural thing, but you can’t take two steps in an internet gaming forum without hearing someone complain about how male protagonists in Japanese games tend towards the androgynous end of the masculinity spectrum. “Why don’t Japanese games have burly men who look like they’ve had steroids injected directly into their necks who riddle their opponents’ corpses with bullets?”
Well, Tecmo’s upcoming third-person action game Quantum Theory looks to dispel the notion that “Japanese games can’t have grizzled burly male protagonists,” because it certainly does. The buff gunman Syd looks like he’s been transplanted straight out of Epic’s Gears of War, which kind of makes sense because so does everything else. I’m certainly not the only one who gets a sense of deja vu from this gameplay footage, I can tell you that much.
Quantum Theory differs from other third-person cover-based shooters in that the terrain is technically living so it forms and deforms as you progress through the level – oh, and your partner is not an equally brick-like stanchion of masculinity (sorry, no Marcus-and-Dom bromance here) but a buxom, not-quite-so-armored girl whom Syd can throw at the enemies a la Elika and the Prince in the latest Prince of Persia. I guess that’s kind of unique for the genre, in a way.
But yes – interesting idea of living terrain aside, this may be why more Japanese game developers don’t ape Western design aesthetics: Because it doesn’t turn out looking very good.