PAX West 2019: Quantum League is Curling for Shooty Time Travelers

Tucked away in the packed aisles of PAX’s Indie MegaBooth sits Quantum League, an arena-based first person shooter with a temporal twist.

The game is the first original release for NGD Studios, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a studio previously known for contract work on other IP. With a look that resembles a cross between Monday Night Combat and Fortnite, Quantum League‘s core mechanic is a time loop that resets players to their spawn at the end of every round. The goal is simple – to capture the point in the center of the arena – but the time loop rewinds the events of the round and sends you back out with clones that match your actions from the previous round.

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Confused? I was too. Here’s an easier way to think about it:

  • At the beginning of the match, there are two characters in the arena. You fight against your opponent in an effort to capture the point.
  • In the second round, your (and your opponent’s) clone replicate your actions from the first round–steps, jumps, trigger pulls. You now control a new clone and attempt to capture the point. There are four characters in the arena.
  • In the third round, you take the field with your two clones from the previous round and attempt to capture the point. There are six characters in the arena.

Once the game gets going, the intricacies of the time mechanics make more sense.  If you’re killed before the end of the round you are “de-synced”. You watch a brief replay of your death and then are rewound through the events of the round, so you can see where you went wrong. Developing strategies or, in the 2v2 mode, set plays opens the door up for a game that has a very low skill floor but a very high ceiling (like Rocket League).

Speaking of strategies, this de-sync allows you to keep playing during the round, but hidden to your opponent. There are Back to the Future-style rules in effect, meaning you can prevent clone deaths (that would naturally occur as a result of previous events) if you stop them from happening in subsequent rounds. The ultimate goal is to assemble more of you at the goal than your opponent, so interacting with these time-bending rules is all part of the fun.

Editor’s note: John here. Hi. I tried to enter the beta of this to get a little better perspective of the rules, but couldn’t find a match. Since the rules are pretty fascinating, we may update this article if our explanation isn’t quite right. It sounds like shooty-mans, time-traveling curling, though. Weird! I wanna try it!

There a 6 weapons, covering your typical FPS weapon lineup (sniper rifle, SMG, shotgun, etc.), with a couple of more eccentric weapons like a laser gun. Since the game is in beta, weapon tuning is not final (the shotgun is a little overpowered right now!).

Quantum League is currently in Beta, and is available on Steam. It will launch on PC first, and then the team will explore console releases.