Obscure games: Timeshift

TimeShift is a sci-fi first-person shooter developed by Saber Interactive and published by Sierra Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in fall 2007. Timeshift had a very troublesome development, after switching 2 publishers and going through 2 delays. It was finally published by Vivendi after reveiving a complete overhaul and a massive bug fixing together with a major visual improvement.
It tries to be innovative with it's time controling mechanics, but gets dumbed down by repetitive gameplay and a simply bad plot.



Although from the trailer it might seem like Prince of Persia with guns, it isn't.


Singleplayer

The singleplayer features an up to 12 hour campaign through an alternate timeline where the player takes the role of a faceless and speechless protagonist.

About the plot... just bare with me on this one guys....
Scientists from the future create two time controling suits: one military, one civilian. Of course this evil scientist comes along and sabotages the research facility where the suits are kept and steals the civilian suit in order to go back through time and make himself the leader of humanity. Did I mention he is evil?
The protagonist takes the military suit and goes after the baddie in 1939 where the whole world(or at least America or somthing, it's never explained). There he meets the resistance which just trusts him so much they give him a gun. I'm not even joking, they just see a guy with a bad-ass suit and combat skills and proclaim him their lord-and-savior. Did I mention that the evil scientist is evil?
The plot is just the escuse to go into a grim universe and kill some bad guys.
Now about that grim universe....


The visuals in this game are astonishing: explosions look fantastic, especially when viewed while the game is in slow-motion or paused. It's not just the explosions that look good, but the object being destroyed as well. Crates will splinter, bad guys' limbs will fly in all different directions--there's plenty of carnage. The rain effects in the first level are good, too, though they feel overdone, as if the developer were showing off how hard it had worked on making the game look better. You can really feel that raindrops existing.... you know?
They really did a good job in immersing you into the games world.
The time mechanic is really interesting as there are plenty of puzzles in the game plus freezing time to just empty a clip into an enemy just to see blood coming out of him in all directions and limbs being chopped out never gets old (I'm messed up, I know).
The singleplayer gets dumbed down however by having to fight the same A.I. over and over again. It's just like FEAR games, pause time, get out of cover, empty your clip into a poor bastard, repeat. Most of the gameplay is spent on killing wave after wave of enemies with just the ocasional puzzle or boss fight.
Boss fights are quite interesting and they just make you keep playing the campaign. For years to come you will just remember that time when you killed that giant robot spider in the center of a ruined city that throws mortar fire at you and friggin' LASERS.




Multyplayer

The game also has multyplayer which offers players traditional game-modes such as deathmatch and team-deathmatch but also unique modes such as King of time which has you try to gain control of the time sphere, which makes the person who holds it impervious to time effects, allowing them to rack up kills with ease. Another is called meltdown madness. This is a team mode where you try to prevent the other team's machine from counting down by throwing chrono grenades at it. You can also create your own fun by using the multiplayer modifiers. These let you increase players' running and jumping abilities, reduce gravity, or play alternate game types like rockets or snipers only, vampires, or last man standing. The multiplayer mode isn't exactly amazing, but it definitely has its moments.

One of the most fun montages out there, also if anyone can find the music to this montages I'll give him 1000 internets!


Final thoughts

Timeshift is a unique game, I just feel that they could have done more and knowing they delayed it as much as 2 years just enrages me more. More could have been done with the puzzles and that plot... There are literally 4-panel comics with better story than this game. That story looks just added in the last 5 minutes there it's outrageous.
Timeshift could have been a game as popular as Half Life for it's time controling mechanics and visuals combined with gameplay but they just failed.
On another hand it does feature a pretty long singleplayer campaign, nice puzzles and great visuals.
If all you need is to shoot guys until the credits roll because an angry soldier and a computer voice say so then this is the game you are looking for. It has a lenghty campaign and the game gives you just enough the ammount of satisfaction you need to keep going. The game has very mixed reviews, you might like it you might not. I am personally very pissed that it is just a meh game, not a great game, just a meh one.
With that said I'll still might play it again while I wait for Duke Nukem Forever.

26 comments:

  1. i was so excited about this game when i read the previews. i was disappointed the first time i played

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  2. This game was awful, it had so much potential but alas it lacked so so so much

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  3. Very cool review, "Multyplayer" cracked me up.

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  4. Hey nice post, I remember this game, it's ok but very repetitive like you said.

    I'm following you now and will check back daily.

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  5. Never played this, might give it a try :)

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  6. I played this game and ... :/ I don't know what to write about it :/

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  7. i havnt playesd this but the concept looks familiar

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  9. Good review - might give it a try :)

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  10. need it
    nao!
    anyway followin'
    franztime.blogspot.com

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  11. Gimmick weapons or powers are usually a bad sign in games. The only one I've ever seen work well is Spiderman's web slinging. D'oh.

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  12. It looks like every fps on the market right now. I'm not intrigued by its presence.

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  13. timeshift = one of the best games ever. great to see it getting some recognition

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  14. I've never played it, although I should check it out.

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  15. Don't think I'll pick it up if it isn't that good. :P

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  16. oh man that game looks sick, especially from the poster thingy ma jig lol

    anyways, here's my blog if anyone's interested; just random posts that i think will be interesting/useful to my readers :) http://lifeofbaron.blogspot.com

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  17. i hadn't even heard of this game until now. King of Time sounds like an awesome multi player game mode though

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  18. Meh, not really my cup of tea, but great post none the less.

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  19. Yeah this game is crazzzy probs as much so as portal

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