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TimeShift Review

TimeShift pack shot
Developer:Sabre Interactive
Publisher:Sierra Entertainment
Genre:First Person Shooter
Platform:Xbox 360
Official Site:http://www.timeshiftgame.com/
Release Date:November 2nd, 2007 (UK)
Reviewer:Andy Hemphill (Bandit)
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If you had the power to control time, what would you do? Would you go back and kill Hitler? Would you go forwards and see how the future turns out? Or would you use your power to remake the past, to mould the world as you see fit.

Dr Aiden Krone, the protagonist of Timeshift, chose option three. As a noted scientist, he was less than happy when his financiers saw his work on the Timesuit as a military application, and not a tool for information and science. He grew angry, and his anger gave way to madness. Seizing the Alpha Timesuit, he executed a jump to the past, and in so doing destroyed the research facility he called home, all those he called family, and the time line itself.

The alternate reality created by Krone's time jump is somewhere in the 1950's, Krone is now the head of an empire with millions of soldiers, tanks, walkers, zeppelins and of course his Alpha suit behind him. He has enslaved the world's population in his efforts to create the perfect world, when all he created was a dystopia: a rain drenched wilderness of broken buildings gripped in an occupant uprising, an uprising that you, and your Beta suit, must lead to victory if the true timeline can ever be restored.

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Timeshift is a game which will change the way you think about combat, your character, a nameless, faceless colleague of Krone, is part SAS, part PHD, and all expert in time travel.

The game opens with your character sprinting down a corridor towards a room marked 'A/B Timesuit', slamming open the door you see Krone disappear in a blaze of light and electricity, your co workers, panicking as the facility starts to rip itself apart, flee the room, leaving just you and the Beta suit in front of you. Stepping into the suit, it seals itself around you, and its HUD comes online, hiding you behind the distinctive tri-pointed yellow faceplate.

The next thing you know, you're standing in the middle of a street, in a raging downpour, surrounded by shocked looking soldiers and being shot at by enemies unknown.

Talk about thrown in at the deep end.

This game has been the subject of a very lengthy delay, a delay which brought about very big changes from the first demo released all those months ago, but you wouldn't have guessed that. The textures are excellent, the weapons varied, and enemies and environment challenging. However it's the suit's time powers that really make Timeshift stand out.

The suit has several bells and whistles attached to it. Despite its thin frame and silver and blue colour scheme, it contains a highly developed AI called SSAM, who advises you on incoming threats and routes to your destination, but the most important thing the suit can do is alter time.

Slow, stop and rewind time, three rules of physics that shouldn't exist. At the touch of a button the world around you can be slowed down so you can dodge bullets or sprint past obstacles or fire at seven people at once while they are still looking the other way.

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Another button combo can freeze time completely for a few seconds, more than enough time to seize the gun from a nearby enemy's hand and gun down several others, or run away from the grenade that has just dropped at your feet.

Or, if it's too late to run, you can utilise the third power in your arsenal, and rewind time, sending the grenade back in a gentle arc to the enemy's hands, or making the tank's shell fly back down the cannon barrel, or reversing your flying leap off a cliff on a quad bike.

In a word, the time powers offered by Timeshift are spectacular, the days of hiding behind barrels are over for the owner of a timesuit, why hide when you can pause time, sprint to the enemy's position, shoot all of them in the head, and then un-pause time and watch them all crumple to their knees. And stealing a gun off an enemy never gets dull, pause time, dodge the tank shell, press X to take the gun from them and then watch them stand there asking "What? Where's my gun?" before shooting them in the head.

SSAM even chooses the best time power for you depending on your situation, but you can override his decision with a quick button press.

The one thing the suit can't do is resurrect you. Unlike other games with time powers, the suit isolates you from the effects of the Timeshift, so if you are falling off a cliff, rewinding time does nothing to you, only everything else in the world around you. This dynamic stops the player from being totally invincible and ruining the game completely- a good thing too, any more power and the man in the suit could have been a god.

So, combine good weapons with a stunning environment and freaky time powers and you have the recipe for success? Yes.

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But it is not perfect, graphically, the game looks tremendous, the visuals are sharp and the rain so realistic that you can almost hear it hitting your faceplate. But the enemies themselves are rendered in what I would call a cartoon style. At points it feels less like a 360 game and more like good old Timesplitters, with the chunky characters and big weapons that take away from the serious nature of the game.

It is easy to see why it was given an 18 rating, what with an exploding crossbow and being able to shoot enemies in the head point blank in a time stop, but the cartoon stylings take away from it a little.

Also, the game promises more than it delivers on the box, although there are plenty of weapons, some feel a little disappointing, and it is possible to beat the game with just the basic machine gun with grenade attachment. And as for the promised vehicles, only a Quad bike has appeared in any major capacity so far, and it would have been nice to fly one of those zeppelins.

The multiplayer is an entertaining experience, rather than have each player with the ability to manipulate time, you have to acquire 'time boosts' and use them to throw grenades with the power to stop, slow or rewind your opponents.

Each grenade creates a small effects sphere, and if you're caught in one or walk into one the Timeshift effects of that grenade will affect you. So if you throw a stop grenade at an enemy he will freeze in place, giving you the time to fire a rocket at him that will hit him when the bubble dissipates.

However, the fast movement of your enemies and the constant slowing and stopping of time can leave you a little disorientated and confused as to what is going on, but it's fun nonetheless.


Overall, Timeshift is definitely worth the money, the single player is intense and exciting, constantly making you think of how to use your abilities to defeat the next challenge, and the multiplayer is a laugh, despite its delusional speed. Overall, a definite thumbs up, and well worth the wait.

The bottom line
8.0 / 10

Good stuff

  • Time powers are perfect
  • Play makes you think
  • Stealing guns of frozen soldiers never gets old

Not so good stuff

  • Unnecessary cartoon style
  • Insanely confusing multiplayer
  • More vehicles needed

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