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Timeshift – It’s about time! November 2, 2007

Posted by Jevan Moss in Articles, Console, Games, PC.
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Well, after a convoluted development cycle in which the game was literally scrapped and rebuilt half-way through, in response to mediocre previews, Timeshift is finally here. Unfortunately, Vivendi could well have ruined everything by releasing the game smack bang in the middle of Halo 3, The Orange Box, Call Of Duty 4 and Crysis! You have to laugh really.

Crazy marketing decisions aside though, that extra year in development has clearly worked wonders. I’m about an hour into the campaign, and well, it’s bloody good fun!

My first impressions weren’t quite so positive though. Let’s just say that if imitation is the sincerist form of flattery, then Timeshift is the most flattering game ever made. Right from the start, it brazenly rips off the opening sections of Half-Life 2, the combat from Halo, its visual style from Gears of War, and its time manipulation gimick is taken wholesale from the Prince of Persia series. It’s really quite blatant, but thankfully it manages to combine these “influences” into something approaching an identity of its own.

As long as you play the game above its default “casual” setting (that’ll be Gears again), you’ll soon find that cunning use of the time powers is often vital to success. It feels genuinely empowering to slow down time, before sending your now neutered foes into balletic ragdoll deaths in slow motion. Even better, you can briefly stop time completely, steal an enemy weapon, wait just long enough for the effect to wear off and shoot your visibly bewildered victim in the face with his own gun! Unfortunately, reversing time has so far been mostly useless, with the exception of a single tutorial puzzle. It would have been far better if you could use it to undo your own death, like you can in POP, and it’s not like Sabre are shy when it comes to flattery.

Well, that’s about it for now. It’s shaping up to be a solid, fun and atmospheric FPS, and while it may not have many good ideas of its own, it does a fine job of implementing those of others.

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Comments»

1. Chris - November 2, 2007

It’s another Jericho, isn’t it Jev? Released at another time, it might have done okay. As it is, it’s bound to be compared in negative terms to the slew of great FPSes already out or on the way. Not sure whether Haze will be one of the ace ones, or just another mediocre shooter. It’s a good time if you’re a fan of the genre, that’s for sure!

2. Jevan - November 2, 2007

I can see it having a wider appeal than Jericho though. I haven’t played it, but it sounds like it’s a pretty generic FPS. Timeshift is hardly original either, but it does a lot of unoroginal stuff rather well.

Speaking of which, I forgot to mention that it’s also a massive FEAR rip-off. Seriously, is there a single FPS series that hasn’t played its part?

3. Mike - November 2, 2007

This is going to get more lost in the mix than a Geri Halliwell vocal in a Spice Girls single.


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