TimeShift Single-Player Hands-On

Colonel Swift is fighting to save the future in our hands-on look at a new build of the time-bending first-person shooter from Saber and Vivendi.

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TimeShift has been a long time coming, but this time-bending action game from Saber Interactive and new publisher Vivendi Games will finally see store shelves next month on the PC and Xbox 360. As we've reported in our extensive previous coverage, you'll play as Colonel Michael Swift, who's at the controls of a multibillion-dollar time-control suit and who's using that suit to clean up a mess he made by mucking around with the past. It seems Krone, the evil and bald mastermind behind Swift's suit, has designs on more than just acceptance among his scientific peers; he wants to rule the world, and he's used Swift as a pawn to enact his evil scheme.

We've spent some time (ahem) with the game's single-player campaign to see how it's shaped up now that the game is just about done. You'll play through a brief training segment reminiscent of Half-Life's tutorial level, in which a buxom assistant steps you through the functions of your suit as you tackle a number of small obstacles. You won't actually grab a gun and start shooting till you've been to the past and back, though. Not long after heading back to the dystopian future, you'll break out of a brief imprisonment at the hands of Krone's goons and link up with an underground resistance movement that, at least in the early part of the game, will be supplying you with information and objectives as you move from one area to the other, undermining the Krone empire in every way possible.

TimeShift's mission structure is quite linear--you're proceeding from point A to point B to satisfy objectives that develop on the fly as you work with the resistance against Krone. The time powers naturally come in plenty handy when you're thrown up against overwhelming enemy odds--which seems to be happening quite a bit so far. We've encountered a couple of instances where we were on foot and had to get by imposing obstacles, such as some tanks that could mow us down in seconds, so we had to use the slow- or pause-time powers to get by unscathed. We tended to run and gun our way through most firefights without paying much mind to the time powers at first, but we figured out quickly that we had to use our unique talents to get by--the odds are stacked too high against ol' Colonel Swift.

You won't just be using those powers to stroll lazily through one firefight after another, though. You'll also encounter a good number of puzzles that will require your time powers, sort of like the puzzles in Half-Life 2 that made such good use of that game's physics engine. Here, you'll sometimes have to stop time so you can walk on solidified water or right through a jet of harmless flame; slow time so you can make it through a group of fast-moving laser trip wires; or hit a switch to bring an elevator over, then jump on that elevator and reverse time so it carries you back across the gap. The solutions to the puzzles we've seen so far have been fairly obvious, but that's only in the early part of the game. If things get harder later, there's an online hint system that will pop up suggestions (subtle or not, depending on your preference) about which power you should use to tackle a given situation.

Your time powers are crucial to surviving the game's brutal firefights.

As for the all-important achievements in the Xbox 360 version, you points hounds ought to have a good amount of meat to chew on when you try to wring every last point from TimeShift. You'll find an achievement unlocked after every story level is completed, as well as achievements for finishing the entire game on all three difficulty modes. Like Perfect Dark Zero, TimeShift has a bunch of multiplayer-related achievements relating to which game modes you've played and how many kills you've nabbed. Finally, you'll get a number of points for focusing on some time-power-specific activities, from stopping time and stealing a certain number of enemies' weapons to shooting down a particular number of rockets to reversing time and bringing enough slain enemies back to life.

TimeShift seems like a pretty solid single-player shooter with some unique gameplay features (at least, unique to the first-person shooter genre). We'll hopefully bring you more on the game's multiplayer modes in the next few weeks as the late-September release date approaches.

Discussion

33 comments
rogermao
rogermao

sounds interesting, have to get used to using time travel first though

rikkie4
rikkie4

Ok bring out a new demo and i can decieded!

oDARKBLADEo
oDARKBLADEo

It could end up being a decent game, now that it has been overhauled quite a bit. The demo blew chunks IMO. I'll wait for the reviews though.

siiixon
siiixon

i disagree , i think the old demo was great, it looked better then any other game currentry on the market and it played extreamly good as well

uenfudbvaukbf
uenfudbvaukbf

the demo is old, the game has been overhauled. The graphics are much better, the story was changed a bit, and new voice talent was hired. Hopefully the gameplay will be better than the old demo

smbius
smbius

This game did NOT look good nor did it play well...on the demo. That being said, I hope they've made some changes to the gameplay based on the feedback they're getting from the demo

jonjon81
jonjon81

All I can say is, this game LOOKS sweet. We'll see how it plays.

LoneSnakeX
LoneSnakeX

This game was for sale in Azerbaijan??

_Mr_Derp_
_Mr_Derp_

As long as it doesn't overuse it's innovative features it should be a rock-solid entry into the FPS genre.

Andrew0824
Andrew0824

I'm no longer interested in buying a shooter solely based on it's SP game anymore. It better have a decent MP, or if not it had better have a stellar SP game or I probably won't buy it.

TNTales
TNTales

I agree about multiplayer. I am more of a single player player so it's not so big for me, but I think the game will lose a few points on release for having a vanilla multiplayer that doesn't have any of the innovation of the SP game. Unless they come up with a completely different form of multiplayer. Possible, but unlikely. The rewind feature alone would break deathmatch, imo. On the other hand, I love puzzle solving powers like Half-Life 2 (grav gun), Soul Reaver, and Psi-Ops. This could be a lot of fun.

thebuft
thebuft

some games overplay the slo motion thing. i bet this feature wont be in the multi player. just like full autos rewind function

phalluman
phalluman

cant wait i never take advantage of slow motion in any games. you know, like fear or max payne. anyone else? i just run through blasting like god intended.

karimbus
karimbus

I agree - if you noticed the articles and screens keep getting better and better. I am looking forward to this one. They already have proven to be much more innovative with the gameplay mechanics than Prey....

russianelvis
russianelvis

This is looking really good! Add multiplayer to it and you have an awesome experience!

rivalslayer
rivalslayer

Great, just what I needed to know!!!

BloodreaverSlut
BloodreaverSlut

i think it's going down the same path as Prey: nice features, but does that set them apart from other FPS? probably not (in Prey's case: no). I'd be suprised if this game turns out higher then a 8.

thebuft
thebuft

i played the demo of this from OXM and it didnt seem that good, this game has a lot to proove especially as their is a wealth of FPS's to choose from

SunnySimantov
SunnySimantov

"guppieface" How can there be a medieval FP-Shooter, if there was nothing to shoot in the medieval age? Ey? What... like bows'n'arrows deathmatch game? ...

rodders1991
rodders1991

i think this game looks good like but i eell like there is something missng and i no that people are waning this to be a really ig hit but i just dont think that this game ill live up to its standers sorrry

waylander7548
waylander7548

"As for the all-important achievements in the Xbox 360 version, you points-hounds ought to have a good amount of meat to chew on when you try to wring every last point from TimeShift. You'll find an achievement unlocked after every story level is completed, as well as achievements for finishing the entire game on all three difficulty modes." How original.

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

The game looks and sounds really cool but it took soooo... much time to come out and something is missing.

Bunker900
Bunker900

I really really want this game to be a winner. The whole idea is so awesome I can barely even handle it. Unfortuantly after playing the demo I have my doubts even after all this tunning up they have been doing. And also to guppieface. Go to www.projectoffset.com I think that will definatly satisfy you for some medevial FPS action.

guppieface
guppieface

could be bad like prey or good like cod2, have to wait and read more about it, usually futuristic games look cheesy compared to, oh, battlefield, cod, graw. is there ever going to be a medieval fps?

_Sam_
_Sam_

I'm not sure if I'm getting this

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

Another game that I've been waiting to play all this while.