Thursday, 30 August 2007

Timeshift Demo Impressions

Timeshift has been a LONG time coming. Originally planned for the Xbox, it made it's shift (get it?) to the next (current) generation and now, it seems, is eventually being released.

So, at it's core, it's a FPS with destructible environments and time-warping abilities. Bored yet? I'll start with the good stuff, eh. The destructible environments are really impressive. Walls and pillars breaking away as you fire at you enemies looks sweet. But then, it did in the Stranglehold demo, too. A bit like the slow-mo... It's certainly lovely, but we've seen it in a fair few games haven't we? Max Payne, F.E.A.R (also made by Sierra, funnily enough), Far Cry and Stranglehold, all pull off bullet-time remarkably well.

Timeshift DOES have two other time-shifting abilities. Stopping time gives you a few, short seconds to run about unhindered, while reversing time enables you to wind the clock back and try things again. A bit like Prince of Persia and Full Auto, then... Ahem.

In all fairness, Timeshift seems to be a solid, well made game, from people who have great experience in creating FPS's. The level design ranges from ingenious to generic, but the good bits are great. It doesn't look like a game that's been upgraded from an old machine. There's loads of great particle stuff going on and nice weather effects. However, the 360 has MILLIONS (well, not quite) of FPS games and the temptation is to add this to the pile of mediocre ones. I can't help but feel that it would be more appreciated if Bioshock hadn't just been released and we weren't all waiting patiently for the Halo 3 release, just around the corner.

If you've already played through Call of Duty 2 and 3, Bioshock, Prey, Gears of War, F.E.A.R, Lost Planet, Perfect Dark Zero, and Far Cry, then you MIGHT want to give this a go. It's not that it's BAD.

You see, Bioshock (I'm getting bored of hearing it's name) doesn't have any fancy gimmick like Timeshift's time-warping. It just does everything else perfectly. It's a great demonstration of design and gameplay being FAR more important than just originality. Timeshift appears to have neither.