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December 20, 2007
TimeShift - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
6/12/2007VivendiSierraSaber Interactive12-16
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Yes, it's dark, but also moody.
TimeShift's development has been awkward to say the least. Originally announced as an XBox exclusive the Saber Interactive developed title was to be released through Atari, but that deal fell through. Vivendi then picked up the title and shifted development to the XBox 360. A demo was released in 2006, but the reception it received was mixed to say the least. Rather then scrap or release the product as it was to recoup some money Vivendi gave developers Saber Interactive more time to retool the game to fix issues and respond to negative comments and, in good news for us, also bring the game to the Playstation 3.

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OK, so what do we do now??
At the beginning of the game the Time Travel Facility is in the process of being destroyed by the programs Founder and Lead Physicist, Dr. Aiden Krone. Prior to this moment, the program has successfully designed and manufactured two time-jumping suits – the 1st is known as the Alpha Suit; the 2nd suit is a more recent prototype, a greatly improved-but-untested military version, known as the Beta Suit.

In the final moments of the facility’s destruction, we discover that Dr. Krone is trying to destroy the entire program and use his Alpha Suit to Time-Jump from our timestream to another Alternate timestream. At the same time, the player’s character is running through the facility, risking his life to put on the untested Beta Suit before the entire building is destroyed. Instead of running from the building, he is doing the exact opposite. But why?

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Some close quarter combat...
As a First Person Shooter this game does everything as one would expect. There's a decent selection of weapons, plenty of enemies and a bit over 20 levels to blast your way through. The controls and responsiveness of the game is solid enough. Where this game gets interesting though is the ability to control the flow of time. Indeed you can slow, stop or even reverse time which offers some unique gameplay. One of the coolest things to do in this game is to stop time, run up to an enemy, steal his gun and then use it against him when time restarts. It's simply brilliant entertainment. Reversing time is critical in sections of the game as it allows you to bypass obstacles blowing up. If you see your path being blocked, reverse time

Multi-player is also supported in TimeShift with up to 16-players supported over 14 multi-player maps. Game mode in multi-player include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Meltdown Madness and King of Time. In terms of the ability to manipulate time in the multi-player game this is present but a little different to single-player. In multi-player gamers can throw Chrono Grenades which creates spheres of slowed-down time. It's pretty entertaining actually and online gamers could easily spend a few hours in here - as long as more people buy the game and actually play online!

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Boom! Now that's gotta hurt.
Sadly, and despite the additional development time granted to Saber Interactive there are still some issues that could have been sorted out prior to release. I did find some of the levels a bit restrictive with some pretty average 'puzzle' elements to solve. It also took a little while to become accustomed to the fact you have to pump the enemies with quite a few bullets before they'll die. I was also disappointed that as you progress through the game you gain few new abilities or weapons, and worst of all you never actually get to learn anything about who you are controlling. The developers have said they wanted you to become a part of the game, but to me it seemed a bit hollow. Finally there is a bit of loading in the game too which becomes somewhat annoying if you die on a regular basis.

As we covered in our preview of this game the lengthy delay allowed the developers to scrap the original graphic style (which can be seen here) for something a lot darker, more realistic and gritty. We certainly see this final release as something quite improved. Despite running at a fairly solid frame rate and in 720p TimeShift still doesn't quite feel 'next-gen' primarily due to the fact that the world, for many of the levels, simply looks dull with some average textures and pretty poor character models. On the other hand there are moments - such as when its raining - when the game really does look gorgeous. Still, compared to shooters such as Call of Duty 4 or Crysis on PC it simply lacks that special 'zing' if you know what I mean.

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This scene, like many, is quite dark.
Given that the developers scrapped almost 20 minutes of cut scenes this game is left a little barren on the audio front - primarily in terms of the voice work. The audio also suffers with some average music, and pretty average effects for such an explosive-laden game.

So TimeShift isn't the best FPS we've seen this year, but it is still quite enjoyable with some unique concepts, and is about $20 cheaper then other games. If you still have some doubts we suggest you jump on the Playstation Store and download the demo which will give you a good idea about what to expect.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSTechnically sufficient, but perhaps too dark with average textures and models.
SOUNDTo be honest the audio doesn't meet the graphical standards.
GAMEPLAYFor a game in development for so long it feels unbalanced with some weapons, and average level design.
VALUEThe single player game is long enough, and multi-player should hold your interest too.
OVERALLTimeShift isn't great, but FPS fans will have a bit of fun with this game. I do hope the developers are given the go-ahead for a sequel which has plenty of potential to build on the groundwork here.

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