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TimeShift: A Review(Could I have my 15 hours back now?)

First off thanks to everyone who enjoyed reading my crappy articles and even worse reviews. I know it's been awhile since I reviewd a game but let me explain. About 2 weeks ago I signed up for a little known website called GameFly. I did this in the hope that this would allow me to play a wider variety of games, since I'm lazy and hate making a trip to blockbuster to pick up the latest installment of suckiness. So I signed up for it and of course the first 3 games on my list are not in stock and instead I am informed I will be receiving Devil May Cry 4 and TimeShift. Now we all know DMC 4 is pure sex in a box and I hadn't planned on reviewing it. TimeShift on the other hand interested me and since I hadn't seen any reviews on this game on Dtoid, I took it upon myself to play through this game and see how it was. Now that the game is finished I saw down this morning to write this review and realized, I needed to revamp my system a little bit.

So the way I will do my reviews from now on this like this. My five rankings, Jailbait, One Night Stand, Beer Goggles, Brown Bag Special and Desperato, will be applied only once, if applicable, to parts of the game. In other words I don't plan on going the traditional way and hitting every single point you see in other reviews, such as gameplay, visuals, music, story etc. But I will find something to justify each one of my rankings in every game that I review from now on. If you are confused, see my review on Vegas 2 and it will become clear. So, now that that is cleared up, on to my review.

Getting accquainted:

Timeshift is a sci-fi, first-person shooter created by Vivendi Games, developed by Saber Interactive and published by Sierra. The game uses the Havok 3D engine. It's rated Mature by the ESRB and was released for the 360 on October 30th, 2007 and the PS3 on November 19th, 2007.

Let me also make it clear that I only played through the single-player part and decided to not even attempt the mutliplayer.

"R. Kelly's next concert is gonna be in cellblock 4 cuz' he got caught messin' with jailbait."

So what was so great about this game that was worth risking a LONG time in jail for? Well actually, nothing. But since I had to put something for this ranking I decided to put:

Visuals - What does it say about a game that the best part I could find, the absolute best thing about the game, was the way it looked? Should that scare you or excite you? Depends on if you are a graphics whore, which I'm not.

The game does look pretty, I have to give it that. The people, while not on par with say, Oblivion, are still pretty good. The textures on the building and landscape, the time altering effects, the blood from a decapitated head, all look great. Kudos to the programmers and artists for doing their best to save a game, that ultimately, was doomed to failure through no fault of their own.

"I had a one night stand with this guy I picked up at the club."

Time powers

In TimeShift you have three time-altering powers, Slow, Stop and Reverse. Slowing time will obviously put everything but you into slow motion while you gain extra speed. Also any damage you inflict on enemies will appear as they slowly are mangled to death by your weapons. Stop will freeze everything in the game but you and any damage enemies take will build up and be inflicted as soon as time starts up again. Reverse simply rewinds time and all actions by you or people are reversed. You can't effect anything in the past however, just move around in it.

These powers are a lot of fun to play with, especially Slow. The part that comes back to bite you is how often you have to use it because of your shitty health meter. I played through on Elite level and while I didn't have much trouble with it, I couldn't believe sometimes how little your 'advanced shielding system' could take before dropping to nothing.

"When I took her to bed, she looked like Halle Berry. When I woke up, she looked like Keith Richards!"


Without time powers, combat in this game would have been a lot lower. Your health depletes at an incredible rate and sometimes the baddies are inexplicably strong one moment and horribly easy the next. You can carry three weapons at a time and every weapon has a primary and secondary firing mode. But really, once you get the shotgun and crossbow, you don't need anything else. Slowing time while sniping people with an exploding quarrel is great fun, but gets old and repetitive after awhile. There is a decent number of weapons throughout the game, but most of them are useless.

"Sonic: Not the only place with Brown Bag Specials."


The writers and dev's should be ashamed of themselves for this mess of a story. While most FPS's don't really need much of a story, I would still like to know why the hell I am doing what I'm doing. The game presents it's story in small cutscenes that happen randomly throughout the game and they are so convoluted that I dare anyone who played this to know what the hell was going on while they were playing. I had to look up on Wikipedia to find out myself. Here's their explanation: "Scientists from the near-future have begun work on creating a viable time machine. The project results in the creation of two devices, the Alpha Suit, a less advanced prototype jump suit, and the Beta Suit, a more advanced, so-called military grade model with features the Alpha Suit lacks such as combat-related timeshifting abilities and an integrated AI designed to prevent the creation of Paradoxes.
The director of the project, Doctor Aiden Krone, takes the Alpha Suit and travels into the past. Once there he alters the timeline, placing himself as the ruler of the Krone Magistrate that controls a dystopic world. The protagonist, a fellow scientist whose name is never spoken (never mentioned in-game or in manual), then takes the Beta Suit and follows Dr. Krone back to the year 1939 (in an alternate timestream) to a place called Alpha District. He then proceeds to assist the Occupant Rebellion against Dr. Krone."

Wow! So that's the fucking reason we have zeppelins. I never understood where we went or why, the entire time I played this damn thing.

Also, here's a hint Saber, if you want to be able to communicate to the player any new information from your 'Commander Cooke', don't do it while the player is involved in a pitched battle or running for his/her life through an exploding warehouse. I'm not paying attention to what he's saying and even if I WASN'T fighting for my life, his voice is so quiet I can't hear it. Bad design, bad story and bad implementation.

"Dude... she looks like a GUY - stop being such a Desperato!"

Level Design

God, I wanted to shoot the dev's over this issue. And let me make it clear, it wasn't that the level design was uninspired or dull; in fact it was varied and colorful so I didn't see brown and grey ALL the time, just about 70% of the time. No, I'm talking about the situations or, as I call them, 'player-fuck areas', that require you to use your powers to either escape danger, solve puzzles or survive battles. Get used to the loading screens, because when you hit one of these little snags in the road, you will want to curse. Several of these areas took me, I shit you not, at least thirty minutes to figure out EXACTLY what I am supposed to do and how to do it. I had to literally stop playing because the reasons I was dying were not clear at all and did nothing but frustrate me.

It was this reason, and this reason alone, that the game took over 15 hours to complete on Elite. The amount of times you die in a given level coupled together with the load times, would add at least another hour onto each gaming session. The levels were also VERY long and seemed, sometimes, to have no end to them.

Overall I had fun with Timeshift until the halfway point, then, because I had already invested time into it, I only played it to complete it. It's a generic shooter that relies WAY too heavily on the manipulation of time to have fun. It's not a bad game, per se, but I can't call it a good game either.

BigPopa's final say so: This game definitely falls into the Brown Bag Special area. 2/5 drunk prostitutes. If you have a girlfriend to bang, do her instead of this game and move on to something worth delaying sex over. Cuz this game is not worth it.
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About BigPopaGamerone of us since 8:22 AM on 06.22.2007

Some say BigPopa was not born, but put together using the body parts of the greatest pimps ever to be born. Like some kind of freak zombie, sent here to roam the world. To play video games, terrorize women, and consume the largest amount of whiskey as is humanly possible.

You are not far from the truth...

(Editor's note: sorry bud, Google sent us a "sexually gratifying warning" about your profile
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