by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Time as a weapon
The weapons available at first appear to be standard FPS fare but there are many differences. Being a game in a futuristic setting gives Saber the ability to be a lot more creative with your arsenal. All the standard weapons have been given a modernised look. Weapons such as pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers are all there, but they have been given a technological touch-up. Though these may look great, they're not what makes the game fun. Other weapons see to that but Saber hasn't revealed much about what other toys we will get to play with.
The most useful and by far most interesting weapon, (if it can be called that) will be the time manipulation device. It can be applied in several different ways. Its most basic use will give the player the ability to freeze or slow down enemies, making it easier to knock them off. In fact, if you get it just right, your kills can look like something out of "The Matrix" but lets hope that Keanu Reeves did a better job of dodging bullets than your enemies will. A cool feature, but as mentioned before, we've seen that many times before. Fortunately time manipulation is not all about whipping some bad guys. It is also the key to solving some of the game puzzles. Do you freeze time to run across a bridge before it explodes, or do you jump across it by leaping on exploding debris in slow motion? There are a number of ways to solve each puzzle, which may end up becoming a big factor in the replayability of the game. With over thirty missions, you'll have plenty of time to play around with this feature.
Not so fast my friend
To keep time manipulation fresh and to ensure that the game doesn't become too easy, there will be a time power meter that gradually wears down whenever it gets used. In other words, you had better think twice before freezing time to blow that group of enemy soldiers to smithereens. You may find yourself in dire need of your time manipulation skills just around the corner.
Have I peaked your interest yet? It gets even better. Time manipulation reaches new heights with 'handy' option to rewind time. When you use this, it's almost as if you're rewinding a movie scene but as you're in an 'interactive' movie, you'll a chance to re-do the part that you just rewound. Keep in mind though, that you yourself are outside of time. You can't get shot and then rewind time to heal yourself. When you rewind time, your injuries come with you and if you have just blasted someone to kingdom come, then they would come back to life giving both of you another crack at each other.
If it will play as great as it looks...
The FPS genre has had a few lean years but since the release of titles like Half-Life 2, Doom 3 and more recently F.E.A.R., it is alive and well. Because of these fantastic games, gamers expect bigger and better all the time. It will be hard for TimeShift to claim its place. Multiplayer is being planned, but as yet, there are not many details about how it would work. Hopefully there will be some more information prior to release date as we're dying to find out how Saber plans to use the time manipulation on the Internet battlegrounds. Even without multiplayer, the game has a lot going for it though. Next to cutting edge graphics, TimeShift banks on its time manipulation feature and it may just prove the key to its success.