by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Saber Interactive, creators of Will Rock, are at it again with a new title called TimeShift. Will Rock was a decent enough game but it left plenty of room for improvement and that's exactly what they're promising to do with their new game. TimeShift is a traditional type of First Person Shooter (FPS) - no squad based activities, no team-based play, just the main character and an assortment of weapons. The thing that should set this apart from other games in the genre is the ability to manipulate time.
OK... Games where you can pause or slow down the flow of the game are not all that rare. Several other FPS' give you the option to use bullet time for instance, giving you a chance to turn the tide in fights with large groups of foes. It gives you some time to think about how best to execute your next move. But how many games give you the option of rewinding time, so that you can blow your opponent away in ten new and different ways? Well, TimeShift gives you that option if you are that way inclined.
The player assumes the role of test pilot Colonel Michael Swift who recently lost his only daughter to a bus accident. He has become a depressed man and is desperate for an escape from his misery. He is offered a mission from the US Government and decides to accept the offer. Armed with a time-control device called the "Quantum Suit" and a time machine called the "Chronomicon," Swift sets out to test the most significant invention of the century. He is briefly sent back in time to 1911 to plant an experimental probe. Upon his return to the present, a shift has occurred. The world he left has changed beyond all recognition. Even worse, his knowledge of this TimeShift has made him an enemy of the state. Swift is now both on the run and on a mission to set time straight once again.
As you would expect from the description of the story leading up to where the game begins, the game has a futuristic feel to it. The landscape, vehicles and available weapons all give the game that feeling that things are not quite right, as one would expect from suddenly being in the future. It seems that Saber has put a huge amount of effort in producing the right look for the game. Some of the landscapes are truly breathtaking, with some of the outdoor scenery a visual feast. Of course, there are also some of the typical FPS type scenery such as a military complex and research facility. Much of the beginning of the game is centered around the city streets and the subway and the scenes enhance the feeling that you are playing a futuristic version of Syphon Filter.