Tuesday, April 07, 2009

TimeShift (2007)

Another $6 bargain bin game. I wasn't expecting much as there seemed to be a love it or hate it theme going on with all the reviews. Enough people said they liked it so I didn't mind spending the low cash to try it. Glad I did as its now one of my favorite pure run and gun games.

I really liked the scripted events from this game. From the start is was all out battles for the most part. I really liked the retro future ww2 setting. Even though it was linear, the maps still felt open thanks to all the clutter. In some ways it reminds me of the STALKER engine with elements of HL2, FEAR and Quake4 thrown in. I also liked the little touches: Rain on the visor, snow crunch and other environment sounds, blood trails after walking over bodies, cracked visor when you fall to far, etc.

The time altering powers were fun and were essential to some parts of the map. While I rarely used the reverse power, except where needed, I used the speed up and pause a lot. I didn't care that by default the suit selects the best choice for you since you can still override it. Lots of fun pausing or speeding up while I take out the enemy with sniper fire.

While it has the normal set of guns (handgun, rifle, sniper, rocket launcher, etc.), they did the job just fine. My favorite weapons were the crossbow and the flamethrower. Crossbow was like being Rambo since it had exploding arrowheads. Even the shield guys couldn't escape since I could normally at least target their feet. The flamethrower either shot small flame balls or was the normal flamethrower effect. Both were good for ridding yourself of the enemy.

Not sure of my final time, but lengthwise it felt just right. Unlike in FEAR, there was no time where I got bored and just wanted it over. While the story was thin, I liked all the levels and how they linked up. Just something about the level design, art style and setting made me enjoy it more than other linear FPS I played recently. Other games might have done one or two things better, but I think this was better overall and can easily see myself replaying it.

I would like to see more games in this setting. Strip the fantasy aspects out of Arcanum, add some Mecha and smother it in FPS goodness. Guess I should hunt down what I missed that came out around this time to see who those FPS were better. Though I think its just going to be about it lacking the uber HD pretty of other engines, even though its levels seemed for real due to the clutter and amount of stuff in them. Maybe its good I normally play more FPS-RPG hybrids or tactical FPS as it let me enjoy this more linear and scripted altered-history WW2 game.

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