Have you ever been playing a first person shooter game, fighting off wave after wave of quick, deadly enemies and wished you could slow the action down a bit? Then Timeshift is the game for you, as it gives you the power to control the flow of time itself.
In the near future, a team of scientists has perfected a working system of time travel, creating two suits, the Alpha Suit and the Beta Suit, which enable the wearer to travel through time. Once the project is completed, the Director, Doctor Aiden Krone steals the Alpha Suit and travels to 1939 to place himself as the evil ruler of a now dystopian past, and it's up to you, armed with the Beta Suit, to travel to the past and take him down.
Stop the clocks
The Beta Suit, and its ability to control time is the main gameplay factor in Timeshift. You have three different time control powers at your command, Slow, Stop and Reverse, all of which help you take on the heavily armed enemies you'll be facing, as well as solve puzzles and access otherwise unreachable areas throughout the game.
Slow slows time down to a crawl, leaving you free to pick off helpless foes and avoid rockets, Stop freezes time completely, useful for getting behind large groups of adversaries, getting across crumbling platforms or avoiding imminent explosions, and Reverse lets you run time backwards, useful if a vital bridge has just been destroyed or you're about to be on the receiving end of a rocket. The different time abilities give you a great sense of being a super-powered force to be reckoned with, and the enemies' reactions as you move impossibly quickly, disappear, and reappear behind them only serve to reinforce this sense of power.
Your suit also has built-in Artificial Intelligence that warns you of environmental hazards, and will automatically select the most appropriate time-shifting ability for you to use at any one point with a simple press of the L1 button. You can also manually select which time power you want to use by holding down L1 and pressing one of the action buttons. Getting good at doing this on the fly is key to success in Timeshift as you detach explosives from yourself, pause enemies in a grenade-friendly group or even snatch weapons out of their helpless hands. Your time shifting abilities only last so long however, and the Timeshift bar needs time to regenerate, bringing a tactical element into the gameplay as you pick the opportune moment to use your abilities.
Despite being set in the past, the weapons have a very modern feel to them. Alongside your standard pistols, shotguns and assault rifles you can use crossbows with explosive bolts, energy rifles, sticky grenades and lightning guns to fry the forces of the Krone Magistrate. They'll respond in kind too, and it's not uncommon to be facing enemies armed with rocket launchers, sentry guns and jetpacks as you fight your way towards Krone.
A stitch in time
There's a great rhythm to the game, with smaller battles and indoor sections giving way to larger scale outdoor battles with a squad of allies, all interspersed with regular vehicle-based sequences that see you take control of quad bikes and trains, as well as gun turrets on giant Zeppelins for some exciting mid-air combat. There's also a good variety of enemies to prevent the game from being too easy to someone with impossible time powers, including attack helicopters, giant mech robots and even soldiers armed with primitive versions of your own time technology who are able to slow down time, meaning you have to do the same yourself just to be on an even keel.
The game looks beautiful, bringing the dystopian, war-torn alternate past to life with a great deal of visual flair and environmental effects, all of which are affected by your time powers, meaning you can freeze time and walk through the suspended raindrops, or across the surface of a frozen lake. This is backed up by some great audio effects and music that adds to the game's already impressive atmosphere to create a totally immersive experience.
While at first glance it might seem difficult to balance the multiplayer gameplay in a game like Timeshift, developers Saber Interactive have achieved a good compromise between regular FPS combat and time-based gameplay by including a multiplayer-only weapon known as Chrono Grenades. These handheld explosives slow down time for anything caught within the blast radius, making it easy to pick off your friends as they struggle to get away from the time-slow zone. This is in addition to the standard multiplayer game, which is fast, frantic and easy to pick up and play, a great addition to a single-player game that brings something fresh to the FPS genre, along with some great weapons and innovative gameplay that make it worth your time whether you're a fan of action games or not.