E3 2007: Clocking In With the New Timeshift
If you’ve taken the time to check out any of the Timeshift trailers that are floating around the net right now, you’re probably thinking, “I didn’t like the trailer all that much.” Well, the trailers you have seen do not represent what Timeshift is today. Wednesday at E3, I had a chance to sit down and chat with Kyle Peschel, Senior Producer for the upcoming title.
The first thing that struck me about Timeshift was the obvious excitement of Kyle about the title. I asked him what inspired him to work on Timeshift, and he told me, “I’m sick to death of World War II shooters. I’ve been playing World War II shooters for longer than the war lasted.” As you may or may not know, he was formerly the Lead Producer for Timeshift when Atari had the IP. When Kyle left Atari to head to Sierra, Sierra bought the IP, and gave him another year to rework the title. Believe me, that extra year shows.
The big hook for Timeshift is the ability for the user to slow, stop, and reverse time. In theory, it’s an awesome ability for a shooter. In practice, it’s even better. Right out of the gate, the first enemies encountered in the demo are dealt with using the time manipulation mechanic. One of my favorite maneuvers is the ability of the player to bring time to a halt, move up to an enemy, steal his weapon, then bring time back on line. You can actually watch the enemy look around in bewilderment as he looks for the weapon. It’s a major game mechanic, and one that is well executed.
Speaking of the enemy AI, it is excellent. Soldiers that are disarmed (as mentioned above) will actually put their hands up when threatened, and some even curl into a fetal position to avoid being shot. Furthermore, if those enemies are left alive, some will actually move to other downed enemies, secure their weapons, and come back to attack the player. The AI also uses cover well, and in fact will use their weapons to destroy whatever cover the player is hiding behind.
Destruction of the environment plays a large role in the game. Not only that, but it is executed well. Blowing down walls to access new areas and destroying the cover your enemies are using are a couple of the big implementations. Also, once the environment takes damage, the damaged areas are correctly shadowed, and properly lighted.
Basically, everything about Timeshift is newer, better, and more polished than what we saw a year ago. Our team here at E3 got a chance to get their hands on Timeshift today, and we were all uniformly impressed. Not only was the title impressive from a presentation and polish standpoint, but the fun factor is most definitely there.
After viewing the demo, and playing the game, I can wholeheartedly say that this is a title worth picking up. Timeshift should hit stores later this fall for the PC, PS3 and XBox 360.