May 17, 2007 - About a month ago at a press event, Vivendi unveiled the redesigned look of TimeShift, the first person shooter that gives players the ability to stop, rewind and slow down time. When it was being shown, the temporal shooter with puzzle elements and fully destructible environments was only announced for the PC and the Xbox 360. Well, during the Sony Gamer's Day Event, Vivendi pulled a reversal of time itself, adding the PS3 to the systems that will experience the next generation shooter.
The level that was demoed was a stage that took place in an alternate timestream, where the game's villain, a megalomaniac named Krone, had managed to take over a country and was attempting to impose his will upon the people. A group of rebels were trying to liberate their city from his forces, but it was literally a matter of time until the resistance was crushed. That is, until the player showed up with his S.A.M. suit, which gives him the ability to manipulate time. Deciding that the enemy of their enemy is their friend, the rebels attempt to fight back in one final push, literally throwing the player into the midst of a massive warzone complete with three story tall mechs, snipers and other hazards.
Luckily, players can use the ability to manipulate time to control just about any threat you might encounter. This includes the very enemies that you'll face off against, as you can stop time and literally take the gun from an opponent's hand, instantly turning them into a non-combatant. However, you'll need to take these enemies out quickly, because they'll constantly try to find another firearm that they can turn on you. This includes trying to grab for weapons from fallen comrades. If stealing the enemy's weapon isn't interesting, you can reverse time to where he wasn't aware of your presence, allowing you to charge past him and set up an ambush that will literally give you a tactical advantage over him and his squadmates.
Or perhaps you might want to slow down time to give yourself a chance to dodge the incoming fire and grenades sent your way, so you have a chance to respond in kind. It sounds funky, and it's definitely one of those things that you have to see to get a hang of, but the team at Sabre Interactive really wants to give a true next-gen experience that lets a player respond to the changing elements of a battlefield with some extremely cool tricks. Since you'll always have access to the Time shifting abilities (your S.A.M. suit is powered by dark matter and recharges every 40 seconds or so), you'll have a chance to constantly mess around with space and time to kill your enemies however you want.
Impressively, the demo build really highlighted many of the temporal tricks and next gen visuals that the team has worked hard to put in. For instance, pausing time in the middle of a rainstorm will show off individual droplets of water, which distort the background textures that you can see through the drop itself. Whenever players move from darker indoor environments to the lighter outside areas and vice versa, their in-game vision be subjected to photoreceptor bleaching (aka letting your eyes adjust to the light). Players can literally carve their name into the environment with the persistent damage models, and thanks to the implementation of Havok 4.5, you'll be able to use the items in the world as additional weapons, cover, or to distract enemies. While the game will also take advantage of rag doll physics, the final game, which will run in 1080p, will also have an extensive gib system. This will allow players to shoot an enemy in the arm, forcing him to transfer a gun to the uninjured limb, or target and blow off an enemy's leg, causing him to fall thanks to his new handicap.
TimeShift will also include a multiplayer mode, and while it will feature all of the current standards like deathmatch and capture the flag, it will also feature the game's time manipulation abilities in the form of Chronos Grenades. Players will be able to throw these grenades and stop incoming fire from striking them in the detonated area, or potentially send rockets and sniper shells back to their owner with a reverse grenade. We'll have more on TimeShift soon.