Timeshift - hands-on

And it's here where things got mildly disappointing, since even with a couple of hours of play we didn't get a chance to really use reverse time very much. It did get us out of a couple of spots where, after walking around a corner into a crowd of enemies, it was possible to duck back behind the corner and reverse time so the enemies "forgot" we were there, thus preserving the element of surprise. For the most part though, at least in the relatively early sections of the game we played, it was all about slow-mo bullet time with the occasional time stop to walk over water or fire. Which, honestly, was a lot of fun- if nothing else, TimeShift appears to be a well-designed and challenging FPS- but not quite up to its potential. Hopefully, later sections have puzzles that take better advantage of the stopping and reversing possibilities.

In the meantime, the game looks amazing. There's a wide variety of environments, both indoor and outdoor, and the designs are... well, let's just say rather unique and leave it at that. Although it's (mostly) not possible to outright destroy the surrounding architecture- blow holes in the walls, for example- you sure can put a pretty thorough hurtin' on everything, since the game uses a massive database of decals and a pretty robust particle system to simulate damage. In fact, you interact with just about everything in the environment in one way or another. And it has to be said that while the game's arsenal of weapons isn't exactly groundbreaking, at least they all look and sound very, very cool.

The voice casting here is also top notch: Dennis Quaid stars as Swift, with Michael Ironside as Krone and Nick Chinlund as General Mitchell (the military overseer of the project). Now, sometimes having such recognizable voices can work against a game, but in this case they actually fit extremely well.