Timeshift Demo for XBOX 360

About a year ago, I began to see trailers for an upcoming game on the Xbox 360 called Timeshift. It featured supposedly next-gen graphics, intelligent AI, and the ability to manipulate time. The trailers I saw looked phenomenal, I was very impressed, and anticipating the release. Unfortunately, the release date was pushed back many times because of a switch between publishers and other hurdles. I honestly thought the game was going to become another Duke Nukem Forever. Well, fast forward to September 2007, and lo and behold there is a demo available on Xbox Live. I quickly downloaded the much hyped game and began to play test it.

Unfortunately, Timeshift suffers from the mediocrity and lack of originality that prevails in the game industry these days. Manipulating time was something that has been done before quite well and honestly fails to deliver anything new and innovative now. In Timeshift you can slow down, fast forward or rewind time to allow you to get shots in on enemies before they even spot you or avoid deadly projectiles. The problem is that instead of using the time shift ability some of the time, you are forced to use it almost non-stop in the more difficult skill levels which artificially prolongs the levels and adds to monotony after the the third time using it.

The second problem with the game are the collision detection boxes around enemies. Amazingly enough, I would pump my shotgun in an enemy’s face or unload a clip of the Karbine in their face and they would still survive. Are their faces made of Kevlar? I would see blood splatter on their faces, but they would still be alive. The worst of it, was when I would time shift into slow-motion and shoot a few enemies in the heads thinking they were dead, I would continue moving forward. When the time shift wore off, I was being shot by the same enemies I had thought I had killed. This would be acceptable in Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64, but not now on the Xbox 360.

The next issue I have is with the graphics. I know it is only a demo and supposedly not the finished product, but I have seen many demos that companies claim are not the finished product, when in fact the retail product is exactly the same. The NPC models are horrendous to look at. They look only slightly better than Halo 2 character models and the lip-sync is off quite a bit. The graphics of the environment have nice water effects, but blood looks very unrealistic, and the NPC do not show any damage when shot or killed. If I shoot someone point blank with a shotgun, they should have bullet holes in them from the spray.

The final problem with this game is enemy AI. I ran by some enemy soldiers and although they saw me, they did not even pursue me or shoot back. I almost feel like playing Goldeneye again. Enemy AI should be streamlined to the point where enemy soldiers pursue and flank the player like in Call of Duty 2.

For a game that has been delayed so many times and had much hype surrounding it, they should delay this game another year to fix the mediocre effort put into it, or shelf this one forever.

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