Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Times@$t


Okay, so maybe it's not as bad as the title gives off, but it was still one of the most frustrating game experiences I've had.

Timeshift has excellent gameplay mechanics but lacks the luster of a well-made game. The graphics are sub-par and the gameplay lacks the proper flow that games require.

The time control gameplay mechanics are an excellent step in the right direction for possible future game technology and features, but Timeshift just didn't take them far enough to make a very enthralling experience. Many of the game moments really required a previous playthrough of the game in order to progress through the game knowing what you are doing. At one point in a mission you have to use timed explosives to destroy a metal door that is blocking the path for a train to move forward. You take out all the guards guarding the conveniently placed explosive device and head back to the door with the intention of destroying it. You place the explosive, and turn around to move away from the blast. Two seconds later you die. How were you supposed to anticipate the need for a time stop/slow to get far enough away from the explosive without someone next to you telling you that will happen? Good game Sierra. This same formula of events happened all too often within Timeshift.

The singleplayer campaign was also lacking considerably. From the somewhat sad storyline that didn't capture me enough, to the incredibly short gamespan. A game beaten in one sitting!? And not even an obsurdly long sitting, like some 10-12 hour gameplay binges that gamers have? One night after a full 8-hour day, game beaten, and yet, still a good nights sleep to be had. Could it be that my experience had something to do with it? Sure, but I'm certain that other gamers had the same experience. I'm not the cream of the crop, but I'm not terrible. The storyline even left me wondering who my character was within the game, and right when I was about to find out, they excluded that information from the game. Normally I would be angry and far too determined to discover the identity of my alter-ego, but this game didn't capture my emotion like many others, and left me with no desire to find out who I was.

The multiplayer is decent. It seems to have a nice control over the time aspect, but the multiplayer itself is lacking. With revolutionary multiplayer experiences such as Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 out around the same time, Timeshift didn't stand a chance. Is this Timeshift's fault? Probably not, but keeping up with the competition is all part of the game.

Timeshift gets a 6.4/10.

3 comments:

Bob said...

Typical idiot reviewer. If someone can tell me what is revolutionary about COD4's derivative MP tey can win a million bucks. I hope I am the only one that read this piece of trash that he calls a review....

Schmaefe said...

COD4 is "revolutionary" in the following ways...

1. Experience System / unlockable guns & upgrades. Fighting is always fun, but fighting for a reason is 10x better. Doing well, playing as a team, and winning means you'll get those new guns and upgrades sooner. This is the first shooter on a console that I've played that has a system like this. The only other one as well implemented is Battlefield 2 for PC – and that system only allowed for the very occasional unlock of a new gun.

2. Perks. Even BF2 didn't have anything like perks. This is a very cool feature, and really makes the game interesting. There are dozens of viable combinations to choose from, and each offers a very different set of strengths and weaknesses that the player has to embrace to do well.

3. Balance. With the wide variety of weapons, upgrades, and perks, COD4 is extremely well balanced. There is no one winning combo or strategy. Ask everyone who's playing what gun and perks they're using, and you'll get a different answer from them all. It's not just a bunch of idiots running around with the same uber gun crouching in the same 3 corners of the maps. Every gun and perk, when used right, is very effective. Just the same, when used or combined with poor though, can hamstring you.

4. Maps. COD4 shipped with 16 maps, all of which are extremely well balanced. There are no surefire camping corners, no singular bottleneck forcing players into the same shootout every round. Most shooters will ship with a handful of maps, and perhaps only 1-2 enjoyable ones. Besides balance, they are all absolutely gorgeous. I have never played a game multiplayer that has looked so good, and still running at 60 fps. The detail is also something that will impress.

5. Core Gameplay. Sure, its just another modern military shooter. Dime a dozen, right? But what sets apart COD4 from rainbow six vegas and its other recent competitors is the overall feel of the game. The graphics are beautiful, and moving and shooting feels so natural its easy to forget you're playing a video game at all. The guns all fire and sound extremely satisfyingly. The HDR lighting gives added strategy to moving from indoors to outdoors. Players run and move realistically, and are beautifully animated. Overall, this is the most polished and best feeling FPS I’ve ever played.

6. Matchmaking. COD4 has by far the best matchmaking system I’ve ever seen in a game, ever. Better then even Halo 3. It took all the good things from halo 3, and none of the bad ones. Invite a buddy into a party, and seconds later you’re loaded in and fighting.

7. Complete lack of lag. Even in 18 person matches, there’s never a second of lag to be seen. Never a player popping across the map or glitching out. Some seriously well written and innovative networking code is at play here. This is a small revolution in itself, when compared to 16 player halo 3 games, which can get choppy at times.

My opinions are shared by the rest of the gaming community, bob. Look up OXM's and Game Informer's reviews for COD4. You'll notice they are both perfect 10's, and give much more then just a tip of the hat to multiplayer.

While COD4's multiplayer is still a close quarters military shooter, something that’s been around since Counter Strike, when compared it to recent games of the same variety, it is nothing short of revolutionary.

I’ll accept the million in cash or by check, whichever is best for you bob.

THE GAME CRITIC said...

This review wasn't about Call of Duty 4, so details about Call of Duty 4 are not included. Thank you for your overly-negative viewpoint bob.