Finished up typing out my impressions of Sierra’s Timeshift, the FPS game that adds in time powers to make things more interesting which is a good since the action is bland stuff. It’s cool reversing time and everything, snatching weapons out of soldiers’ hands, and generally using it as a weapon against your foes, but even with that in your corner, much of the action is pretty boring stuff.
One other thing I thought I’d mention: WTF did they do with the story? Not that many FPS players pay attention to the story anyway, but they made a huge deal of it in this case. Sierra gave this project an extra year and from the interviews that the team has done, it would seem that the time traveling storyline would have blown our socks off. The potential was certainly there…evil time traveling scientist, alternate reality…not history. I guess that’s where part of the problem is to start with. But what we end up with is something that barely scrapes by as a reason to pay attention to the CG when it finally comes up.
One other change was in removing any identity that the main character had, so that the player could more identify with the suit which didn’t really work. I get it. I have time powers. But Gordon Freeman had a crowbar, and he at least had his own name. In fact, a lot of FPS characters have some kind of name they go by whether it’s Stalker, Freeman, Private Jimmy, etc.. It felt like the title was trying to be too different and it really didn’t need to be. This isn’t an existential experience.
On the other side of the coin, I broke down and tried out Lair and should have a writeup of that one later on. I can say this much about it that you may have already read about elsewhere: I hated the Sixaxis controls, and it wasn’t from a lack of trying. I can honestly say this now that I’ve sat down with the title and suffered through the main campaign. But I’m not going to completely blame the controls here. There’s a lot of gameplay blame to go around as well. This is another title that could have been great…it has a lot of stuff going or it, like the epic soundtrack…but fails on a lot of little things.