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Video Game: Time Shift

TimeShift is a 2007 Science Fiction First-Person Shooter game developed by Saber Interactive and published by Sierra. Their second game after Will Rock. The general plot is that the Bad Guy, Dr. Krone, uses a prototype time-travelling suit (known as the Alpha Suit) to go back in time and rewrite history as they see fit, with the protagonist (an unknown "scientist") travelling back to stop him in the Beta Suit. Is notable for its focus on time altering powers.

A sequel was heavily hinted at during the end credits via messages from the Beta Suit's computer, and there was a very appropriate Cliff Hanger ending, but it never materialized.

This game provides examples of:

  • Armor-Piercing Attack: The Hellfire's bullets automatically set enemies on fire after a couple of shots, which serves as an insta-kill 90% of the time. This is very useful in the later levels, where enemy soldiers are tough enough to soak almost a full clip of regular assault rifle fire.
  • A Space Marine Is You: You're supposedly a scientist, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that something is amiss. Cutscenes reveal that you're in fact a government spook planted to keep an eye on Krone.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • The Alpha suit is the root of the Beta suit, which is prototype of a design that is supposedly being designed for military use. Apparently the army are sane enough not to give their soldiers the ability to travel back several decades.
    • Gameplay-wise, the time-reverse ability. It's extremely cool, and obviously took a lot of time and effort to program correctly, but it simply doesn't have any usage in regular combat gameplay other than unsticking sticky grenades. It's basically just for solving the occasional puzzle.
    • The Surge Gun. It's an incredibly powerful electroshock weapon that fires energy balls in the primary mode, and a constant stream of electricity in its secondary. Unfortunately, you can't refill it from ammo crates because it uses an energy cell instead of conventional magazines; the only way to refill ammo is to kill the rare Warp Guards who possess it. In fact, the only time it becomes useful is during the final boss fight, and you have to use the weapon's primary mode to defeat it. Fortunately, the weapon crates in that level infinitely provide you with the gun so that you won't be in danger of running out of ammo.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Krone is German for Crown.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Mostly avoided but miniboss fights always have the appropriate weapon nearby.
  • Book Ends: The ending takes place at the same location and point in time as the intro.
  • Boring but Practical: Several weapons.
  • Bullet Time: An essential game mechanic. Unlike F.E.A.R., where its use was optional, you pretty much have to use it to get through many of the game's quite hectic firefights.
  • Changed My Jumper: While some people will make comments about your 'fancy suit' no one seems that bothered.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The Beta suit, a wearable time machine with lots of special features.
  • Colour Coded Timestop.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: The Rebel Commander keeps radioing you to stop delaying and get on with the mission, even if you're moving through the level as fast as humanly possible note . Although probably due to a timing bug, this ends up making him seem like a huge Jerk Ass.
  • Development Gag: The Alpha Suit is based on the model of the time suit from the previous version of the game (see What Could Have Been below).
  • Difficulty By Region:
    • The "Normal" mode of the console versions is actually the "Easy" mode of the PC version. Presumably this is to compensate for the less precise aiming of the controller vs. a mouse-keyboard setup.
    • There's a bug in unpatched versions of the game where the helmets on Krone soldiers (the guys wearing green armor) don't work properly; as a result, they can be killed with a single headshot. This makes the later levels significantly easier. For some reason, the Steam version of Timeshift still has this bug, even though it's supposedly patched.
  • Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Averted, enemies can drop weapons if shot and you can simply take them after freezing time. At which point they appropriately panic.
  • Elite Mooks: Some of the Krone soldiers encountered in the later levels have subtly different armor, and are much more durable, being able to survive almost a full clip of assault rifle fire or even a direct hit from a rifle grenade (although they can still be killed quickly with late-game weapons like the Thunder Bolt, Hellfire, or Surge Gun). Many of them also carry E.M.F. cannons.
  • Enemy Detecting Radar: green allies, red enemies and yellow quad bikes.
  • Everything Sensor: "Concealed threat detected."
  • Excuse Plot: Not intentionally, but when the rights transferred (see Executive Meddling), apparently Sierra didn't see fit to complete the storyline.
  • Executive Meddling: The game started out development under Atari and was based more on the idea of using your time travelling powers to solve puzzles, but in early 2006 a demo was released to the internet, and its reception was... bad, to say the least. Atari apparently panicked and sold the game's rights to Sierra, who in turn told the development team to trash virtually everything they had done and remake it along the lines of the then-recent megahit Gears of War.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: The gameplay is generally Far Cry influenced (three weapon only carry system and a few hand grenades) but with several differences. First, you are clad in a Powered Armor with time-bending powers similar to FEAR. Unlike FEAR, you have a more complex time-bending system (Time Slow, Time Stop, and Time Reverse, all Colour Coded For Your Convenience) and it is pretty much mandatory to use your time-bending powers as playing the game in an old-school, Rambo-like manner will get you killed very quickly, thanks to how EXTREMELY aggressive the AI is and how VERY fast-paced combat is. There are various puzzles in the game which pretty much require your time-bending powers to pass through and with careful amount of precision. Your suit has shields that can regenerate as long as you are in cover and not taking any hits. However, your health is static and your health is a whopping one unit of health, meaning taking any hit when your shields are out is instant death. Finally, because of the one unit of health, there are no health pickups to come by, forcing you to use strategy.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Done intentionally, so that the player is technically the character. Original builds of the game actually did have a defined main character, but this was dropped to raise the immersion.
  • Flash Step: Thanks to the ability to slow and stop time, half the fun of the game is doing this to the regular Mooks, who get understandably freaked out by the sight of you teleporting and running at superspeed. This gets reversed when you run into the Quantum Guards (namely the Flash and Warp Guards), who can do the same to you.
  • Follow the Leader: Thanks to the Executive Meddling mentioned above, the developers were forced to turn the game into "Gears of War with a time travel suit" — though in fairness, the 2006 demo received a lot of accusations that it was "Half-Life 2 with a time travel suit," so this trope would likely have applied either way.
  • Glass Cannon: You can carry various weaponry and dish out all the damage you can to take down Mooks while in your time-bending Beta Suit, but its shields are rather weak and once they're out, you're toast in one hit.
  • Harder Than Hard: Elite difficulty.
  • Heroic Mime: You!
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The rebel leader is voiced by Greg Grunberg, best known as Matt Parkman from Heroes.
  • Infinite Supplies: The ammo crates placed in strategically distant places in each level seem to have a bottomless supply of ammo for ALL of your weapons, barring the Surge Gun.
  • Jerkass: The rebellion leader is incredibly far from polite and thankful, considering you are pretty much the sole reason they are getting anywhere in their resistance efforts.
    • More of a case of Stop Helping Me! due to bad programming. He's actually a pretty decent guy in the actual cutscenes, but during gameplay he'll often radio you the same 2 or 3 "Get your ass in gear!" lines OVER and OVER again, even if you're going through the level as fast as humanly possible.
  • Kill It with Fire: The aptly-named Hellfire sub-machine gun, which not only spews out incendiary rounds, but also has a built-in flamethrower.
  • Meaningful Name: "Krone" sounds a bit like the Greek deity of time, Chronos, doesn't it?
  • Mysterious Past: Cutscenes reveal that you may in fact be a plant; a special agent sent to keep an eye on Krone just in case he tried this.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: If you screw up during the fan puzzle in the Test Labs level, you'll get a special animation showing your character being sliced up by the blades.
  • Obvious Beta: A lot of the in-game loading screens refer to missing features, and the rewind power is disabled a lot to prevent minor bugs; they "justify" this as a security measure.
    • The concept is good, but they could have done so much more, both with the time powers and the general setting and storyline.
  • One-Man Army: You, obviously. What with your time-altering suit and all. Lampshaded in one later level where one of the Mooks says, "What, just one guy?"
  • Powered Armor: Your time-bending Beta Suit.
  • Rail Shooter: The two zeppelin sequences.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Although an unusual example since that static health is a whopping 1 unit of health, which means taking any kind of hit will kill you if your shields are at 0%.
  • Second Hour Superpower: The first suit you get
  • Schizo Tech: The result of Dr. Krone's meddling. Giant (literally giant) robots with lightning guns, scifi-esque gunship/transport aircraft, and all sorts of other things, in the year 1939.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: A sequence takes place in a factory, but you can (or rather, have to) just Bullet Time or Time Stands Still your way past most of them.
  • So Last Season
  • Space-Filling Path
  • Sticky Bomb: Clutch grenades. These can One-Hit Kill all but the most powerful Mooks, and you if you're playing Elite difficulty.
    • Also, the Thunder Bolt's rocket darts.
  • Superpowered Mooks: The cybernetic Quantum Guards; there are 3 different types (Flash, Storm, and Warp), and 2 of the 3 have a special time-bending ability similar to your own. The only non-time-bending superpowered Mooks, the Storm Guards, actually use shields not unlike the Jackals from Halo.
  • Super Speed: Slow time is effectively this, though for the player it is basically Bullet Time until halfway through the game when the Flash Guards show up to run circles around you in normal time.
  • Temporal Paradox: What happens if you're crushed by a reverse moving object with Time Reverse.
    • Also, the end of the game.
  • Time Stands Still: One of the three time powers you can use in the game is the ability to freeze time.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll
  • Very High Velocity Rounds: Bullets and even explosives act normally for you with both the time slow and time stop powers. Somewhat justified in that the fluff says the suit affects your weapons as well as you. This gets... interesting (read: fun!) if you rewind time whilst sidestrafing and firing.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Seeing as you can slow down, stop, and rewind time, this is a given.
  • What Could Have Been: At one point the game was going to feature a steampunk setting and much weirder weapons, but Sierra basically/literally (according to a profanity-laced interview) said "the fuck is this" and changed it into a different type of game.
    • It was more the released demo of this version being horrible that led to Sierra completely retooling the game into a Gears of War esque game, rather than simply the style of the game itself.
  • Where It All Began: The final level is the same as the tutorial level, but since you've spent the rest of the game changing history leading up to that point, things are radically different.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: And they're pretty Awesome but Impractical zeppelins too.

Tengai MakyouUsefulNotes/Xbox 360 Under Defeat
ThiefFirst-Person ShooterTimeSplitters

alternative title(s): Timeshift
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