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Video Game / TimeShift

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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-traveling suit (known as the Alpha Suit) to go back in time and rewrite history as they see fit, with the protagonist (an unknown "scientist") traveling 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 Cliffhanger ending, but it never materialized.

This game provides examples of:

  • Always Save the Girl: Dr. Marissa Foster, one of the lead scientists behind the Beta Suit is killed at the start of the game due to Krone's actions. Through the course of the story it is revealed that she was lovers with The Time Traveler. By the end of the game he is able to travel back to just before the explosion, stop time, deactivate the bomb and save her life. Sadly, before they can fully reunite, The Time Traveler is warped away to an unknown destination and time.
  • 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Alpha suit is the root of the Beta suit, which is the 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Time Traveler manages to defeat Krone and repair the timeline, including undoing the murder of his lover Dr. Marissa Foster, returning to his proper time. Before he can reunite with her, remove the suit, it picks up a temporal distortion, and sends him away to an unknown time and location.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Mostly avoided but miniboss fights always have the appropriate weapon nearby.
  • Book Ends: The last level takes place at the same location and point in time as the intro. The only difference is, things are going well for the Occupants, thanks to your efforts.
  • 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.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Commander Cooke 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 Jerkass.
  • Cyberpunk: Krone's reality in a nutshell, with hints of Steampunk.
  • 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 ThunderBolt, 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."
  • Evil Minions: Throughout the game, you often come across enemy workers, who are usually seen sitting at computers or going through toolboxes. When the player appears, they pick up the nearest weapon. They wear no armor(making them weak), usually carry low-level weapons, and have bad combat tactics.
  • Excuse Plot: Not intentionally, but when the rights transferred (see Executive Meddling), apparently Sierra didn't see fit to complete the storyline.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: The gameplay is generally Far Cry influenced (three weapons 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 F.E.A.R.. 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 a 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.
  • For the Evulz: It is never explained exactly why Krone stole the Alpha Suit to change time.
  • 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. It's not too bad, as the main difference seems to be that enemies do 20% extra damage compared to Normal difficulty, but given how few hits it takes to kill you already, that 20% extra damage can make you die even more quickly.
  • Heroic Mime: You!
  • 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: Commander Cooke, the rebellion leader, is incredibly far from polite and thankful during gameplay, considering you are pretty much the sole reason the Occupants are getting anywhere in their resistance efforts, though this is more of a case of Annoying Video Game Helper 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 repeatedly, 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.
  • La Résistance: The Occupant uprising, which the player supports in taking down the Krone Magistrate.
  • Meaningful Name: "Krone" sounds a bit like the Greek deity of time, Chronos, doesn't it?
  • Mysterious Past: Cutscenes reveal that you are, in fact, a plant; a special agent sent to keep an eye on Krone just in case he tried this.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Use Time Stop to disarm an enemy soldier and he'll surrender and beg for his life. Spare him and he'll run to grab a weapon to shoot you with as soon as another gun hits the ground.
  • No Kill like Overkill: A live action commercial was aired showing someone in the Beta Suit using it's time manipulation powers to stop a convenience store robbery.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Krone's a Mad Scientist, not a soldier. Additionally, his Alpha Suit is specifically designed to only be capable of time travel, without the military-application time-bending abilities your Beta Suit has. He spends the entire final battle hiding inside his giant mechanical spider fortress. Once said fortress gets brought down you just walk up to him and shoot him in the head.
  • 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.
  • One-Man Army: You, obviously. What with your time-altering suit and all. Despite the fact that you sometimes fight alongside allied Occupant insurgents, the only allies you really need are your timeshifting abilities. Lampshaded in one later level where one of the Mooks says, "What, just one guy?".
  • Perspective Reversal: In the first mission the player gets to watch Krone's police and soldiers march defeated rebels through the city at gunpoint. In the last level the player returns to the same city under changed circumstances and now the rebels are leading Krone's defeated minions through the street at gunpoint.
  • Powered Armor: Your time-bending Beta Suit.
  • Rail Shooter: The two zeppelin sequences. A single truck sequence as well.
  • Rebel Leader: Commander Cooke.
  • Redshirt Army: The Occupants happen to be this, especially in the early levels.
  • 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: One level into the game, the Beta Suit's on-board AI enables the time-bending abilities, which you then use for the rest of the story.
  • 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.
  • Shield Bearing Mooks: The Storm Guards, who you'll encounter about halfway through the game, wield energy-reflecting shields that absorb anything that you throw at them except rockets and grenades. Using the Time Stop ability, however, causes their shields to disappear entirely, making for an opportune time to kill them.
  • 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.
  • Space-Filling Path: The warehouse level. You start out on a metal gangplank overlooking a deadly drop, and the exit point is... straight to your left. Unfortunately, in-between you and it sit a few stacked boxes. You look at them and go "ok, there's a small space I should realistically be able to jump on to bypass them", but no, if you try that you fall and die. Then you think "why can't I climb them or push them off?", but no, jumping and the action button have no effect (neither does, of course, shooting them with a rocket). The only possible course of action is to go the other way, and start on a ridiculously long and convoluted path that will take you across the entirety of the warehouse - both on the ground floor and on more gangplanks than can be counted - before ultimately leading you to the exit point.
  • 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.
  • 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). All 3 are more heavily armored than human soldiers, 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 Prototype: Zigzagged. The Alpha suit is capable of feats of time travel greater than the Beta suit. However, this is largely due to failsafes and automated systems added to the Beta suit which makes it safer and more convenient to use. The Alpha suit notably lacks the combat-focused localized time manipulation abilities of the Beta suit, with the Alpha pretty much only useful for long time jumps.
  • 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.
  • Terminator Twosome: Dr Krone goes back to alter the past and the protagonist has to go back and stop him.
  • Time Stands Still: One of the three time powers you can use in the game is the ability to freeze time. In this state you can walk on water, walk through hazards like fire or electricity unharmed, and even steal the guns from enemies' hands.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Enemies do this periodically in combat.
  • 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.
  • Villain World: An archetypal example - the Dystopia that you face when you make the intro's time-jaunt is explicitly a result of Dr. Krone's sheer megalomania more than anything else, with him using time travel to reshape the world in his own image.
  • 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, showing the Occupants on the winning side.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: And they're pretty Awesome, but Impractical zeppelins too.