We are going to undo that event.
You can play along at home too! If you search online for a demo of TimeShift for the PC, you'll find this version and the released version all mixed together. This version of TimeShift is dated 2006.
You are Michael Swift, the world's first Chrononaut, wearing a $3 billion Quantum suit capable of shifting time.
Swift got ripped off, I think. For $3 billion, I'd expect a helmet. And boots that don't look like bunny feet.
Gage Blackwood's various Jumpsuits from the The Journeyman Project series look way cooler. The first ones look like massive spacesuits, but the one from TJP 3 is just awesome. Swift's just got some Quake armour with some glowy arm and leg bits on.
So what are we doing today, Mike?
I don't know Mitchell can say 'Maybe your time shifting powers can help.' with a straight face. Maybe they can help! Maybe.
I really hope that both of these guys weren't on my side. It's really hard to tell at the best of times, and the Stop power makes everything go grey!
I like the LED display on the side. Sticking the ammo counter in the top right of the screen was a really daft idea. If they had any sense, they would let the player pick where it goes.
It's got a belt of bullets and a crazy cog mechanism sticking out the left like a machine gun, a pilot light on the front and a tank on the side like a flamethrower, a bunch of sights on the top as if it were to be used at long range and you hold it one handed.
It turns out that it is a flamethrower. That's the alt fire. The primary fire is a flame assault rifle. You shoot people and they catch fire. What more could you want?
I wish I knew what was going on. All I can gather is that Krone went back in time and did nasty time travel things to take over the world. Mike's got to go back and do nice time travel things to un-take over the world.
He's called Krone. And he went back in time. That's gone over my head for five years.
After killing these guys, the radio CO yells at me for trying to start my own war down here. He then sends me a troop transport full of reinforcements anyway.
Slow time! Stop time! Shoot it! Shoot it down! Argh!
Ah well. I couldn't drive it, only use the turret. There's no city to explore anyway. I've got these screenshots a little out of order and I think it's making the demo longer than it really is. You'd think that a city would naturally present more than one path to an objective, but that's a big no-no for TimeShift.
My assault rifle looks awfully complicated. Did Mike make it himself out of several other different types of rifles he found lying around?
'real' TimeShift (external link). Where did all the colour go?
The puzzle is: You have to pull a lever to lower the forcefields, but the lever resets after a second. If only you could stop time... In case you're a complete fool, the interface tells you exactly what power you should use whenever something like that comes up. The hard part comes when you have to actually execute it. You've got movement keys, three weapon keys, Reload, Jump, Crouch, Use, and then the Slow, Stop and Reverse time power keys. It's hard enough when you're using WASD, can't see anybody doing it easily with the cursor keys.
Before anybody gets any bright ideas, this demo doesn't support gamepads. Gamepads for an FPS? Get real.
There's plenty of weird things happening like this in this demo. Strangely, none of them seem to be related to the time powers. They work. Everything else doesn't.
The sound effects sometimes sound muffled or don't play at all. The game actively resists my attempts to take screenshots. I tried it on three different computers, and even then only a third of the screenshots came out right. The rest of them had mangled colours, messed up lighting, inside out people, the works. There's a screenshot key in the game, and it appears in the controls menu, but you can't redefine it. It appears in several of the .ini files, but even if you change it in all of them it stays bloody PrintScreen. Argh.
It's really difficult to see when and where you're getting hit. You don't get a good audible response to getting hit and the pain indicator in the middle of the screen is very subtle. There's a radar but I kept forgetting I had it. The interface is so small and transparent I kept thinking it'd all disappeared when I wasn't paying attention.
One thing you can't do is head round the corner to see what enemies are ahead, then load a quicksave to prepare a time power based assault. When you load a save, there's no 'past' for the Reverse power to work on. As a result, the developers decided that after loading a save you only get at most two thirds of your time energy so you can cast a short Slow or Stop but not enough for a Reverse. Because you're often weaker after loading a quicksave due to not having as much time energy, having recharging health (grumble grumble) doesn't seem so bad. The screen doesn't go red when you're low on health, so that's a relief.
You've got recharging time energy so you're free to screw around with the powers. Which you will do. With the flame rifle. And grenades. And other kinds of grenades. Over and over again. Take that, The Man.
That's okay, there's nothing really past this point anyway. You go down a ramp and there's a garage. Then the demo ends.
It's not a spectacular game. It's not the kind of demo you play over and over again because it's just that good. (It's not Split/Second: Velocity.) Yet, what I saw in this demo was stupid, entertaining, functional and pretty.
There's a trailer with the game that shows a couple of the other levels and weapons, so it seems like they got pretty far with this before they erased it. I could be mistaken, though. This might be the only part of the game they made before they figured it was all a bit silly.
Why didn't they release it? If they didn't have enough for a complete game, they could have made the little they had into one or more playable demo level special features on the final TimeShift. Why do RoboCop and Rex Blade get to exist and this doesn't?
I think we're all a little worse off for this game not existing.