Tuesday, February 21, 2006

TimeShift Demo

One of the things I love about PC gaming is the ability to play a demo of virtually any game before buying and in many cases even before their release. I find it a great way to experience different games, eliminate games that I simply don't enjoy as well as uncovering those that I do. As a result I tend to play a lot of demos even of games I don't really have an interest in buying, many times a good demo has resulted me in turning around and buying a game I never expected to enjoy such as the movies a few weeks.

This evening I played through the TimeShift demo. I had heard nothing of this game before but xfire had downloaded the demo so I decided to give it a shot. The game itself feels a lot like a more action packed version of FEAR. The enemy AI again stands out with guards acting like real guards (patrolling areas, chatting amongst themselves) until they see you and quickly scatter and head for cover. As the title suggests you have the ability to manipulate time either slowing everything down or totally pausing everything for a short period of time. Like FEAR this made combat very simple and some what wasted the decent AI. This is fairly standard and I think we will see a lot more games with a similar feel to FEAR over the next few years thanks to its great success, the reason I am writing this though is the length of the demo. It takes about 10 minutes, max, to play though from beginning to end on your first run. It contains 3 short cut scenes, 3 quick firefights and a few simple “puzzles” (I use that word very loosely as there is no challenge at all) to introduce the timeshift ability.

Why make people download a 200MB file then offer just 10 minutes of fairly generic gameplay. There was no back story given, no characters introduced, nothing gameplay wise we hadn't seen before, basically no reason to give the game a second thought at all. I really can't see how anybody is meant to make their mind up about a game in such a short space of time and as such don't see the point to the demo. I just need to get that off my chest.


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