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Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Saber Interactive

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'TimeShift' (X360/PC) Developer Interview

by Rainier on Oct. 19, 2007 @ 11:52 a.m. PDT

TimeShift is an innovative FPS in which players control time to complete missions and defeat foes, TimeShift will leverage first-of-its-kind gameplay abilities and functionality, the latest graphics technology, and high production values to create a truly unique action game experience.

Developed by Saber Interactive, the highly-anticipated shooter allows players to master time to become the ultimate weapon. Armed with the experimental time-manipulating Beta Suit and a huge arsenal of weaponry, players have the ability to slow, stop and reverse the flow of time, allowing them to control several aspects of each battle sequence and puzzle situation. Intuitive time controls give the player the ultimate advantage in strategic attacks used to outsmart the enemy.

With a comprehensive online 16-player multiplayer mode, featuring time-controlling "chrono" grenades, 14 different maps and over 40 different customizable options, TimeShift is a truly unique multiplayer experience for every level of gamer, whether a novice or an expert.

Q: When is TimeShift releasing? On what platforms?

BS: TimeShift will be released on the Xbox 360 and PC on October 30th of this year, with the PS3 version following shortly after before the year’s end.

Q: Will TimeShift feature multiplayer?

BS: Yes! Our multiplayer is an integral part of the TimeShift experience. With support for 16 players, an infinite number of custom modes, and a killer way to incorporate time control into multiplayer via our revolutionary Time Grenade mechanic, the multiplayer game is just as strong as the single-player campaign. I would even say that our MP campaign is as strong as any of the more hyped titles of this Christmas season.

Q: How long would it take an average player to finish the game?

BS: On average, the single-player campaign lasts about 20-25 hours depending on the player’s skill level.

Q: Can you save anywhere, with unlimited number of saves?

BS: Yes! As you play through the levels the game automatically saves your progress at convenient checkpoints, but you also have the option to save the game from the pause menu at any time.

Q: What has survived from the “old” TimeShift to the “new” TimeShift – any important design elements? What new design elements have been introduced?

BS: The element of time control remained, of course, as did the Time Grenade mechanic for multiplayer. Besides that, virtually everything was changed! The story, the weapons, the characters (including the main character), the environments, the graphics, the music – all of it was tossed out and reworked from the ground-up. If you didn’t know the backstory behind the development, there’s no way you would confuse 2006’s version of the game from the final gold master you’ll be playing.

Q: Is TimeShift’s time mechanism fully controllable by the player or does it pop up automatically during certain cutscenes or events?

BS: The player is fully in control of the time powers at all times. At certain points in the game your suit’s A.I. will select the optimal power for critical situations, but the player can always override the suit’s suggestion.

Q: Will you be able to upgrade the amount of time you're allowed to shift time as the game progresses? Or, is the amount of time you have now the same throughout the game?

BS: Great question – after exhaustive playtesting we decided that it’s much more fun to have access to all of your time powers from the start. This way players can jump right into the action and get the most out of the game, right out of the gate.

Q: What is the “time shield”? How does this work? Is it multiplayer only?

BS: The Time Shield is one of the many time powers at your command in multiplayer. When activated, it surrounds you in a protective sphere of slowed time that slows down any incoming projectiles, enemies or objects while you can move freely around the map. It also makes you invulnerable to enemy time grenades for a critical edge in battle.

Q: Are you able to teleport in TimeShift? It looks like you can in the movie clip.

BS: One of the powers at your command is the ability to stop time. When you use it in single player to change your position in battle, from your enemy’s perspective it looks like you’ve just teleported. Of course, if an enemy had the same ability, from your perspective it would like he was teleporting as well J. The amazing thing is how the AI reacts intelligently to your use of the powers. Its extremely believable. We tried to think of how AI would react to seeing a player teleport or slow time, and when you play the game and understand how the player could lose you temporarily during slow or stop functions, their responses become even more remarkable. I think our AI is the best that I have seen in a shooter to date. It is really that good.

Q: Approximately how many and what kind of weapons are available throughout TimeShift?

BS: You’ll have access to 9 guns, 4 grenade types, and a healthy variety of stationary turrets and weapon platforms.

Q: Is the player limited to carrying 2 or 3 weapons or can he carry as many as he likes?

BS: You can carry up to 3 primary weapons at a time – but if you want to swap weapons on the field, you can always stop time to grab the gun right out of an enemy’s hands! You can also carry both grenade types (2 of 4 are available for the SP campaign)

Q: Ever thought of a gravity gun?

BS: A gravity gun was an idea we entertained early in development, but the decision was made to focus on the time control and really make it shine. Other games have done gravity in this way; no game has ever incorporated time control as deep into gameplay as we have with TimeShift.

Q: Can the player kick/punch the opponent?

BS: Every weapon has a melee attack, so you can always go toe-to-toe with your enemies and friends online.

Q: How many vehicles are there in TimeShift? Are there any long vehicle sequences like in H-L2 or Halo?

BS: You’ll drive the ATV or Quad through valleys while being chased by heavy enemy armor. You will also ride on a zeppelin, but all throughout the game you’ll have to contend with tanks, armored carriers, copters, attack jets, bombers, the fearsome Sentry mech, and one ‘vehicle’ that will have to remain a secret for now J

Q: Are there health pickups in TimeShift? Are there any other pickups apart from weapons & ammo?

Since the Beta Suit is a self-sufficient device, the only way you can regenerate lost health is to let it recharge. However there are advanced ways of utilizing your time powers to speed up your recharge rate.

Q: Does TimeShift have sidekicks?

BS: Your suit has SSAM, an integrated intelligence unit that often offers advice and initiates flashbacks to further the story. You will also receive advice from the rebel commander as well as rebels that you meet during the game.

Q: Does game debris disappear after some time?

BS: While elements like particles and dust in the air disappear, you’ll find that the destruction you wreak stays persistent. Especially noticeable are our scorch marks after firing your weapon into the environment, since our proprietary Saber 3D engine allows us to create an infinite amount of these that never disappear – ever! Theyu are also parallax mapped, so the feeling of destruction is really impressive and three dimensional.

Q: Is there an option for subtitles?

BS: Yes – you can turn on subtitles from the Options menu to enable our closed captioning system.

Q: What are the minimum and recommended system requirements for TimeShift on PC?

BS: The minimum and recommended specs are:


  • Windows(R) XP with latest service pack installed or Windows Vista™
  • Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 2.0 GHz or AMD(R) equivalent
  • 1 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) 6600 128 MB DirectX(R) 9.0c-compatible card with Pixel Shaders 2.0b support or equivalent (ATI(R) Radeon(R) x700) with latest DirectX drivers
  • DirectX(R) 9.0c
  • DVD-ROM drive - 8X or faster DVD drive
  • DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
  • 8 GB free hard drive space
  • Multiplayer: Broadband internet connection only (no modem play)
  • Mouse, Keyboard


  • Intel(R) Core™2 Duo E6400 / AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4200+ RAM
  • 2 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) 8600 GTS with 256 MB RAM or equivalent
  • Sound BlasterĀ® X-Fi™ series sound card

TimeShift, rated M, will be available on X360/PC this October 30th, with the PS3 version coming in December.

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