One of the great privileges of being in the gaming press is the opportunity to take part in special media events when gaming publishers are ready to show off their upcoming games. While large industry expos like [the now restructured] E3 and GDC claim most of the spotlight, the majority of gaming demos and presentations for the press takes place behind closed doors and curtained off meeting rooms. These private meetings give developers a chance to demo their games and field interview questions away from the bombastic ambient noises of a full-blown expo show floor.
Recently, I went to a Sierra Games (formerly known as Vivendi Universal Games) press event to take a look Empire Earth III , World in Conflict , and TimeShift . The two strategy games demoed were stunning and impressive, but the biggest shock to me was seeing TimeShift in action.
I had played some of the game last summer at PC Gamer and Maximum PC’s Showdown LAN event, but since then, the game has been almost completely revamped with new textures, character models, and shader effects to stay in par with other shooters. I applaud Sierra’s decision to delay the game and invest the resources to update the art. It’s too unfortunate that a lot of gamers dismiss games these days if they’re not immediately wowed by the graphics. TimeShift’s intriguing time-based gameplay mechanics deserve to be experienced – its fresh visuals will no doubt help convince gamers to give it a try.