Do you like stylish top-down shooter shooters? If so, then Time Recoil might very well be for you. Time Recoil was developed by 10tons, a small indie studio that has plenty of experience with building this type of game by now (they seem to come out with a new one every few months!). Is this one worthy of your time? or should you recoil? read on to find out!
Alexa was once a lead scientist working for Mr Time (our big bad guy of the story) but she refused to help him build a devastatingly powerful weapon. A weapon he would later use to destroy many cities and then take over Europe. As punishment, he imprisoned her in 1974, where he subjected her to experiments after finding out she had been altered by a certain accident which allowed her to begin manipulating time.
She was later set free by a rebel group which she is now working with to free Europe from Mr Time by using Alexa’s abilities to travel back and fourth in time. Unfortunately when doing so something often goes wrong, so Alexa then has to go back and fix new problems she has caused on top of trying to complete her original mission.
The story stops providing much interest early on as you’ll find yourself going back just to fix negative changes over and over again and it is very bare bones.
The art work is of a bold and graphic style, but the graphics of the game itself are not so strong. Everything you’ll see is very basic geometry with very simple textures for the most part. It’s slightly more forgivable when you consider that most of the environment is destructible. Shooting fire extinguishers causes them to explode, destroying near by objects, walls, and killing enemies.
Boxes, glass, furniture, and even thin walls can all be broken down so you have to consider how your surroundings could help or hinder you at any given time. Environments start to get repetitive after a while, and on Vita can sometimes be hard to see small objects such as chairs which sometimes get in the way during fights since the screen is small.
There isn’t much in the way of differences between enemies either, it’s mostly the same model used over and over, just with a different weapon.
Audio wise there isn’t much variety to be had as you’ll find yourself listening to what seems to be the same few techno tracks throughout, that said, they are still enjoyable and fit in with the game well. The sound effects are also nothing too exciting, but the worst is probably the sound the guards make when alerted. It’s hard to describe but they sound more like surprised donkeys than humans at times.
when you kill an enemy there is a period of slowed down time, making it easier to kill any secondary targets that come after you. You must kill several enemies in a row during a single slow down in time if you are to use your special skills. Melee attack can be used to kill enemies but only really good for destroying objects , mostly use guns.
There is an element of stealth to some encounters as you can shoot through thin walls. early on you get a fun skill called ‘Dash’ that lets you quickly dash forwards through objects, walls, and enemies, destroying them in your wake. Any enemies near by which aren’t hit by your dash will be confused for a moment and time will slow down, giving you a huge opportunity to kill them before they get realize what’s going on.
As you progress, you will be granted more and more useful skills. It’s also easy to snipe enemies from off-screen once you know their positions which feels a bit cheap but it’s hard to resist doing as it also feels quite satisfying.
You die if in one hit if the enemy shoots you or reaches you, so using stealth can be vital to your survival. It usually doesn’t get frustrating though as you re-spawn quickly, and the stages are quite small so you won’t lose much progress. There are some stages late on in the game where lots of enemies come at you quickly which can get annoying. Aiming is twitchy with the right analog stick on the Vita which can cause you some extra deaths here and there, adding to the annoyance. Over all though the gameplay is enjoyable and at times highly satisfying.
Current missions tasks are always displayed in top left and a handy arrow helps you get to your destinations by pointing out the way. The entire game is laid out in short missions, completing enough of them will end the chapter. Sadly, the game is fairly short so it won’t take you more than a few hours to get through all the chapters.
Time Recoil is very strong in the gameplay department, but let down by repetitive and uninteresting visuals, as well as a fairly uninteresting story. It’s certainly not the most memorable of games, but it is good fun and fills in the time between larger releases very nicely.