Preview: Time Carnage – Smashing the Space/Time Continuum
The time machine could use some re-calibration.
There are a limited number of settings for a given work of fiction. Old West, Prehistoric times, post apocalyptic future, medieval Europe and so on. One way to mix things up a bit is to introduce time travel, which is what developer Wales Interactive have done with Time Carnage.
Time Carnage pulls that player through a variety of different settings and time periods were you are tasked with shooting down waves of enemies such as zombies, robots and even dinosaurs. Each zone allows you to select your preferred four-weapon loadout. A weapon that isn’t currently being used will reload automatically, and there are 25 weapons to be unlocked.
The main attraction is the Campaign mode, which has 16 levels where you can travel through various time zones levelling up and unlocking weaponry along the way. There are even hidden weapons that can be found in some areas. Custom Arcade mode is a more casual experience, as you’d expect, but plays very similarly to the main Campaign mode, but with Arcade style ‘cheats’ to unlock.
Time Carnage is a wave shooter. As such, you stand in one spot waiting for enemies to show up, grabbing or dropping the right weapon for the job. After a little practice, it’s possible to do this blindly, which feels satisfyingly like you are a Jedi calling a weapon to your hand. Sadly, satisfaction is in short supply in this title.
The first area is a drab post apocalyptic city, decorated with concrete rubble, burned-out cars and a rusty metal staircase. Zombies of the human and dog variety charge at you, waiting to be shot down. The graphics are muddy-looking, and in places its hard to make out the enemies from the background. There are many, many waves for each time zone, enough that the experience quickly becomes tedious. The prehistoric forest provides the best experience, purely because there are dinosaurs, which are the coolest-looking enemies in the title.
Being on the PlayStation VR of course there is some aiming jitter from the PlayStation Move controllers, but its fairly easy to compensate for, the controls are simple and intuitive and easy to pick up in short order. The loading times were also quite long, though that might be fixed with a bit of optimisation for the final release.
One area where Time Carnage does stand out is the sound. The 3D sound is excellent, giving excellent indications on direction and distance of enemies, providing vital clues on where to focus your attention. Once you get to used to the enemies of each area, just the sound tells you what gun you should grab next to deal with them. The music is quite good, though in places oddly reminiscent of the music from Alton Towers dark ride Duel.
So far in Time Carnage there is little that surprises or innovates. It works perfectly well as a wave shooter, but there doesn’t seem to be much that distinguishes it from the sea of similar titles out there. Having said that, shooting dinosaurs in the face is quite fun, so there is that.