Most people would assume that playing a bad game is the worst thing a reviewer has to do. This is not true in the slightest though, as a bad game can give a reviewer a lot of material to write about as they pick apart everything that is wrong with the game. If you give me a game I absolutely despise, I will have loads of fun deciding exactly why I dislike it so much. No, the worst kind of game that a reviewer can be asked to play is one that is generic and boring, because it leaves us with little to talk about. This is exactly the case with tinyDino Games' twin-stick shooter The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines.
The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines starts out in an interesting way at least. Players are put in the shoes of a man named Gregor who has been recruited into an organization called The Eternal Fellowship. As part of Gregor's new job, he is given the power to stop time and tasked with helping The Eternal Fellowship with protecting the world's timelines. Right after Gregor joins the group though, the capital city is destroyed and Gregor is left as one of the few surviving Ambassadors of Time. The player must then set out into different timelines and environments to stop the people responsible for the attack and return the timelines to normal.
Seems Unique at First
It seems like The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines will be very plot-focused at first, but all of this exposition is dropped on the player within the first few minutes. Throughout the rest of the game, there are very few plot developments, and instead, you just have to fight wave after wave of enemies. None of the characters have any kind of personality, especially not the main character Gregor. The plotline and its characters just become framing devices for the player to start their quest and nothing more.
At first you will have three different environments to choose from that each have their own set of levels to play in The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines. You can play through the three area in any order you wish, and each one sports a very different landscape. One has green forests and villages to explore, while another takes players through the destroyed remains of the capital city. This is actually one of the better aspects of the game because this does add a little bit of variety to a game that is severely lacking in that department.
Combat is Insufferably Boring
Combat tries to add some flair to it, but it ultimately doesn't manage to pique much interest. Players have the option of throwing their melee weapon or shooting spells at enemies depending on which one is selected at the time. Players also have the option of picking up new weapons to use against their enemies as well. The issue here is that the new weapons either feel very similar to the starting weapon, or they are more difficult to use than the starters. This means I wound up using the starting sword and spell for the majority of The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines, rather than the new weapons that I picked up.
You can also pause time while in combat, which is extremely necessary in order to avoid ranged attacks or certain traps in the environment. The downside to pausing time though is that it only works in a small radius around Gregor rather than the entire environment, so it winds up being a lot less useful than it could be in close range combat. This is particularly true for some of the larger enemies with bigger weapons. By the time that you can get in close to pause time and attack, most of the time these enemies have already managed to drain some of poor Gregor's health.
Forced Repetition is Draining Over Time
By far the largest downside to The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines is the lack of uniqueness and diversity in the enemy types. While each area may have enemies that look different, they almost all have the same attack patterns. There are smaller enemies that will rush the player with their swords, bigger enemies that will swing a large weapon in a circle, and archers or mages that will attack players from a distance. There is a little bit of variation from this throughout the game, but for the most part, those are the three enemies that you will be forced to kill over and over again. It gets extremely repetitive.
At the end of the day, The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines isn't a bad game. There are no bugs to speak of, the retro aesthetic looks really good, and all of the game's controls work in the way they were intended. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it from an objective standpoint, but sadly that doesn't stop it from being dreadfully boring. After the first couple of levels, you will have seen everything that The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines has to offer, so it's probably best to stop there.
TechRaptor reviewed The Ambassador; Fractured Timelines on PC using a code provided by developer tinyDino Games.
- Tight Controls
- Fun Retro Aesthetic
- Varied Environments
- Lack of Enemy Diversity
- Repetitive Combat
- Weapons Are Too Similar