Review: Timesplitters: Future Perfect
October 15, 2006
No Delorean Required
Free Radical / X-Box Playstation 2 Gamecube / Mature
The Time Splitters franchise has always been the goofy alternative to the mainstream first person shooter. It provides a solid gameplay experience coupled with stellar multiplayer. The newest edition ups the ante with a better story and online play.
Gamers play as sergeant Cortez who, in the future, is a central player in a war between humans and a race of era hoppers known as Time Splitters who want to destroy humanity for some unspecified reason. Cortez is sent back in time to trace the origins of the Time Splitters and find time crystals that allow humans to time jump. He starts in 1920s England and moves to the 60s, 90s, and beyond. In each time period Cortez teams up with an occupant of the time who just happens to be nearby and can handle a gun. These characters include a swinging sixties super spy, a reprogrammed security robot, and a number of other wacky sorts. These partners are also amazingly invincible and provide help in proportion to their intelligence, which is minimal.
This is the biggest problem in Future Perfect is that both the enemies and allies are as dumb as bricks. They run into walls, miss point blank, and fail to duck under nearby cover. This generally makes the single player game fairly easy but the developers good sense of humor helps this and the shooting is generally fun. This is aided by the large arsenal, which is like Project Snowblind’s but wackier. It includes such weapons as the injector, which causes enemies to swell and explode, a number of other classics with bizarre modifications, and, when all else fails, a Louisville Slugger.
The most innovative part in the game comes about once a level. When a Cortez from the future pops through a time wormhole to aid his past self, gamers must keep their future self alive then progress to play the future part. These situations are interesting and the application is always pleasantly clever, making them the highlight of the single player.
All these features make for an enjoyable story mode, but, as with its predecessors, this games bread is buttered multiplayer side up. Multiplayer options are staggering with a variety of modes, stages, weapons, and an amazing 150 unique playable characters including a performing bear and a duck along with the story characters.
Also, all this multiplayer goodness is now online for all except for the oft-tortured Gamecube owners. Online play varies between laggy and perfect, so gamers are advised to seek out a good server.
Future Perfect retains Time Splitters hold on the funny FPS genre while upping the ante. The story is better and the multiplayer is still great. Shooter fans looking for a Halo alternative have found their game.
By Zack Rovinsky