PS2 REVIEW: TIMESPLITTERS 2: FUTURE PERFECT

The main, single player story mode may be the biggest disappointment in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect but it makes a decent training mode for the variety of other fun offline and online modes.

The TimeSplitters series may have reached the proverbial brick wall in terms of originality. The stories were more like excuses for the gameplay which featured time travel anyway. Make no mistake, this is an excellent first-person shooter but the premise is hackneyed. We've seen it in countless sci-fi movies, short stories and comics.

In this version, super soldier, Cortez, travels back and forward in time to bring past and future versions of himself to operate as a team as he once again attempts to save mankind from the TimeSplitters. Cortez's adventure will take him to numerous interesting locales such as a castle, a military outpost, a running train, a futuristic planet and even a haunted mansion. Many enemies will need to be eradicated as he searches for the precious time crystals which possess the power of time travel.

Throughout the single-player mode you will notice that many of the levels are linear and void of interaction. I felt as though I was getting the bum's rush out of each level. There are few alternate paths and other than some stealth thrown in for good measure there isn't much gameplay variation - but that's fine because the shooting is fun. The premise gives us all kinds of interesting enemies to shoot at and interesting locations to shoot them in. You are actually thankful that the story allows for such situations.

Different epochs will require you to use different weapons. You'll be gunning down everything from enemy soliders to robots with everything from a single bolt action rifle to futuristic plasma guns. This time you have the option to turn the targeting reticle off if you want to run-and-gun or leave it on for more precise aiming.

This story mode is short. There are only 13 missions and each can take up to half-an-hour to complete. There are no other playable characters other than the different version of Cortez and considering he's the most interesting and powerful character in the game I don't have any problem with that. There are plenty of non-playable characters that you will encounter. Some will need to be protected and some can be used as hostages to get you out of ugly situations. These NPS are also a generous source of wisecracks. They display the developers' warped sense of humor which is always welcome in my books - and games.

It's the extras that make TimeSplitters: Future Perfect such a great overall experience. The two-player co-op mode makes the story mode all worthwhile. I would suggest that you skip the single player mode altogether and just go straight for the co-op mode with a pal. When you're finished with that there's an arcade and challenge mode to play in addition to the great online modes.

Online TimeSplitting is this game's best feature. Up to eight players can take part in variations of games such as Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Virus and Shrink, to name a few. There are tons of unlockables including more than 150 characters and 16 multi-player maps. My connection was virtually perfect. The online game looks as crisp and clean as the offline version.

Future Perfect could have benefited from a better story, more interactivity with the levels and a less linear single-player mode. It does feature good graphics, good voiceover work and well orchestrated thematic music. The shooting remains fun but the TimeSplitting concept is just spinning its wheels. The developers need to look hard into the future to see what they can do to regenerate the series because there's nothing left to throw in at this point.

Preview by Vaughn

Guntoting badasses are natures way of evening out the delicate balance of good and evil. Bald, guntoting badasses are quite matter of factly, in a league of their own. You see, not only are they big and able to wield a huge weapon capable of mass destruction, but they are so freaking tough they have absolutely none of the vain attachment to their masculinity via the hair on their heads like most modern metrosexual men. Translation: Bald equals Bad Ass X 1000! Don't believe me - check out this list: Kojak, Vin Deisel, Shaft, Caillou, the baby sun from Teletubbies- it's all good.

Where am I going with this? Well....the hero of Timesplitters Future Perfect is bald and so natch, he's already tougher than Solid Snake. We're not sure but we've been suspecting for years now that Snake wears a little hair hat - if you catch our drift. Okay so bald and guntoting is bad ass, this we already know, but if you toss in time travelling into that equation, the cool barometer goes sky high.

Future Perfect allows gamers to play around with time in a slightly different way than has been toyed with in recent space/time continuum mechanics found in games like Prince of Persia and Blinx 2. Throughout Future Perfect players will spend time in the single player mode visiting levels where the past version of our bald hero already is, and already is kicking ass - we're just there to lend him a helping hand. While he is taking on a barrage on enemies, we're there behind the scenes making sure that he doesn't fail the mission. Ah....time travel. What a great and exciting way to utilize it's awesome power. I would have just wasted it going back to 1938 and buying up copies of Action Comics #1. But I guess that's why HE'S the hero around here and not me.

The developers of the world reknowned GoldenEye (N64) are at the helm, which would explain why they weren't able to save GoldenEye Rogue Agent from certain disaster...(Hey guys! Use the time machine! Oh wait, it's not real....). We suspect that since they've been so hard at work on this game, including single, co-op, multiplayer modes as well as returing the mapmaking feature to the series, that Future Perfect will kick as much ass as it's bald, guntoting hero. Let's hope. Thankfully the game will be released exactly a month from today and we'll all be the happier when it shows up.

Press:

It’s a race through time in TimeSplitters: Future Perfect the sequel to the critically acclaimed first person shooter franchise, from the developers of GoldenEye. Battle across through the centuries to change the past and alter the future with a massive arsenal of period firearms. Along the way, you’ll get help from your past and future selves as you travel through the ages to infiltrate historic castles, annihilate evil robots, and more. In addition to the improved story mode the depth of gameplay will be endless with a co-op, arcade and online multi-player mode, which will give gamers hundreds of hours of exciting gameplay.

Features:

  • Multiple gameplay modes: Featuring a story mode with co-op, an arcade and challenge mode and a split screen multiplayer and online mode.
  • Sony Online Support: Play online with friends in 16 player death match or co-op modes.
  • Create and Share Maps Online: An improved mapmaker interface makes it easier to create multi-player maps and share and play them online with friends.
  • Time Travel Gameplay: An innovative "meet and assist yourself" time travel gameplay lets players be their own ally by teaming up with past and future versions of themselves.
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System: PS2
Dev: Free Radical
Pub: EA
Released: March 2005
Players: 1 - Multi-Online
Review by Kelly
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.0
GRAPHICS
4.0
CONTROL
4.5
MUSIC/FX
4.5
VALUE
5.0