TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
A knock on Electronic Arts even to this day is that they became too big for their own good. Around the era of the PS2 EA had grown into a gaming giant, tying down licenses for anything and everything they could including James Bond 007 and the NFL.
EA also took a stab publishing the third iteration of Free Radical Design’s TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, which would be the third iteration of the game, and last, of the TimeSplitters series. It followed a relatively unpolished first title in the series and it’s incredibly polished and vastly expanded, critically acclaimed sequel TimeSplitters 2.
Unfortunately, I felt that Future Perfect falls flat.
The addition of a central characters, Cortez, reminds me of a mix between Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel, but in a much more comedic tone which at times is borderline cringy. That leads to a lot of full motion video interruptions in the game that didn’t exist in the prior two titles, which focused on split-second fast-paced action.
That doesn’t mean that this game doesn’t have it’s moments, and while I still give it a thumbs up at the end, on a scale of where TS2 was an 11 out of 10, Future Perfect falls somewhere around 6. The game feels like a corporate suit made tweaks to it and is otherwise out of place from the other games.
The storyline follows the same time travel pattern where Cortez goes through various levels based in the past, present or future. Weapons and enemies are styled to each unique level and if you had only played this version of the game, you would likely be thrilled.
However, it’s too much of a rehash on the previous titles and perhaps a step back due to the pacing. Still, it offers many of the same concepts originally brought on by development team members who previous worked on Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64, plus brought back the famous mapmaker, challenges, as well as online play (which was still in its growing stages and not as commonplace at this point in time).
If you like first-person shooters, or any of the aforementioned games, I’d give this a go. Otherwise, it’s a title that can, sadly, be passed on. (Which I hate saying, as TimeSplitters 2 is one of my all-time favorites.)
It took me awhile to beat this one, but I finally came back around to the TimeSplitters series, with the game I felt was their best effort: TimeSplitters 2.
As with the original, much of the development team was carried over from former Rare employees who worked on Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark for the N64. Unlike the original, this game kicks down the door with sharper graphics (especially improved menus that don’t look generic like the launch title did) as well as playable characters, graphics, and much more.
Multiplayer on this was also great, and of course, one of the groundbreaking features (for a console) was the ability to create your own maps.
In all, I forgot how solid of a title this game was. I’m glad I revisited it and if you’re a retro gamer looking for a good FPS with that old Goldeneye feel, you’d be hardpressed to find one better than TimeSplitters 2.
A launch title for the PS2, this was the first game I purchased for it. For those unfamiliar, TimeSplitters is a spiritual successor to Goldeneye and Perfect Dark as many of the old developers from Rare split and created their own company.
The game itself is… dated. A lot of the levels draw inspiration directly from those two games mentioned. It was a great game back then and it still has some fairly groundbreaking ideas it introduced. The in-game graphics aren’t a problem, but you can tell it’s an early title by the menus and lack of options (which the sequel more than adequately addresses).
For starters, this game ran at 60 frames per second and still ran smooth as butter on my PC as well as my PS3. In fact, the speed is blistering and the goal in each level is to retrieve a “key” and return it to essentially your “base”. The frame rate adds to the fast-paced action and gets your heart pounding as to whether you can get back before all of the “TimeSplitters” start appearing and attacking out of nowhere!
The game also offered an in-game level editor which allowed you to create your own boards to be used in multiplayer (locally) as well as a multitude of playable characters a la Goldeneye.
As such the game is worth checking out but be warned it has a very short campaign mode. It truly shines with multiplayer, where completing the story mode levels on each difficulty will unlock more goodies for use in multiplayer.
An extra challenge mode feature is also included and is like the one in Perfect Dark: but with some fun twists, such as shooting at monkeys carrying watermelons or smashing windows by throwing bricks.
I also want to go out on a limb and say the entire concept of shooting heads off of a zombie’s body (the only way you can kill them in this game) originated with TimeSplitters as well.
Overall, this was still a great journey back into time with good memories of multiplayer games around the TV before online play became a thing.