TimeSplitters Future Perfect – GC – Review

From one
PlayStation2-exclusive game to a multi-platform series, TimeSplitters has
become one of the most revered console shooters. The sequel was hyped for
months but it felt like it came out of nowhere. The controls couldn’t have
been more polished, and the multiplayer maps were some of the best in the biz.
I spent many days playing till sundown, complaining that the sun’s bright
colors (a mixture of orange and yellow) were making it hard to see the screen.
Never mind the fact that the sky was absolutely gorgeous outside – all I cared
about was the game.

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect continues the series legacy of gameplay-before-hygiene,
sunlight, and anything remotely healthy. With more first-person shooting via
co-op and new multiplayer maps, Future Perfect does not disappoint. However,
the technology has not changed much since the last game. No true gameplay
innovations have been made, nor were there any serious attempts to one-up the
Bungie shooter that everyone keeps talking about (what’s its name again?). The
rewards for playing are there for anyone who wishes to take them, but they’re
on a familiar, been-there-before level, thus reducing the wow factor to
impressed, not blown away.

Shooting at

The story
once again revolves around time, but I wouldn’t spend too much time thinking
about it. It does star a monkey, after all. And while I have nothing against
the species, I can’t envision a past, present, or future time where they are
fighting alongside us with guns and high-tech weaponry.

Enemies come
in fast and frequently. Some areas appear to have an infinite amount of
enemies to send into battle. The trick to depleting their supply has nothing
to do with the destruction of Kamino (a planet that will likely be destroyed
in Revenge of the Sith – at the very least you can bet the clone technology
will be eliminated). Enemies will re-spawn until certain objectives have been
met. Meet the requirements and the next area will become available, and all
the enemies that you encounter will be new creations for you to blow up, not
clones that don’t seem to die.

Perfect’s gameplay might seem typical to newcomers, the only difference being
that most of its competitors control very poorly, while this game runs very
smoothly. Any game can have good aim and good character movement. Having them
both work well together – that’s the challenge, and that’s one of
TimeSplitters’s best features.

went to a restaurant this morning and ordered a McMayday. Burger King was

It’s not
just the controls, which seem to blend seamlessly from one move to the next.
The framerate is steady throughout most of the game, even during multiplayer
and co-op. You’d think that this would no longer be an issue in this day and
age, but some of the most anticipated shooters of 2004 had framerate issues.
Future Perfect is kept at a rate that feels good for the type of levels,
missions, and warfare. It feels even better when you’re firing explosive
weaponry, filling the screen with smoke and flames so deep you’ll wonder why
the fire alarm hasn’t gone off yet.

explosions are remembered until the next game comes around. Realistic facial
expressions are much harder to come by. Most games use technical trickery to
create theirs, some don’t even bother to move the face beyond the mouth and
eye position. That’s why Future Perfect will be remembered, just as its
predecessors are. The facial expressions aren’t too spectacular if you focus
on the character models, which lack the detail of Resident Evil 4 (that’s true
of every game).

I chose to
focus on the animation, the detail in the characters faces as they moved, and
listened carefully to what they said. Even when the dialogue was lame, even
when the story was boring, the characters stood out. It’s entertaining to
watch them move and act out the scenes in real-time. It’s almost as if these
character models are actors doing a scene for a movie. The weak face and body
textures are hard to look at after playing Resident Evil 4 for 20 hours, but
that doesn’t take away from the fact that the TimeSplitters series is still
one of the top games for facial expressions. And it all started with the power
of emotion – PlayStation2’s long-forgotten "emotion engine."

the future of TimeSplitters be perfect?

Time is
flying. Summer is coming. All that warm air and fun in the sun has got to go.
Save yourself from summer’s torture and spend your days inside on the couch
where you belong. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect may not be the Halo 2
competitor GameCube needs, but it’s got just the right combination of single-
and multiplayer goodness to drain the batteries in your WaveBird controllers.

Scoring Details

for TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

Gameplay: 8.3
Future Perfect is
fun as a single-player experience, but it’s super-fun as a multiplayer game.
The story mode is entertaining and is good training for the battles you’ll
have with your friends. Great controls (smooth camera, seamless movement,
etc.) and a good framerate prevent Future Perfect from becoming a perfect
disaster. It isn’t perfect, but aside from Halo, it’s the imperfect
multiplayer games that I play the most. Call it a coincidence. Call it poor
judgment of what perfect is and isn’t. Whatever you choose to call it, Future
Perfect is a good game.

Graphics: 7.9
"7.9!? But I
thought you said the facial expressions were great?" I did. Notice that that’s
all I said. Future Perfect is not the most attractive game. Its characters are
dull and the backgrounds are a few years dated. We can’t expect all games to
look like Resident Evil 4, but clearly there is a lot of power inside the
GameCube that rarely gets used.

Sound: 8.0

Difficulty: Medium
Not the toughest
game on the planet, not by a long shot. You’ll die here and there, maybe more
than you at first expect. Multiplayer is where most of the kills happen. Don’t
think that you can kick butt in multiplayer just because you finished the
game. The opposite is true as well. Both require different skills. Playing
both and paying close attention to each and every tiny detail – that’s the key
to success with any first-person shooter.

Concept: 7.5
More of the same,
with a new time traveling element that allows you to fight with yourself.
(Ahem) what I mean is, a younger you can team up with an older you to stop the
world from falling apart in the future. Not exactly an innovative gameplay
technique, but it’s a fairly original idea (for videogames … movies have
used this concept for decades).

Multiplayer: 8.5
Nothing better
than sitting around a couch with a controller in your hands, a few friends at
your side, and a new TimeSplitters to suck the life out of your eyeballs. The
multiplayer maps are great, and if you’re dying to get in there and make your
own, Future Perfect will let you do it.

Overall: 8.4
I nearly
recommend TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. A solid rental for any first-person
shooter fan, a must-rent for anyone who loves the TimeSplitters series. It’s
got almost everything a first-person shooter needs. What it’s missing is the
wow factor; the amazement you get from playing a console launch title and a
launch title sequel that’s even better. Future Perfect is more of the same.
It’s great, but it won’t have the same effect on gamers that the previous
games had.