TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
Score: 8.5 / 10
Future Perfect is another great addition to the franchise.
should be enough for fans to go scurrying off to buy a copy. It features the cartoony creativity of Free Radical, a name
that has become synonymous with whacked design and smooth action.
The name is also synonymous with the phrase “ex-GoldenEye
developers” in reference to the fact many of the people in power at
Free Radical will forever be associated with GoldenEye for the N64.
I’m obliged by law to mention that.
I should also address my 9.3 / 10 score for the previous installment,
because if gaming magazines can issue “What the hell were we thinking
with that score” editorials I can issue a bit of a disclaimer here.
Is TimeSplitters 2 better than Future Perfect? I’d actually have to say they’re pretty equal, but I
might have been a little overzealous with the score back in 2002.
On with the review…
evil TimeSplitters are once again making havoc for humanity and it’s
up to the rugged, Vin Diesel stunt double, Cortez (with occasional
guest), to save life, the universe and everything by journeying through
time to undo or prevent any damage the TimeSplitters have done or will
do to the space-time continuum. Besides
the initial setup, Future Perfect features a storyline, which is a
departure for the series. TimeSplitters
2 would throw you into a mission without much preamble at all.
It didn’t affect the gameplay that much, it just made the
transitions a little disjointed. In Future Perfect before each mission
there are lengthy setups and there are even mid-mission interludes that
make the game hang together in terms of story.
The action is straightforward but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. Besides running around on-foot, Cortez can also drive vehicles or take control of turrets, but for most of the game he’s on-foot unleashing death with a variety of era-specific weapons (many of which have a secondary fire). Cortez also has use of a Temporal Uplink, which behaves like Half-Life 2’s gravity gun but has far less uses (though the map function does have its moments). Mostly it’s used to pull levers from a distance but it can also be used to hurl small items at enemies. I never found myself relying on the Temporal Uplink as I did the gravity gun though because the available weapons are much more powerful.
The save system is crummy. I learned early on that if I sat down to play Future Perfect I had to complete at least one level before shutting down. Progress is saved only between missions. Any checkpoints crossed are only good for until you turn off the GameCube (or simply decide to restart to a level). Even a mid-mission hard save would have been appreciated – the technology is capable, lets use it!
While some complain of the GameCube’s controller when it comes
first-person shooters, I have no qualms with it (although I have to
admit, I much prefer the PC when it comes to first-person shooters).
The accuracy and responsiveness are good and there are settings, which
can make it easier overall to hit what you’re aiming for.
My only real complaint is a lack of jump capability.
It’s not hugely missed and the upside is that there are no
jumping puzzles, but it’s still hard for me to accept the fact Cortez
can’t jump. (I’ll accept the fact he’s a time traveler battling
aliens but not being able to jump just isn’t believable!)
Most puzzles don’t feel like puzzles at all. Instead there are integrated challenges into any given level, which don’t feel out of place or jammed in just for something to.
even an “okay” sound system, Future Perfect is a great game to
listen to – the delivery is excellent – but it’s an even better
game to watch. The
animation is smooth and the action always moves at a good pace with a
wide variety of character types (including monkeys) and a good balance
between outdoor and indoor environments.
of split-screen multiplayer will have their needs met by Future
Perfect’s solid if somewhat predictable multiplayer portion with the
usual suspects accounted for, including Arcade, which is the new way to
say “deathmatch!” And
no worries if you’ve only got one friend – the bots do an admirable
job for the most part making each arena feel alive.
But if multiplayer isn’t your thing, Future Perfect also
includes a Challenge mode, which is self-explanatory.
Radical has done a great job with TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.
While I would have appreciated a better save system it has too
much going for it not to recommend it to fans of the franchise or those
craving another solid shooter for GameCube.
(April 8, 2005)
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