TimeSplitters Future Perfect Xbox & GameCube
Published by EA Games
Developed by Free Radical
Release Date: Out Now
TimeSplitters Future Perfect, an introduction.
One of the big success stories of the PlayStation 2's early life was a game called TimeSplitters. What made the game so special was not the single-player game but the multiplayer options that the game had. As an offline multiplayer game it was very enjoyable. The same could be said for the sequel which again was more suited to multiplayer, although the single-player game was better in the sequel. TimeSplitters Future Perfect is the first game in the series to allow you to take on gamers online. That is if you pick up the Xbox or PlayStation 2 version. This review looks at the Xbox and GameCube (which sadly has no online play) versions.
What's the game about?
Like the other titles in the series, TimeSplitters Future Perfect sees you hopping between different moments in time to thwart your enemy's evil plans. The year is 2401 and humanity is locked in a conflict with an evil race known as the TimeSplitters. The TimeSplitters are determined to wipe out humanity. They have tried to do this by using time crystals and travelling through history causing as much trouble as possible. The idea is to travel back in time, find the source of the time crystals and then destroy them so that the present conflict will never happen. You'll play as Sergeant Cortez and it's your job to sort this mess out. You'll be travelling to 20 th Century Scotland and Russia (amongst other places) before visiting the 21 st and 23 rd centuries along the way. One of the twists in the game is that you'll often meet yourself and you'll actually have to assist the other Cortez in certain situations. The story mode is enjoyable and even though it's probably not the most polished FPS on the Xbox (although on the GameCube FPS games are in short supply), it's definitely worthy of your attention.
What's good about the game?
This really depends on what format you'll be picking up. Xbox and PlayStation 2 gamers will be able to enjoy online play which is a first for the series. Xbox Live and System Link modes are both supported. Up to 16 players can take part in online games and it's certainly one of the best aspects of the game. Multiplayer modes include traditional favourites such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Assault. You'll also find a few quirky variations such as Capture the Bag, Vampire and Gladiator. The single-player story is also enjoyable and well worth playing through. It's also worth mentioning that you can have a two-player co-operative story mode if you wish. The story mode is not the only single-player option available to you though and there's an Arcade mode, which consists of a custom match and arcade league, where you play for medals and a Challenge mode which will give you enough options to keep you busy for months.
What's not so good about the game?
Whilst the two versions of the game we've looked at, the Xbox and the GameCube versions, are essentially the same when it comes to the single player game it's not the same story when you look at the multiplayer side of things. Nintendo have been very slow on the uptake when it comes to online gaming and as a result installing an online mode into a GameCube game is a waste of time and money. As a result you won't be playing the GameCube version online. If you want online play you'll have to consider the PlayStation 2 or Xbox version. Another disappointment is that the single-player story mode is fairly short. Expect no more than 7-8 hours enjoyment from it, although it is enjoyable while it lasts.
How does it look?
TimeSplitters 2 was actually one of the best looking FPS games on the PlayStation 2 when it was released and even by today's standards it still looks pretty good. TimeSplitters Future Perfect looks very nice indeed (although it not quite as detailed as some of the FPS games that have appeared on the Xbox) and throughout the frame rate remains rock solid on both the Xbox and GameCube. In fact both versions look virtually identical with load times also being pretty similar too. The GameCube version supports widescreen and 60Hz play (the Xbox version does too but these are options you set in the dashboard of course) which is great to see.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
TimeSplitters Future Perfect is fine for deaf gamers. The games cutscenes are subtitled (subtitles have to be enabled though) and the briefing for each mission is also given in text. During missions conversations between enemies are subtitled, which is a good thing as some are quite humorous. Any conversations between Cortez and the character that is assisting him is also subtitled so again you'll be able to fully comprehend what's going on. The other modes all have text descriptions of what you need to do. When selecting one of the many (100+) characters to play, as in the Arcade and Challenge modes, the character will deliver a quote but these quotes aren't subtitled. Overall though it's a great effort from Free Radical and you'll have no problems enjoying the game. As you might expect the Xbox Live mode only allows for voice communications which doesn't favour deaf gamers.
TimeSplitters Future Perfect is very much in the same vein as the previous games in the series. The story mode (which is fairly short lived) is an improvement on the previous ones though and on the Xbox and PlayStation 2 you have the addition of online play. The GameCube version suffers from a lack of an online mode but with that said it's still an enjoyable game and if you're fortunate enough to have friends who want to play the game with you then split-screen gaming for up to 4 players is still an option. On the whole both versions are great games although you'll probably choose the PlayStation 2 or Xbox version, if you want to add longevity to the game by taking it online.
Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10
Deaf Gamers Classification
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TimeSplitters Future Perfect is the best game in the series to date. It's a shame the single-player story mode is so short though and if you can only purchase the GameCube version you'll have to do without the online mode.