TimeSplitters: Future Perfect Hands-On

Skip through time to catch the TimeSplitters in EA's upcoming first-person shooter.

Remember all those science fiction time-travel movies that said that you should try to never come in contact with yourself during your travels through time, lest the world be ripped apart by paradox? Well, throw all that nonsense out the window. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is coming with online play, a cohesive story mode, the arcade mode that fans of the series know and love, and a little gameplay hook called "meet yourself gameplay" that will allow you to help yourself to victory.

As one of the series that can lay at least partial claim to the legacy started by GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64, TimeSplitters has always been a very multiplayer-focused game. While the team is still hard at work on tons of exciting multiplayer enhancements, this time around the single-player is getting some attention, too. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect will be the first game to feature a real, story-driven single-player game. The 11 single-player missions take you, as a dude named Cortez, through a lot of different eras as you chase the TimeSplitters aliens in an attempt to thwart their evil plot. With all of this time-skipping going on you're bound to run into yourself sooner or later, and that's the gist of what Free Radical is calling "meet yourself gameplay." In one sequence, you'll be pinned down and hiding from a vicious helicopter attack only to watch a daring rescue attempt perpetrated by…yourself? Yes, your future self busts out with some firepower and knocks the chopper out of the sky. Then, of course, not long after you're set free, you'll get the opportunity to be on the other side of that equation and knock out that chopper yourself. The other example we were told about involved going back in time to unlock doors for yourself and other clock-skipping shenanigans.

The game will also feature the arcade mode found in the previous games, with all of the options and medals that you'd expect to see in such a mode. Online play is the huge new addition to the TimeSplitters series. The game will support the PS2 network adapter as well as Xbox Live, and both games will be playable by up to 16 players in a variety of modes. The game on display was basically a version of Unreal Tournament's assault mode, with one team trying to breach a prison to assassinate a prisoner while the other team attempted to defend various positions. You start to get closer and closer to the action as you move forward on the attacking side. In all, the game will ship with 10 multiplayer maps and others modes, like king of the hill and deathmatch.

The mapmaker from previous games will get a nice boost in the form of a redesign to make it easier to use and to make it more powerful. In addition, the current plan is to allow maps to be uploaded and shared online, which is exactly what the mapmaker feature needs to remain relevant as the series moves online.

The game's weapons will be styled after the period you're currently in, so you'll move from standard pistols and rifles up to laser weapons and other futuristic gear. You'll also have access to an antigravity gun that can be used to move small objects, like health pickups, around at will.

TimeSplitters 2 is already looking good. The graphics are sharp and the game runs at a nice frame rate on both the PS2 and the Xbox. The game is currently scheduled to be released in March 2005.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect