TimeSplitters: Future Perfect Hands-On

We try out some single-player shooting with PS2 and Xbox versions of Free Radical Design's upcoming action game.

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At a recent press event, we were able to try out both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. A different single-player level was available on each of the consoles--a jaunt through a fast-moving train on the PS2 and the infiltration of a Scottish castle circa 1924 on the Xbox.

In the PS2 level, we started out at the rear of a large, fast-moving train. Our objective was basically to make our way to the front armed only with a pistol. There were plenty of enemies attempting to hinder our progress, of course, but it wasn't long before we got our hands on a machine gun that did almost as good a job of tearing up the train's interior as it did our intended targets. All of the windows in the train could be smashed, and all of the doors could be opened. When we saw a large pile of barrels stacked up close to an enemy manning a machine gun turret in one of the carriages, we were pleased to discover that shooting one of them caused them all to topple over and crush him (and then they exploded moments afterward, just to make sure).

Further on in the train, after some brief stays on the roof and exploring passenger cars, we found our progress impeded by a maze of crates and boxes that couldn't be destroyed using either of the weapons at our disposal. And, to make matters worse, there was an enemy helicopter hovering overhead that seemed intent on bringing our hands-on time with the game to an abrupt end. Fortunately, the chopper pilot wasn't a terribly good shot, and as we moved around the carriage to avoid the gunfire, he inadvertently destroyed all of the boxes that were blocking our way. Without wishing to spoil anything, we were unable to destroy the chopper ourselves at this point, but a future version of our character that we'd spotted alongside us earlier proved to be most helpful.

The Xbox mission on display was actually very different from the train level. We were required to infiltrate a Scottish castle alongside an elderly gentleman. We were initially armed only with a silenced pistol, but, after killing a number of enemies outside the castle, we gained access to both a machine gun and the requisite sniper rifle. In a first for the TimeSplitters series, we also took control of a vehicle at one point--a truck with a machine gun mounted on the back. Initially we chose to drive the vehicle ourselves, but eventually we gave up the driver's seat to our companion so that we could man the gun.

Once we got inside the castle walls (after picking off a few enemies on the ramparts with the sniper rifle) we blew a door open using some explosives, used a crane to rip an automated gun turret off its mountings so that we could pass it safely, and killed a bunch of enemies who, like those that came before them, weren't terribly intelligent. It's worth noting that the versions of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect on display were only 35 percent complete, so hopefully the developers will use the time between now and release to make the enemies more challenging.

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is currently scheduled for release on all current-generation consoles early next year. We look forward to bringing you more information on the game as soon as it becomes available.

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