TimeSplitters: Future Perfect Multiplayer Hands-On

Free Radical's new first-person shooter has all the multiplayer chops you'd expect.

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The TimeSplitters games have always had a reputation for adding solid and diverse multiplayer action to a strong single-player game, and from what we saw of the newest installment in the series today at an EA press event, TimeSplitters 3: Future Perfect will follow suit, and then some. We got to take part in a rollicking multiplayer match via an Xbox system link that seemed to provide everything you'd want out of a good console first-person shooter.

Will TimeSplitters: Future Perfect be the real GoldenEye killer? Check out some of the multiplayer action and decide for yourself. Click the stream option for a larger view. The game mode on offer today was akin to the standard capture-the-flag game type, although we were attempting to secure a bag from the enemy base rather than a flag. The map we played on was set in a rocky area with several caves acting as choke points between the two bases, and there were some objects to interact with, such as player-manned turrets, scattered around to provide extra aid in the battle. We saw a pretty standard assortment of weapons on this map--a Soviet machine gun, a 12-gauge shotgun, grenades, and even a flare gun--which complemented the default submachine gun pretty nicely.

There were a number of power-ups scattered around the map as well, such as an armored pickup for extra protection and a really annoying invisibility bonus that the opposing team kept using to sneak by us into our base or kill us while we were unaware of their presence. All in all, it seemed like the multiplayer gameplay was pretty standard, as you might expect, but it was certainly implemented well, especially since the game is still more than half a year from release.

TimeSplitters 3 is looking good at this point, as its visual style has been crafted very much in the style of the previous games and other titles by Free Radical. That is to say, everything is generally of a realistic design but with a slightly cartoonlike edge, including the character designs, the weapons, and so on. The map we saw was set around dusk and everything had a nice orange glow to provide a little atmosphere. The invisibility effect, surprisingly, showcased a good graphical touch as well. Of course, while the enemy was invisible, there was nothing for us to see--until he ran through a cloud of smoke, which made his outline become visible momentarily so we could draw a bead on him and take him out.

From what we played today, it looks like TimeSplitters 3's multiplayer component will provide just what fans of the series have come to expect. This competitive mode will join a story-driven, single-player campaign that revisits some characters from past TimeSplitters games and is chock-full of scripted events and action sequences that move the story along. TimeSplitters 3: Future Perfect's development seems to be continuing apace, and the game is slated to hit stores in January of next year. Look for more before then.

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