TimeSplitters: Future Perfect review
Timesplitters: Future Perfect-a trendyskaman Splitdown
-150 playable characters
-Great variety of weapons
-A story mode that actually makes sense (sort of)
-Even more monkeys!
-Brilliant sense of humor
-Little on the easy side
-Short single player
-Reload time on the shotgun-boy, did I curse with those zombies coming at me
Timesplitters has always been one of my favorite series in the video game world, not to mention my favorite first person shooter. Its light-hearted, arcadey, brink of insanity nature are all unique aspects of a much carbon-copied genre. Future Perfect is no exception. The puns fly as fast as the bullets, and are just as enjoyable. But with all the interesting additions, this game remains, at its core, almost identical to its predecessors, so let's talk about the new features.
The story mode itself is very enjoyable, though a tad on the easy side and quite short. Though there are 20+ stages, you'll never spend more than 20 minutes in any of them. Expect to finish this game, if you're familiar with the particulars of any FPS, in less than 7 hours on the medium difficulty. The hilarious cutscenes in between the stages that piece the story together are well worth plowing through the missions, as are the unlockable characters. There are 150 in all, and every one of them is unique and have quite the personality. All of the favorites from the past return, including Duckman Drake, the Gingerbread Man, Harry Tipper, the Jungle Queen, Corporal Hart, and more, and there are several new additions, like the Hamburger-Helper lookalike Handyman and the gruesome DeerHaunter.
TS:FP retains a mature rating for good reason. The introduction of gore, though subtle, adds a violent flavor to the game, and the innuendo and obscenities (nothing too crazy here-just some damns and Goddamns, for the kids) spewing from Cortez's mouth are well-deserving of the "M". However, instead of detracting from the series and causing Timesplitters to become an earnest offering, the comedy and gore actually add to the comical motif the game pulls off flawlessly once again. You'll enjoy this game if you're younger or if you're older, and chances are none of you readin this will be offended by its content.
Though the single player is quite short and (in my opinion) not altogether satisfying, the bread and butter of the series remains. The Arcade and Challenge modes return, with new activities and game modes to tickle your unlockable pallet. All in all, there's over twenty arcade league matches, and over thirty challenges. You'll shoot hoops with Cortez's gravity manipulator, recharge electric dancing monkeys, behead zombies, and even race an electronic cat around a race track. All in all, they're a good time, and necessary to complete the game 100% and obtain each of the 150 characters.
Arcade matches are once again fully customizable, and there are 14 different playmodes and over 12 default maps to whet your appetite. If you don't have anyone else to frag with (the game supports up to four players via a multitap, and more with the LAN connection capability) you can load the game with bots of varying degrees of difficulty. Staples of the series return, including Assault (complete a series of objectives), Capture the Bag, Bagtag, Thief (collect coins from dead competitors), and the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. Also included are Monkey Assistant (players in last place get monkey bots to help them kill other players), Shrink (the lower in place you get, the smaller you become, allowing the player in first place to be a bigger target), Elimination (deathmatch with a set amount of lives), Vampire (kill to retain your health), and Virus (try to get rid of the virus by killing other players).
Playing with bots is fun, but the real attraction of this game should be its online capabilities. Finally, this fast-paced, irreverent extension of the Goldeneye formula makes its way to worldwide online competition, and it is the most satisfying feature of this installment. The PS2 supports up to eight players online in one game, though the Xbox version supports 16. Semi-dissapointing, yes, but many of the maps support eight players quite well, and you won't miss those extra players most of the time. There really is nothing like hopping online and using a rocket launcher to send a giant duck crying for his momma in the middle of a disco, but TS:FP allows just that. Online is just as fast, fun, and frantic as offline multiplayer, but with the added incentive of improving your statistics on the deep online ranking system that includes such stats as Most Monkeys Killed.
The mapmaker system in TS:FP might be one of its biggest draws. You can now create all kinds of maps for different game modes and then upload them onto the server, allowing players from around the world to download your map and you to download theirs. The result is a living, thriving community that will continue to expand as new popular maps are released for download. Already there are maps that emulate Goldeneye maps and maps from previous TS offerings.
All in all, Timesplitters is an amazing extension of a wonderful series of games. If you're a fan of FPS and love online competition, this game is most definitely for you. I highly recommend investing in a new memory card, however, because you will be creating and trading maps and online information for a long time.
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