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 Post subject: Time Splitters 3: Future Perfect |10/10| XBox
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:17 am 
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A perfect future for shooters

TS: Future Perfect = great story + great multiplayer + ton extra stuff – all the earlier TS suck

I played the first Time Splitters on the Playstation 2 when it came out, and that almost kept me from playing any of the other titles in the Time Splitters series. In the case of Time Splitters 2, I wish it had. There was a lot of hype about Time Splitters: Future Perfect when it was released and I choose to ignore it for several months because of that.

When I finally did break down and buy the game, I have to say, I was blown away. This game truly was one of the most perfect first person perspective shooters (FPS) I have ever played. Let me explain why:

First, a bit about the story:

Earth is under attack by a group of aliens known as Time Splitters. They are pretty nasty critters that can cloak, climb sheer surfaces, and have some sort of electrical attack. They also happen to be kicking humanity’s ass in the future. It seems the Time Splitters have been sending agents back in time to cause trouble. Cortez, the character you play, works for a group of people that work to defend Earth. This group manages to get a hold of some of the time crystals that the splitters use to travel in time with, and then uses them to power their own time machine. Cortez, being the best that the Earth Defenders has, is sent back in time to track down any time crystals remaining in the past and destroy them in the hopes of preventing the war with the splitters from ever starting. As he does this, he also ends up chasing Splitter agents through many different periods in time, and also uncovers their surprise origins. Also, in almost each time period, you are partnered up with someone else from that time period. Each one of these partners has their own story that interacts with yours.

Ok, on to more about the game:

The game has a lot action, which is expected of a FPS game. It also has a lot other things mixed in too. You have several areas in the game where you have to solve actual puzzles to proceed. The puzzles often take the form of wiring diagrams where you have to reroute power paths to activate something. This is something I totally did not expect to encounter in a game of this type.

The game also has a heavy does of humor in it. It picks apart the whole sci-fi concept of time travel, and parodies it mercilessly. On many occasions a future Cortez will show up to help Cortez in the past, usually with some amusing dialog exchanged between the two. You will always get to play both sides of each encounter, and conversation, in due time.

The game has a rich and well written script pushing the story mode along. The cut scenes are beautifully rendered, and the all of the spoken dialog is perfectly written and delivered.

The settings of the game are all very varied, and well laid out. Each stage has a theme that spoofs some sort of genre. You have a ‘60s level where you run around with a hippie spy, while fighting a 60’s era Blofeld (from James Bond) type villain. In the ‘90s level you end up in a house just ‘chocked full o’zombies! Mmmm… zombie blast’n fun! And then you end up the future (one other than your character’s own), where you get drawn into in a war between two different groups of people using robots. Each stage is vast, beautiful, and very different from each other.

Since each stage is set in a particular time period, your choice of weapons will vary depending on the time period. You can’t use a futuristic gun in the past unless you get it off the body of an enemy that had one.

Graphics: This game has some of the best graphics I’ve ever seen on the Xbox. Absolutely amazing! It really pushes the system to its limits, and never falters. I never witnessed any graphical glitches, not a one. The character models are all rich, varied, and detailed. The vehicles you interact with are all well designed, as are all of the props and other objects you run across in the game.

Sound: This game also has some of the best sound I’ve heard of in any game. Absolutely splendid! The music for each stage contributes greatly to overall atmosphere of the stage. The sound effects are also very well done. Not a single sound ever seems out of place. Also, I love the dialog that you overhear other characters speaking; it is often humorous and also gives a greater depth the story being told.

Gameplay: The controls in this game are very well implemented. In addition to the puzzle solving mode mention previously, you have your primary FPS mode, turret mode for shooting fixed placed guns, and a vehicle mode. The basic controls are a variation of the standard Xbox FPS control layout, minus the ability to jump. FPS games without the ability to jump usually annoy me, but in this game, the levels are so well designed the inability to jump is never an issue you think about. The thumbsitcks control your movement and aim, the directional pad changes weapons, zooms, selects grenade types, and activates your weapon’s special mode. The right trigger fires your weapon, and the left tosses grenades. The action buttons reloads your weapon, does melee attacks, and activates interfaces.

Multiplayer: This game has a multitude of multiplayer modes you can play. The co-operative is very nice. You can play through the whole game with a partner. One of you will plays as Cortez, the other plays as Cortez’s partner in that time period. The game, however, is not as forgiving of your partner’s death as Halo or Serious Sam is. Unlike like Halo where you respawn as soon as the fighting dies down, or Serious Sam where you respawn as long as you have lives left, both characters have to start over from the last checkpoint if either one dies. Still, it is a very enjoyable co-operative game.

As I said before, this game has a multitude of multiplayer modes other than the co-operative mode. You have the classic Deathmatch modes, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Bag, and a whole host of varieties of these modes; way too many to list here. You can play these modes by yourself using bots, play spit screen with someone else, play using system link, or play on Xbox live.

Extras: In addition to the Story mode, and multiplayer modes, you have two other modes you can play. You have arcade and challenge mode. Both of these offer different variations on the standard gameplay for your to enjoy. In one, you might find yourself floating down a canal shooting pop up posters of monsters as if you were playing Hogans’ Alley. In another, you find yourself having to race laps with a robotic cat. These are just two of many variations available to you. These alternate play methods will keep your busy long after your finish the game’s main story mission.

Oh, and I almost forgot. There is a map editor that allows you to create your own maps, and allows you to share them over the internet.

With all that said, I have to say, this is a wonderful game. This is one of those games that raises the bar for every other game in its genre. I highly recommend this.

Here’s to hoping that the Time Splitters series continues keeps its future perfect!


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