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January 12, 2005
TimeSplitters: Future Perfect - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
23/3/2005EA GamesFree Radical Design1-4, 16 $99.95

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The gameplay is pretty frantic.
The first TimeSplitters was released in December 2000 and instantly became a massive hit not only due to the stunning visuals which pushed the PS2 (at the time) further then any other game, but also the very solid gameplay. In October 2002 Free Radical Design released the sequel TimeSplitters 2 which added in i.Link support, 4-player split screen support, better single player gameplay and many other improvements. The sad thing was that although originally planned the online gameplay had to be dropped due to Sony's inability to get the network up and running in time (indeed it would take another 10 months to get online in PAL territories). This third game will add plenty more features, including online gameplay for up to 16 players on Playstation 2.

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Setting the explosives.
In TimeSplitters Future Perfect, humanity is on the brink of destruction from the malevolent TimeSplitters. Cortez-the tough-as-nails hero from previous installments-finds himself in a frantic race against time in a desperate bid to trace the origin of the TimeSplitters. With the help of some familiar faces Cortez must chase a mystery foe across different time periods to trace the origins of the TimeSplitters and save the day.

TimeSplitters Future Perfect is set in multiple time periods, placing gamers in different areas of the world during the 1920s, 1960s, 1990s, and in the near and distant future. The re-creation of specific time periods enables players to enjoy unique gameplay elements such as weapons, gadgets, characters, and environments unique to those time periods. The ability to time travel will sometimes cause time paradoxes resulting in gamers meeting and assisting past and future versions of themselves. Players will also have the ability to correct the mistakes made in the past or team up with past and future versions of themselves in climatic battles.

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The new objective.
The list of features in this game is fairly solid. As well as an improved story mode to tie the levels together the game includes a co-op mode to play through this story - as was the case with the previous title. The extensive Arcade mode features endless hours of gameplay from mini-games to extra bonus content and challenge maps. Players get the best rankings in Challenge mode to unlock special items and brag about scores to their friends. Hundreds of unlockables can be used in all gameplay modes with new characters, weapons, and maps. Players blast their way through time with more weapons and gadgets. From a gravity gun, which can levitate objects, vehicles and people, to rocket launchers and machine guns, the game will feature a more than 20 different weapons. Gamers will have the ability to take control of land vehicles such as trucks, tanks, and cars equipped with weaponry.

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Yet more clean graphics.
Well it all sounds pretty action packed so far, but the best is yet to come. For the first time the series will include a multiplayer mode that allows gamers to battle in 16-player death match or co-op play online on the PlayStation 2 game console. With Online play gamers can create their own tournaments or play in arcade leagues. In addition to this the game will include an improved map-maker interface allows gamers to create maps more easily. Maps can be shared and played online with other players. Let's just hope that either Electronic Arts, Sony or even Free Radical can set up some servers so we don't encounter the disappointments of primarily 4-player games as with EA/LucasArt's Star Wars: Battlefront which required dedicated (and virtually non-existent servers) for 16-player games.

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Using the shotgun.
Graphically, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is another tour de force. The game features more realistic environments, spectacular special effects, high quality animated cut scenes, an improved physics engine. Free Radical Design have always been strong on the Playstation 2, and this third game looks like being another stunning title.

Electronic Arts will be publishing the title so we can expect plenty of spit and polish on the title, not that that has ever been a concern in the series. Expect a March 2005 release here in Australia.