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Game Reviews: Time Splitters 3 Future Perfect
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Time Splitters 3 Future Perfect
Published by EA Games
Platform: PS2,Xbox,GC

Time Splitters 3
Train Level

As any sci-fi fan knows, when you start messing around with time, bad things happen. Unfortunately, those with plans for universal domination don't care about this, as the evil alien Timesplitters are back -- and using the power of time travel to try and eliminate humans from existence. Since you happen to be the only super solider within range of a working time machine when the main attack occurs, you are volunteered to venture forth through the ages and attempt to save humanity by preventing the war with the Timesplitters before it even starts.

Although the game's story moves forward in a linear fashion, the time periods that you explore are found all throughout history. From the far future, to the recent past and back again, Timesplitters Future Perfect will have you bouncing back and forth so much you'll literally run into yourself.

Playing alongside your future (or past) self is certainly an intriguing play mechanic and Timesplitters Future Perfect handles it well by keeping the instances limited to key points of the game. For example, in one of the early levels you'll find yourself in an English castle with a door that cannot be opened. In order to progress, you have to retrieve a key from the "future" you. Before the level is over though you have to meet up with the "past" you and pass on the key once again. Trying to keep all the time travel straight is enough to give you a headache, but suffice it to say, it's a ton of fun.

Key to the game's success is the responsive control on both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions. Strafing around a corner and quickly nailing a headshot is not only satisfying, but very effective since the game features location-based damage. When trying to take down an onslaught of oncoming opponents, precision shooting can cull the herd in no time. The GameCube version is a little twitchier, but still playable.

Visually, Timesplitters Future Perfect does an excellent job of differentiating the time periods traversed by way of distinctive level design. From the hot, steamy jungle to the canals of Venice, each of the 16 levels look and plays differently. There's always a sense of anticipation as you advance through the game.

Along with the different environments also come new weapons. You might be a time traveling maniac, but your futuristic guns don't travel with you. Instead you are forced to acquire period-appropriate pieces every time you jump to a new period. Though they look different, most weapons will have a counterpart in each time period that prevents unnecessary frustration.

Multiplayer has always been a strong point of the Timesplitters series and the latest incarnation doesn't disappoint. Players will find both co-op as well as a number of competitive modes including deathmatch, capture the bag, and vampire. Online play is also supported on the Xbox and PlayStation 2, while GameCube owners are limited to splitscreen (no surprise there).

Those who wish to play with a distinct character shouldn't fear -- Timesplitters Future Perfect has literally hundreds of character models to choose from. In addition to the multiplayer games, there are also arcade and challenge modes. Arcade allows players to face off against bots, while challenge mode complies a laundry list of rather insane stunts for you to complete. Your reward? More unlockable goodies than you can count. Opening up every hidden feature is a feat that will only be accomplished by the hardcore.

Ratings (scale of 1-10):

Graphics: 8
Sound effects and music: 8
Originality: 9
Challenge: 9
Overall: 9