First and foremost, let me say this: TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is a very entertaining game. The single player campaign is both hilarious and fairly engaging. The main character, Cortez, appears to be a Riddick rip-off at first, but is better defined later in the game.
Well, in Future Perfect, you start off delivering a case of time crystals back to base in order to power the time machine you'll be using to go back and forth in time. Once at the base, you get “commissioned” to be the time traveler that has to stop the current war from happening by changing events in the past. Hey, all in a days work for Cortez.
During your fantastic journey through time, you'll visit quite a few familiar time periods as well as a few that are in the distant future (the past to Cortez), and murder your way through each of them. Along the way you'll also meet some interesting characters. One character you'll meet is Jo-Beth, a goth girl making a re-appearance from an earlier game, but this time she's wearing a shirt that says slut and you team up to fight zombies in a haunted mansion. Certain parts of the mansion have a kind of Half-Life feel to them because it's full of very unhappy people in lab coats, and as we all know, unhappy people in lab coats is a very Half-Life trait.
Other than just being in different periods of time, the levels are well designed and it's fairly easy to figure out where to go next. If I were selling collectible plates, I would describe them as “The delightful, handcrafted levels are one of a kind that will only increase in value”. I, however, am not selling plates so stop asking me for them. Sheesh.
One thing to note, overall, is that this game is basically Golden Eye for the Nintendo 64. It feels the same, it has the same basic HUD layout and it plays the same. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Future Perfect isn't really pushing the envelope, or punching outside the box near a shop-a-snak or whatever you crazy kids say these days. It's plays just like an updated version of 007, though it does have better level design. It also has an online mode for frantic killing action with friends or complete strangers across this magical bundle of wires we call the Internet. So, it's like Bond except you can camp the armor on the World Wide Web.
One interesting facet of the gameplay is how you'll end up joining yourself in certain missions due to worm holes that you've accidentally created in time. So, in many missions you'll end up bumping into yourself and then, later on, helping yourself again from a different perspective. That's what makes you a time traveling pimp, well, that and your groan worthy catch phrase “It's time to SPLIT”. You catch constant hell throughout the game about that little chestnut.
The only real gripe about Future Perfect is that it tries to do too much instead of focusing on things that it does well. There is a freaking ton of options in this game. The single player campaign is more like a tutorial for all the other stuff, because though it's entertaining, it isn't particularly long or all that challenging. So, after you're done with that you can go kill bots in a league, or go through some target courses, or just go shoot random strangers in the face online. So much to do, so little time. You can't help but feel that if the team hadn't been so incredibly spread out that maybe this game would have been even better than it currently is.
TimeSplitters: Future Perfect isn't exactly a Game of the Year candidate, but it's a blast for a little while. After spending the few hours it takes to beat the single player game, it's easy to lose even more in the multitude of online and bot matches. Honestly, as far as run-and-gun FPS games on the Xbox go, it really doesn't get too much better than this. It's time to SPLIT!