Go on, go and find another game where you could shoot up a gingerbread man or a duck. Exactly, you can’t; and isn’t that what gaming is all about? It’s about being different.
TimeSplitters 2: Future Perfect took the realms of realism and stretched them. It would’ve been easy for the makers of the previous two instalments in the franchise – TimeSplitters and TimeSplitters 2 – EA to have rested on their laurels, and stuck to the tried and tested methods of success that the first two games – games that are still recognised as two of the best PS2 first-person shooters ever – but they didn’t, and our nostalgia is grateful for it.
With its simple gameplay, wealth of content, engaging campaign storyline, unreal multiplayer maps and an often undervalued part of any game – credit where credit is due to the Fifa games – the soundtrack, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect nailed the first-person shooter; a true pioneer in gaming.
Sergeant Cortez is of course the main man, the big cheese in TimeSplitters 2 and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. And it’s easy to see why, the guy is a Space Marine extraordinaire (no, us neither; but it’s now what we want to be when we grow up), who can take on many forms: Henchman Cortez, Dr. Cortez and Time Assassin Cortez.
But being the centre of attention doesn’t make you the best, does it, Robofish?!
To be considered alternative in a TimeSplitters game, you must be pretty off the chain. But a fish in a bowl, on top of a robot body certainly falls under that description.
The pesky pop-eyed piscine was a staple character in every single TimeSplitters game, despite barely ever featuring much within the storyline; merely used as the proverbial punching bag for those in-game challenges.
TimeSplitters became known for – and prided itself on – its diverse cast of unique characters and Robofish is the jewel in the crown.
But it would be amiss of us to press ahead without a tip of the hat to the Gingerbread Man and Duckman Drake.
i forgot duckman drake was a thing in timesplitters pic.twitter.com/jeAV2OhC9S
— MIKE WAZOWSKI IN UNREAL ENGINE 4 (@staroftherogue) March 2, 2017
It wouldn’t be a wander down gaming memory lane without writing a short book on ‘virus’; the greatest game mode to ever be developed.
There were so many unique selling points about Virus, but arguably the greatest part of the game was that those really annoying, ‘spawny’ and snide gamers, couldn’t cheat; a common strategy attempted by novices was to commit suicide if a character with the virus was in hot pursuit, thankfully EA foresaw this and any of those pesky individuals would respawn infected.
The best way to enjoy the game mode was to turn off the weapons and disable powerups, basically scaling the game back to something resembling a good old-fashioned game of ‘it’ in the school playground – after all, that’s where the enjoyment of gaming comes from: clinging on to that innocence of youth.
In an era where games are being remastered, we must be close to TimeSplitters getting the green light – and we won’t be greedy; we would take any of the franchise.
And that leaves one thing left to say: “Time to split!”