I have often been of the opinion that the current games industry needs to be introduced to the term ‘the sky’s the limit’. No, let me put that more bluntly…
I think that the current games industry needs to be brought out to a baseball pitch, bent over by burly college students, and paddled with a particularly solid looking bat to the tune of ‘no more mister nice guy’ by Alice Cooper à la Dazed and Confused. On that bat would be the words ‘the sky’s the limit’, and, after a due amount of paddling, those exact words should also be imprinted onto the games industry’s buttocks, so that sitting down would be considerably painful for the next month.And, above all, the wielder of that bat should be none other than Timesplitters: Future Perfect.
In comparison to the modern gaming landscape, filled as it is with generic military shooters, remakes of generic military shooters, and (God help us) sports games, the land of Timesplitters was a world were next to anything could happen.
The game itself dealt with the titular timesplitters, an evil race of mutant creatures whose bulging biceps and menacing grimaces could put even Marcus Fenix to shame. Okay, sounds generic enough. But wait, here’s the catch. Said ‘splitters could also jump through time, and in doing so attempted to wipe out human race during various time periods in a bid for world domination.
You, the bald space marine Sergeant Cortez (the gaming precursor of Riddick; seriously, they’re both bald, ripped, and have weird goggle things) had travel back in time to destroy these creatures before their creation and save the world. What this meant in terms of the game itself is that its setting had nearly limitless potential, something it made good on with flying colours. In one section of the game, you’d be charging through a castle in the ‘20s with a steampunk machine-gun in hand and a pipe-smoking Colonel Blimp by your side, and in the next you’d be sleuthing through an evil genius’s layer with a 60’s swinger in a tight-fitting dress (seriously, don’t ask).
The gameplay itself was largely of the run-and-gun vibe, though in the story mode things got varied up from time to time; at one point you’d make your way through a haunted, zombie infested mansion (a level, that, back in the day, managed to work faster than a vindaloo-flavoured laxative in soiling my kegs) armed with a good ol’ double barrel, whilst a few chapters latter you’d be piloting a six-story robot blasting everything around you to ash.
Throughout the entire game (which included an arcade mode, a challenge mode, and a map maker mode), however, was an overarching sense of tongue-in-cheek humour that many a CoD or Battlefield game should take note of, so that you could be in the ridiculous situation of shooting cyborg monkeys with a harpoon gun, something that I personally hold as the absolute benchmark of any game, period.
All in all, if you own a PS2 and fancy an anarchic, humorous and above all fun game to kill some time, then Timesplitters is definitely for you.
James Dysonbookmark me