The game begins in the year 2401, where a race of mutant creatures called TimeSplitters have slowly taken over the planet. Sergeant Cortez, the best agent in the Space Marines, has just recovered the Time Crystals, which are used to travel through time. Cortez is sent on a mission through time, using the energy from the Crystals, to stop the Splitter War before it even begins and hopefully change the future for the better.
The game is heavily based on time travel. Cortez' mission is to alter the past in order to change the future. Throughout the game, the character jumps back in time to assist himself in certain situations. The player then is able to play the part of both Cortezes as the game progresses. One level even has four Cortezes in one fight scene, the player playing the part of each Cortez in sequence.
Arcade and Challenges
Arcade mode is for multiplayer use. All aspects of the matches, including the number of computer opponents, called Bots, can be adjusted. There are a series of different "mini-games" called Challenges which, when accomplished, the player is able to unlock more playable characters and multiplayer levels. An example of a Challenge would be clearing a room of enemies within a certain amount of time.
The Mapmaker feature allows the player to build his/her own levels, which can then be used in multiplayer matches. There are numerous different tile sets, Bot sets, weapon sets, items, spawn locations, and much more from which to choose.
2401: Time to Split
As Sergeant Cortez returns from a mission in which he recovered the Time Crystals, his ship is hit when he enters the warzone near Space Marine Headquarters. The ship crash-lands and soldiers set out to find him. With the help of the soldiers, Cortez travels from the crash site to HQ with the Crystals. Along the way, they battle not only TimeSplitters, but also a small army of men dressed in strange clothing. Not bothering with finding out who the men are, Cortez heads for HQ where he finds the General.
The General hands the newly recovered Time Crystals over to Anya, their chief science officer. She explains that a high concentration of energy from the Time Crystals was found off the coast of Scotland where a small island once stood. The island was destroyed in 1924. So, harnessing the Crystals' energy, Anya transports Cortez through time to right before it was destroyed so he can try and track down when the Time Crystals were used.
1924: Scotland the Brave
When Cortez appears, he is rescued from the water by Captain Ash, a member of the British armed forces. The British Navy is standing by to bombard the island because it's overrun by their enemy forces. When Cortez uses a flare gun to kill one of them, he accidentally initiates the bombardment. So in exchange for Ash's help, Cortez will help rescue Ash's assistant who is being held captive on the island.
After entering the castle that sits atop the island, Cortez finds a meeting happening with the enemy's leader. Their leader flees and Cortez gives chase. Along the way, he finds Ash's assistant and frees her from the prison cell. Cortez then enters a hidden underground cavern where he finds their leader...who pulls out a square device and vanishes, jumping through time. Searching through the enemy leader's belongings he left behind, Cortez finds a photo of the man that was taken in Russia in September 1969, so Anya transports him there.
1969: The Russian Connection
Upon his arrival in 1969, Cortez meets Harry Tipper, an American super spy. Tipper is after a man named Khallos because the maniacal villain kidnapped his girlfriend, is going to start World War III and is bent on world domination. Cortez sees the mysterious time traveler with Khallos. Tipper explains that Khallos is giving the mysterious man a small army in exchange for eternal life. He also tells Cortez that the mystery man is some cult leader running the Brotherhood of Ultra Science.
Together, Cortez and Tipper set out to stop Khallos and the time traveler, disguising themselves as Russian troops and sneaking into the train depot. When Cortez finally finds the time traveler, he vanishes again. Cortez then jumps aboard Khallos' train to help Tipper stop the villain.
1969: The Khallos Express
Aboard the train, Cortez and Tipper battle tons of Russian troops and finally make their way to the front of the train where they find Khallos. He says he tied Tipper's girlfriend, Kitten Celeste, to the tracks up ahead. Cortez eventually battles and defeats Khallos, then heads to the locomotive to stop the train before Kitten is killed.
When it's all over, Anya contacts Cortez and tells him she researched the Brotherhood of Ultra Science and tracked them to a mansion that burned down in the State of Connecticut in 1994. Apparently the mansion was the headquarters of the Brotherhood, plus, there are lots of traces of Time Crystal residue. So Cortez is transported there.
1994: Mansion of Madness
When Cortez arrives at the mansion, he finds help in an unlikely place: a teenage girl named Jo-Beth Casey. Jo-Beth was curious about the rumors of the mansion being haunted, so she heads inside with Cortez. Together they encounter many zombies and ghosts. They also find a few scientists who tell them that their research and creations have gone too far. One of them mentions a secret lab built under the mansion. Naturally, Cortez finds the passage and goes underground into the facility.
1994: What Lies Below
Along with more ghosts, zombies, mutants, and scientists, Cortez finds the main office in the laboratories. The mysterious time travelers name is revealed to be Jacob Crow, and he was conducting experiments on human specimens, apparently trying to achieve immortality.
As Cortez and Jo-Beth head back above ground and exit the mansion, they see an elderly Jacob Crow talking to a young Jacob Crow. The elder was telling his younger self about time travel and immortality. The two of them disappear through time together. Anya then informs Cortez that a search of the name Jacob Crow came up with the U-Genix company in 2052 that was run by him. The company was suspected of conducting illegal research. So Cortez makes the jump further into the future.
2052: Breaking and Entering
While breaking into and searching the building, Cortez comes across an agent named Amy Chen who is intent on exposing Crow for his illegal activities. The two of them make their way down to the laboratories in the lower levels of the compound.
2052: You Genius, U-Genix
In the labs, Cortez finds more mutant creations that attack him. It's a sign of more of Crow's research into genetic manipulation and long life. When Cortez and Amy catch up with the older Crow, he sends robots after them. After the robots are destroyed, the younger Crow arrives with a time device. Both Crow's then jump through time, escaping once again.
Anya explains that the robots Cortez just destroyed are early prototypes of the robots from the Machine Wars nearly two centuries into the future. As it turns out, the company that manufactured them during the Wars, called Ultra-Net, was owned by Crow. Leaving Amy to clean up, Cortez jumps into the future.
2243: Machine Wars
Cortez is able to ambush an enemy robot, an R-110, and make it work for Cortez instead of against him. With the help of members of the human resistance, Mordecai Jones and Angel Forge in particular, Cortez and R-110 are able to make it through the warzone and find the entrance to Crow's base.
2243: Something to Crow About
Battling a seemingly never-ending army of robots, Cortez and R-110 fight their way through Crow's Ultra-Net base to find a massive cavern lined with incubators, in which grow the TimeSplitter creatures. Overloading the power nodes blows up the cavern.
Continuing on, Cortez encounters a large, grotesque, cybernetic monster who turns out to be Jacob Crow. Crow conducted the experiments on himself. In this grotesque form, Crow is a one-man army, is able to time-travel and will live forever. In talking to Crow, Cortez finds out that Crow only needed Khallos' army for the island in Scotland. So Cortez jumps with R-110 back to 1924.
1924: You Take the High Road
When Cortez and R-110 find a submarine, Cortez realizes the Time Crystals aren't on the island, they're under it, and Crow was using the Russian soldiers to mine the Crystals. So they commandeer the sub and travel under the water to a base built deep into the earth.
They find an entire community living down there along with tons of Khallos' men. Cortez happens to walk in on a meeting of a special army called Time Assassins who are jumping through a wormhole and traveling to the future to kill Cortez before he can begin his mission. Disguising himself as one of the assassins, Cortez follows them through the wormhole.
2401: The Hooded Man
Cortez now realizes that those strangely-dressed men were the Time Assassins sent to kill him. So Cortez fights the Time Assassins and protects his past self from their attacks. When past Cortez makes it safely to the Space Marine Headquarters, Cortez jumps back to 1924 to reunite with R-110 and finish Crow and the Crystals once and for all.
1924: Future Perfect
Cortez and R-110 find Crows time machine in the underwater base. When they come across the cave in which the Crystals were mined, Anya deduces that it must have been from a meteorite. Hoping to use the unrefined crystal to overload the time machine, they head back to the main room. As they enter, the monstrous Crow reappears. The battle gets underway, but it seems too intense even for Cortez. So Anya sends Cortez back to when he first arrived in the room, creating a time loop, so Cortez can team up with not only R-110, but also himself to defeat the monster.
Crow is eventually killed and Cortez overloads the machine to destroy everything. He then jumps back to HQ in 2401 to see the world changing before his eyes. Everything is peaceful and happy again, and the Crystals and TimeSplitters don't exist. Cortez managed to kill Crow, destroy the Time Crystals and alter the past to save the future. Mission accomplished.
The game has 150 playable characters, all of which need to be unlocked as the player progresses through the game. The following is a list of the main characters from the single-player Story mode.
- See main article: TimeSplitters: Future Perfect/quotes