"One great multiplayer experience, but the singleplayer may prove frustrating for some."

Remember Goldeneye or Perfect Dark? Both games are FPS gems, made by one of the best companies to ever make games; Rare. Somewhere along the line, some people from the development team that made those two games split from the company and made their own company, Free Radical Design. Soon afterwards, more former Rare employees joined Free Radical, and the new company released their first game, TimeSplitters, on the PlayStation 2. The game was a hit, and a couple years later, they released TimeSplitters 2 on the Gamecube and Xbox, as well as the PS2. Is this game worth your time and money? I say it is, so read on and find out why you should be playing it.

Story

The year is 2401 A.D. An evil alien race, known as "TimeSplitters", has returned from the first game to once again screw around with the history of mankind, but this time they're using what are known as "Time Crystals" to help them out with their fiendish mission. It is up to Sgt. Cortez and Corp. Hart to follow the TimeSplitters through history, retrieve the Crystals, and ultimately wipe out the TimeSplitters. During your time traveling hijinks, you'll visit several locations and time periods, including (but not limited to), a top-secret Siberian dam in the late 1990's, a zombie-infested Notre Dame during the 1890's, a robot factory in the 24th century, and even a supervillain's secret island lair in the middle of self-destruction during the 70's. You also play as a different character in each level, such as undercover detective Jake Fenton in the 1930's Chicago level, and a robot in Robot Factory.

Now, don't start thinking this game has a heavy focus on story or historical accuracy. In fact, the plot can be safely ignored for the entire duration of story mode. Overall, the plot is good enough to give you a reason for time traveling and shooting evil things, and nothing more.

Score: 6/10
A basic plot that's really only there to justify traveling through time to shoot evil things.

Graphics & Sound/Music

The visuals, contrary to what you may expect, have a cartoonish, colorful tone to them. Characters are animated well and have a colorful, exaggerated look to them. Weapons have good detail overall, and environments look great. Overall, graphics aren't the best, but they are pretty good.

Sound effects are generally what you'd expect, guns sound like they should, and there's the usual grunts and screams of pain when people get shot. The voice acting during cutscenes is ok, but the best part is when somebody gets set on fire. Seriously, it's funny to hear the lines some characters shout when that happens. "Aiyee! It burns!" and "I'm melting!" don't get old fast. The music is pretty good, each track fits the level it's played in. Overall, the game has some great sound, and some of the voice acting is pretty funny to hear.

Score: 9/10
Graphics are easy on the eyes, and the audio is great, with some funny voice acting as well.

Gameplay

First off, the Story mode. Basically, each level has a set of objectives for you to complete, most of which are usually known from the start, but each also has additional objectives that are added in the middle of the level, and sometimes have a few more that aren't essential to complete on Easy and Normal, but are required on Hard. In each level, you must collect a Time Crystal, and usually face a boss of sorts, usually an enemy that just happens to have more health and a better gun than the others, but in two cases are actually unique enemies. By playing through story mode, you'll also unlock stuff for Arcade mode, which I'll talk about later on. You can also play through story mode with a friend, which makes things easier and more fun.

Now, while Story mode is fun, Arcade mode is what really makes the game worthwhile. Arcade League is a singleplayer mode where you go through three Leagues, starting off really easy, but soon becoming really hard, and it's where you unlock the majority of the content for Arcade Custom, which is the main multiplayer aspect of the game. In Arcade Custom, you choose the game mode, the level, the score/time limits, the weapons, the bots, and even the music! You can customize almost everything concerning the match. There's also over 100 characters to choose from, ranging from cowboys, mobsters, robots, aliens, zombies, a MONKEY, and a lot of other things. This is the reason why you should get your friends to play this with you!

There's also Challenge mode, where you do things such as breaking all the glass in an area, fight off zombies, collect a bunch of bananas, and shoot cardboard cut-outs, all in order to unlock more multiplayer content. And to top it all off, there's a MapMaker! You can create singleplayer and multiplayer levels using many different options.

Now, despite all the good things I've said, this game also has some issues you might want to consider. For one, this game is going to be very difficult if you're a beginner to FPS games, maybe even a bit too frustrating for some. There's also a bunch of glitches, most of them are too minor to be important, but some are pretty bad, enough so to cause frustration. However, none of that should prevent you from having a lot of fun with the game. Overall, this game is extremely fun, especially Arcade mode.

Score: 9/10
Extremely fun, but difficulty and glitches could be a problem for some.

Overall Score: 9/10
If you have friends that're into shooters, get this game! If not, still get it.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/05/07

Game Release: TimeSplitters 2 (US, 10/16/02)


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