Review by Ice Wind
"I declare this game a monument to FPS mediocrity"
FPS' (First Person Shooters, for the ill-advised) on Consoles have never really been much, with the exception of Goldeneye, and it's successor, Perfect Dark. This game isn't recommended for those of you who have the power to play some of the much better FPS' out there on the PC, or at the least, the N64 games mentioned above.
Gameplay - 4/10
One of the main problems with the gameplay in TimeSplitters is your character can die very easily. This, of course means that you cannot just run into a room with guns blazing and not come out of it unharmed unless your very very lucky. Instead, you have to sneak around corners like a spy game, something it isn't in the first place. Secondly, you must unlock nearly everything in the game. Maps, Characters & Weapons all have to be earned by going through the difficult story mode (even when the difficulty is easy), which means no jumping into a full-fledged deathmatch, which many people probably bought the game for. These two things can, and probably did, kill the gaming experience. Fortunately, easy death can be offset by setting a large handicap for yourself (only in multiplayer). The controls require a bit of working to learn, as movement is entirely in the analog sticks, and an entire remap of the controls is not allowed (you can't reassign movement to the digital controls).
Graphics - 8/10
The graphics are phenomenal, as everything on the PS2 will be until we become accustomed to it. I'm told there's at least 55 characters in the game, even though I never stuck around to figure out the exact total. There was never any slowdown of any kind while playing the game, and it stayed constantly smooth throughout. There was no graphics really standing out that would blow your mind away, however, but it's for the best as it fends off the slowdown. On a side note, explosions are pathetic, so tough luck for those expecting a good fireworks display. Characters look anorexic, but as long as it doesn't kill them, it gives them a nice cartoony look. Every character has their own unique animation when you select them, some of which are quite funny.
Sound - 6/10
There is almost nothing that stands out here. The music won't get on your nerves, if you ever hear it because your feebly trying to get your character in a mad dash back to the starting point as you escape overly cheap demons that appear out of nowhere. The SFX are ok, and range from typical gunshots to laser blasts, and nothing stands out on death cries or grunts. Again, a monument to mediocrity.
Story - N/A or 0/10
FPS' usually never have a story, or if one does exist, it's usually a token plot to appease those of you who need a reason to run around shooting wierd things. The levels are in no way related to one another, neither are the characters. In essence, the ''Story'' Mode is just 14 levels of varying difficulty obtain the ankh/briefcase/plans/artifact/etc., fight your way through a bunch of cheap enemies, and then return to your starting point, simple and too straightforward.
Replayability - 8/10
Since this game is made by 19 Ex-Rare designers, you can gather that it's going to take a while to get every single unlockable, much like getting that 105% in DK64 or some earlier part of the series. Plus, it also makes a nice party game when you've got enough variety (a new game starts with 6 characters, three maps, and four modes of play) and a multitap. And, with the addition of a
+ Funny character animations
+ Has a map maker for unlimited replayability
+ Play's very smoothly
- Characters die like glass to a fat lady singing
- Controls are somewhat awkward at the start
- Can't jump in and start killing, have to earn a lot before the game is reasonably fun.
The game isn't recommended to purchase, even though it may take you longer then the rental period to get everything. It makes a good party game until something better comes out for the PS2. All in all, it's best to avoid this to buy, but go ahead and rent it if you'd like.
(Note: Overall score is NOT an average)
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 12/29/00, Updated 12/29/00
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