Review by Larcen Tyler
"There just isn't enough time for all of this!"
Seeing how TimeSplitters was developed by programmers who originally worked on the smash hit GoldenEye, you would think that this game could be the PS2 user's equivalent of GoldenEye. While they did have some nice features and a lot of great concepts, it seems they just didn't have enough time to polish it enough so that it was truly up to par with GoldenEye!
Now I'm not saying it's totally bad. I mean the graphics, for one, are amazing. Even though there's no blood spilled (although you may see some here and there as part of the design of the stages) that may be more of a blessing than you would realize. This allows the game to run at a smooth 60 frames per second with no slowdown whatsoever. Even when you've got a group of deathmatch bots ready to blow your brains out in your face, the game never slows down. Depending on where you shoot your opponent, they'll react appropriately to where you shoot them, including the head, torso, legs, arms, etc. You can even fight against zombies and (finally) get the thrill of blasting a zombie's head off with a ten-gauge!
The music suits the levels perfectly, and each weapon echoes in full stereophonic glory. While some characters, such as the zombies, cyborgs, etc. will make vocal effects like computer blips or groans, the human characters really have little to say. You won't hear them spout any one-liners, but you will hear them yell when they go to that great big 'Game Over' screen in the sky! The only time they really speak is on the character select screen, and even then, they always spout the same quip.
Having dual analog sticks makes this game a breeze to play, or so I had hoped. Unfortunately, the sensitivity of the analog system makes aiming harder than it should be. I found myself often having to push the stick lightly just so I can get a proper shot on faraway opponents, while they managed to fill me full of holes like a swiss cheese! Aside from that, you can run, aim, and strafe with ease, provided you don't try sniping too much. Another gripe is that there's no jump command. Now that just isn't right!
At least they managed an excellent story line! A group of evil time traveling aliens known as the 'Time Splitters' are going back through time wreaking havoc and trying to distort the time/space continuum! You play as either a male or female character in each era whose objective is to obliterate the enemy within that area and then get the Time Splitters before they get you! The gameplay, however, needs some polish. Basically, what you do is race through the level, blasting enemies with whatever weapons you have, find an object, and then try to return to the starting point. Once you get the object, the Time Splitters appear, making things harder on you!
The multiplayer is where most people should find the excitement. It comes complete with a map creator which allows you to design your own levels to duke it out on! The single player mode is rather blah, but required to unlock more levels and characters in the multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, the difficulties are improperly named. Easy is like it says, but Normal will give even the best First Person Shooter player a run for their money! And don't think about playing Hard mode untill you've got enough practice under your belt! In my opinion, the difficulties should be called Possible, Somewhat Possible, and Impossible! After you get through the single player game, you can play through different challenges to unlock even more things, such as one where you must defeat thirty zombies within a time limit, only you must aim at the head to put them out for good. Unfortunately, most of these challenges aren't as much based on skill but more of luck!
If you like First Person Shooter games, and/or want to give your level editing skills a try, then I suggest renting this before you buy it. While it has a lot of great ideas, the unbalanced difficulty and poor controls really split this game down the middle. If you can get past those problems, though, I'm sure you'll find a great shooter that's definitely worth splitting your time for!
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/22/01, Updated 07/16/01
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