Review by Majic 2002
"An Amazing FPS With It's Share of Problems"
What do you get when you take the guys who made Goldeneye and Perfect Dark and have them rush a FPS for the PS2? Timesplitters. When I say rush though, I don't mean it in the sense that the gameplay suffers and there are horrible flaws, the opposite is true. No, by rushed, I mean that this game has no story whatsoever, and the single player game is just about worthless after you beat it once or twice. However, this IS one of the best first person shooters ever made in my opinion. Read on...
Story? What story? Here's the basic premise of the game... A race of aliens known as the Timesplitters are 'roused from an ancient sleep, cross the threshold from their shadowy dimension, ripping through the fabric of time itself to make humanity history'... that's what the back of the DVD case says. That's the whole story. Original? No. Heck, the timesplitters are barely even in the game. They only appear when certain conditions are met, and by then, you don't want to stick around longer anyways, so it's hasta la vista! The only reason I don't give the story here a 1 or a 0 is because the fact that time is travelled allows for some really cool and varied settings and locations, from early 20th century Egyptian pyramids, to futuristic spaceports. Don't buy this game if you want a deep, involving story, because it doesn't have one.
''OK, so it has no story, and you say it was rushed, so why buy it?'' Because of the gameplay. This game is more fun than any other FPS, EVER. PERIOD. The single player missions are fun the first few times through, with very simple missions...go get the back/sack/item at the end of the stage, and bring it back. It's basically capture the flag. But it's kind of fun. The only real reason to play it over is to unlock the secrets and cheats for multiplayer. And after you finish story mode, you unlock challenge mode, which is really interesting. Some challenges have you trying to kill 100 ducks (yes, ducks, giant ducks with submachine guns roam this game) in four minutes, while some have you trying to smash as many windows as you can with bricks in five minutes. Challenge mode also unlocks multiplayer stuff, so you'll want to finish that as well. Overall, challenge and story are nothing new or exciting, but that's ok. The real gem of this game is the multiplayer (Arcade mode). This is where the game shines, almost blindingly. You can play up to four players with a multitap, or just two without, and you can have up to ten bots as well. Everything about the multiplayer is custom though. You set the weapons, the bots (which can be SWAT, Elvis, ducks, bunnies, gingerbread men, Aliens, etc.), you stages, the time, the kills, etc. You can set it all. You can even set each bots individual difficulty, ranging from 1 to 5 stars. A one star bot is just fodder for your chaingun, whereas a five star bot will be sending YOU to meet your maker. The multiplayer almost never slows down either, and I can't think of any pixelation, pop up, or graphical glitches at all that I've ever seen. This is, by far, the fastest and smoothest FPS ever made. But, the real cake of the multiplayer is the level editor. This will keep you coming back forever. You can create your own massive levels using a series of predesigned 'pieces', then set the weapons, the objectives, the skins, the lights, and all of that fun stuff. This is where you'll spend all your time, making your own levels, and then seeing if you can survive them. If you want a great multiplayer experience, buy this game for sure. You don't even need a friend for Arcade mode, you can just go one on ten versus the bots. It's a lot of fun, a must buy for multiplayer fans. And it's very suitable for young ages too, since there's no blood or gore. Some heads detach, but the characters look 'cartoony' and it's done in an almost comical way (the heads bounce like basketballs for miles) so it doesn't come off as 'horror'.
The graphics in this game are amazing. There's almost no pixelation at all, textures are smooth and beautiful, enemies move kind of realistically, and it all runs at an amazing framerate. This game is just gorgeous. Completely 3D enemies, weapons, pickups, and environments too. The weapons look very realistic, and behave realistically too. You can see the slide on a pistol move back when you fire, and you can see you empty casings ejected as well. This is really cool with the minigun, when you send sixty bullets down a hall in ten seconds, and see every casing go flying as well. This game is just amazing to look at. One of the best on the PS2, for sure.
Although the music is a little cheesy and B-movie-ish, it fits this game well, and it's tailored to each stage too. But the sound effects in this game are great, on par with games such as Medal of Honor. Each gun sounds realistic as it fires, and the sounds of breaking glass, ricochets, and casings hitting the floor are impressive as well. There's also some comical voice acting at the character select screens as well. And if you can unlock it, there's a cheat called Gun Sounds that changes the sounds of your weapons from normal gunshots to, well, 'interesting' noises. Definitely a surround sound kind of game.
Replay Value: SINGLE PLAYER - 3/10, MULTI - 10/10
Depending on your tastes, you'll either love this game or hate it. The single player isn't really worth playing again, except that you can unlock multiplayer things through it, which is the only real reason. But the multiplayer is amazing and fun, and even without the infinite possibilities of the level editor, it would keep you coming back for more. The multiplayer will have you hooked FOREVER!!! (I've been playing it since I first got the PS2 when it first came out!)
I mentioned earlier that this game was rushed. Well, the lack of a story and the lack of any kind of intro or cinemas (FMV's) can attest to that. But like I said, the multiplayer is amazing. This game is pretty good for all audiences (except politicians and popes) because there's no blood and the human characters look comical, so it's not like shooting a 'real' person. It still holds a teen rating though, so be wary parents.
Buy or Rent?
Depending on your tastes, you may either love this game or hate it. A lot of people hate it since the single player game is basically nothing and it has no story and thus no replay value, but a lot of people love it because it has an amazing and addictive multiplayer side to it that is unrivaled as of yet and is the fastest FPS multiplayer ever. So, if you're looking for a good single player FPS with a great story, NEITHER. But if you want a game that has a huge, fun, fast, smooth, addictive, customizable multiplayer that you'll play for hours, BUY!. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves multiplayer.
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 07/05/02, Updated 07/05/02
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