Review by Arschrammen
"Don't worry about the story! Just run!"
Probably one of the biggest games in gaming history is Goldeneye for Nintendo 64. The team that brought us this game evolved into the developers now known as Free Radicals and their follow up shooter, TimeSplitters, is nothing short of exceptional. It's a game that doesn't rely on gimmicks but just concentrates on providing fast and furious gameplay that, in many ways, is quite similar to Goldeneye, just prettier.
Might have been good if it wasn't so vague, but in the end it doesn't seem to matter because the game is so very fun. The premise is that "TimeSplitters," who are an evil race existing in another dimension, have been "roused from an ancient sleep" (for one reason or another) and are trying their hardest to destroy mankind by preventing certain characters in history attaining some valuable goods. Or something. Quite vague as well.
Each level has its own story relevant to this premise. For example, the first level you will play as either Captain Ash or Lady Jane. Set in Egypt some time around the first World War, your mission is to venture into a deep tomb to retrieve The Cultist's Ankh. On the way you will have to battle with Cultists, of course. As soon as you find The Ankh, TimeSplitters will appear from nowhere to defeat you. In order to save the world you need to defend yourself from the TimeSplitters, and return to your base.
None of the stories really make that much sense if you think about them, but don't let that worry you. Just enjoy the gameplay.
The most striking thing about TimeSplitters is how much fun it is! On many levels it is a pretty standard first person shooter, but it is executed exceptionally well. There are a wide range of weapons including old style pistols through to futuristic laser guns. The levels and enemies are varied, and it is very difficult to get bored. There are different difficulties that range from very easy to very challenging, and there is always something to do in this game. There a huge amount of arcade modes with challenges such as "break all glass windows in this level" or survival missions and also capture the flag missions. All the modes can be played on your own or in multi-player with your friends.
The game gets really intense as the TimeSplitters emerge because they tend to be easier to run from than stop and kill, especially since their attacks are so powerful and they'll often down you in two shots. You will be running frantically around corners as TimeSplitters chase you down, trying to stop you from getting back to base. It's even more frantic if you're trying to beat the times to unlock the next level/unlock the cheats.
The graphics in TimeSplitters are very, very good with large and well detailed environments, and great looking characters, even if they are a little cartoon-ish. The designs of the enemies are also very good, with the scariest looking zombies in a game to date, and the TimeSplitters themselves are very menacing. There are some very cool effects such as the morphing of the TimeSplitters, and the ammunition in the laser guns firing is very spectacular.
The controls did take some getting used to at first, but they are very easy to learn. Once learned, they are very comfortable and quite simple really. Not a lot needs to be done except run and shoot, so the controls are fine.
Quite good. The sound effects are excellent with nice monster hisses and so forth and very nice boomy explosions. The music is good in that each level has appropriate music to set the mood, but there are no real standout tracks. Music never really rises to meet the intensity of the gameplay but you don't really notice anyway as you are frantically running to get back to base!
We all know games aren't cheap but as far as value for money goes TimeSplitters is a game that you will play for ages. The multi-player features are probably the standout features of the game, so if you've got a mate who loves gaming then you'll be up for hours on end. There are too many to list but my favourite multi-player games were just the plain co-op mode in story, and the survival mansion mission which involves seeing how many levels you can last surrounded by killer zombies where you have to blow their heads off with a shot gun or punch them off with your bare fists to survive. Multi-player battles can also have teams, and you can have your friends on the same side as you, or different sides with any of the game characters on your team.
Also, as far as single player is concerned, there is just so much to unlock in this game including secret characters. There are also difficulties and levels to unlock, and if you beat the levels and difficulties under certain times, you can unlock cheats such as "All characters have big heads."
Overall, TimeSplitters is the most fun you can have on PS2. The multi-player features raise the standards so have your friends over and enjoy the masterpiece that is TimeSplitters.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/29/07
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