Review by Ramagamma

"Blasting through time"

You wake up on a christmas morning and you get a playstation 2 and 3 games. You go to your aunts for christmas lunch and get loads of money. You go to shop next day and buy a playstation 2 game. I had £40 and i wanted a ps2 game so i had a look round reviews on the internet to decide what to get. I came across information on a new FPS for the ps2. As far as i could tell it wasnt great in single player but multiplayer was a blast. Well i have plenty of friends that will be wanting to have a go on the playstation2 so i might as well get a good multiplayer game. I took it home and booted it up. The first thing that struck me was the awkward controls. The left analouge stick makes your guy move forward or backward and side to side (strafe) while the right analouge stick is basically your head. You turn and look up and down in other words. The 4 symbol buttons (X, , O and Triangle) arnt used. Well you use X to respawn if you die and Triangle to quit some menus but not in the game. R1 and R2 do secondary and primary fire while L2 gives you a crosshair and L1 is for crouching. Rightio.

Graphics & Sound
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Apart from the sparness of some of the levels you simply cannot fault the graphics. Ok it seems stupid that all the characters apart from Mr Big look very skinny but hey maybe they were keeping in shape. The only comparison for the graphics would be a high end PC with a pretty good graphics card. One of the nice things is that when the enemy has 2 shotguns instead of 1 it shows him holding 2 shotguns unlike some games of a similar nature. One annoying thing regarding weaponry is that when you use your default weapon (a punch) in multiplayer you dont see the animation of the person punching on the screen of the person being punched. Its a minor thing though and who uses your first when you could be pumping the enemy full of lead with the numberous weapons. The levels like i said are sort of spares but there are some nice touches in some levels. For example the tomb level is very dark and samey while the chinese level is occasionaly bright and colorful and sometimes boring. There are also some neat lighting effects particularly in the Planet-X level. All of the (eventually available) 64 characters look different. From Captain Ash, a typical 1930s eccentric who drinks whiskey when you select him to Gretel, a futuristic robot to, Skull Zombie, a zombie without skin on its head. Strangly when you see guns on the ground before you pick them up they look much smaller than they should be. This can occasionaly make for a frustrating death but as long as your well stocked up on guns and ammo when you go round that corner your opponent doesnt stand a chance. The weapons look good though. The TNT looks a bit short but the graphical effects are neat. Particularly the shotguns when you reload. The sound is also rather neat. Special effects are few and far between apart from the constant sound of the guns which is spot on. The background music is also rather dependent on the level with spooky slow tunes on the tomb level and scary tunes on the mansion level to happy tunes in the future. You shouldnt base a games playbility on its sound though which is why i aint ranting about it for ages.

Gameplay
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The single player levels are basically the same thing except disguised in different levels with different enemys and weapons. You see the game starts in the 1930's and ends in the 2030's. Like in the 1930s your in an egyptian tomb and shooting mummies and cultists as either Captain Ash or Lady Jane. The weapons are thing like Mauser Pistols or Blunderbuses. The next level however is set in 1950's china in a small household. You end up shooting chinese businessmen with weapons like shotguns and uzis. What you basically have to do is get an item in the level and take it either back to the start of the level or to a different place altogether. For the first 3 or so levels its where you start then to increase the difficulty it goes up. If your a complete begginner to First Person Shooters you should go on easy and you might complete it within a few weeks. Veterans dont put it on easy. Youll be it in 3 days like me. Normal and Hard are excruicating compared to Easy but you still need to complete easy to unlock certain things. One amazingly difficult thing to get to grasps with in Timesplitters is the control system. You have to use the analouge sticks and there is no way around it. By default the left analouge stick moves you left and right and forward and backward while the right is used for turning and looking up and down. Some people say that it took them weeks to get used to but by my second game i was able to use them and now it seems it should be a benchmark for future First Person Shooters. Despite the fact the Single Player game is very samey its still a lot of fun but not nearly as fun as arcade. This is basically a chance to play either Capture the Bag (like capture the flag but with a bag) Knockout, Escort or good old Deathmatch. If you could play against just your friend it would be good enough but with the added bonus of being able to play against bots its even more fun. There is also a challenge mode where you have to complete several crazy challenges like blowing the heads off 50 zombies in 5 minutes or shooting 100 ducks in 5 minutes. These are basically, just like the story mode, needed to unlock stuff for arcade.

Overall
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Very very good. I dont recommend it if you dont have any friends into videogames or First Person Shooters because its much more fun blowing up your mates than computer generated characters. Still its a good enough game and the difficulty of the Normal and Hard levels will keep you going plus you have to do timed secrets on levels to unlock certain things.

Pros
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Nice graphics, not the best on the ps2 right now but nice.
Very fun on multiplayer.
Good blasting action.

Cons
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A little too samey in Single Player. Get object get to base and shoot people on the way.
Not half as much fun without a friend.
Too easy on easy and too hard on hard.

Verdict - Rent it then buy it


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/01, Updated 01/06/01


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