Review by martusfine

"Be Quick or Be Dead"

Time Splitters is a fun FPS. (I should note that TS is not a “true” FPS, in the sense that you see through your characters eyes. The angle is over the shoulder and should be categorized as an adventure/action game like “Syphon Filter” but for all intensive purposes TS is a FPS). You go on a mad hunt to blow the heads off of zombies, snipe gangsters, and share in the fun of video game violence that parents love to hate. Time Splitters is not too heavy in plot and concentrates on gameplay and, true to the FPS genre, shoot first and ask questions later. Time Splitters spans across time from 1940’s Egypt to a post apocalypse nuclear melt down. You control various characters that are suitable to the time period that you play in. Each “world” has different objectives to accomplish but they usually constitute fetching and retrieving various objects.

Gameplay: 8/10

The controls, at first, are annoying. The “mushroom” sticks are used. The left is to move the character around and the right stick changes the camera view. The controls are limited. There is not detailed moves like, rolling, dodging, strifing, and jumping. You are only limited to left, right, up, and down. Anything else the game does it for you. On one hand, the limited use makes the game very easy to use. It reminded me of the days of the NES when “side scrollers” were king. You didn’t waste a bunch of time learning how to play. You plugged in and went gang busters. The other hand, we do live in the new millennium at least they could have included a strife button (as in, peeping around corners). Further more, this game relies heavily on the L/R buttons on the front of the controller. Most games use the X,O, buttons for shooting, etc. This game uses the L/R, different but not a big deal, just hard to get used to. There are also two other control selections to choose from. Once you get used to the controller layout the gameplay enhances a bit more.

The camera angles are fine but they limit the gameplay. It uses a very limited “Unreal” type engine. Since you do not look through the character’s eyes, I suppose, the producers did not think a “free” vision view was necessary. There are many times in the game that you wish there was an enchanted view option.

The game itself is divided into two categories, “Arcade” and “Plot”. The “Arcade” option has all the classic FPS boards. BOT challenges, Capture the Flag, Head to Head competition. By all means, it is nothing like N64’s “Golden Eye” but it does fill the gap nicely. The second is “Plot” mode. This is where the game really shines. You control the character in specific worlds. Don’t get fooled by the word “Plot”. This game is a FPS so there really is not a plot, per se. Anyway, the producers did a great job of setting up and creating worlds that are fun to run through and shoot things. The shining moment is the “Haunted Mansion” where you have to shoot zombie heads to kill them. The more “worlds” you beat the more open up. There are 9 worlds to go through and there three different levels of difficulty. Let me tell you that the easy is hard, so this game is no walk in the park.

The best part of the game is the “Team mode” aspect. In Plot mode, you and your buddy (actually, up to four buddies with a multi-tap) can shoot up some baddies and enjoy in the death march.

Finally, once you ran through the game a few thousand times you can create your own world and characters. This is cool because you can save these worlds and swap them with your buddies. This ensures lasting appeal.
During gameplay you will many options to use a “sniper” rifle for close-up shots. You will use a laser gun, hand grenades, etc. Some weapons are more powerful than others and some weapons are weak because of the time period. I like this because it adds to the overall believability of the game. For instance, in the “Egypt world” you have to take several shots before the monster actually dies. Weapons then were not as powerful and required precision over power. Also, one shot to foot doesn’t kill ‘em either. There are times when you shoot someone in the arm and they don’t fall down. This is cool because reality dictates a shot in the head or the heart kills on impact not the foot.

Graphics: 6/10

The graphics are bit sub par. Sure there is some realistic detail. When you shoot a baddie in the foot, he actually drops his gun and grabs his foot. When you shoot at windows the shards fly out. This is quite funny to see, however, I don’t think the producers concentrated on the graphics. The game is “dark” and the graphics are flat and boring. The color was off and the gamma was way off. I had to change my TV settings several times to get an adequate screen to play the game. The monsters are globby looking and looked like PS1 graphics. The guns were not detailed and pretty much all looked the same.

During multi play the game is split in similar fashion to the “Twisted Metal” games. This is where the PS2 truly shows off it’s power. There were no frags, anti-aliasing, or graphic slow downs. The game flowed smoothly and did not hampen gameplay in any way.

Music & Sound: 7/10

Typical sound and music. The sounds were pretty much pseudo techno crap found in thousands of other games but it did add to the ambiance of the game. The sounds were fine. They did the job but nothing to write about one way or the other.

Plot: N/A

Please...it’s a FPS! You run around and shot at things. There are objectives to accomplish but that is only to move the game along. If a plot exists, I must have missed it.

Overall: 8/10

When playing this game I thought back to the days of the NES and Atari when all my buddies came together to chill and kill. It’s great to see that game producers have not forgotten that people, sometimes, just wanna plug in play. These people don’t care about a plot, not to interested on how the game looks, and just want to have fun. In a gaming world full of “Shinras”, “Lauras”, and “Bahls” this game is a mecca for mindless fun. If you are looking to see how great the PS2 looks on TV don’t use this game. If you want to see how fun the PS2 is go get this game! Believe me, with the various difficult levels and the game creator you will get more than enough out of your money. I suggest you rent it first to see if you can get over the control aspect of the game but I ensure you that this game will be on your “want” list.

One final note. This game is not for kids. There are somewhat sexually explicit themes that I think have no place in a FPS and there is the violence. This game is not for anyone under 14.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/01, Updated 01/12/01


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