Review by trelliz

"Excellent deathmatch shooter with slightly lame single player"

OK, before I go into the whys and wherefores, there may well have been a lot of Timesplitters/Perfect Dark comparisons. I have both. I will not compare them (too much).

So, we turn on the PS2, and what do we have. No intro movie, no ''Aliens have invaded, and only one man can stop them..'' gravelly voiceovers, nothing. Which is nice, as the game's plot is more of a background feature rather than a predominant star.

The gameplay annd game engine are pretty much the tried-and-tested FPS templates, and doesn't include a jump, which I think is a good thing, as it instantly dispels any temptation to insert stupid platform jumping malarky. There isn't any blood or gore, which some people may find disappointing, but vein claret isn't essential for good gameplay, if you've played/liked Transport Tycoon on the PC (which is SEVEN years old, no violence whatsoever and still a superlative game) then you'll know what I mean. On the other hand, it is nice once in a while, if you've had a bad day, to blow someone's/something's head off with a great big gun in a shower of parts (Goldeneye had more blood than this does). The weapons have secondary functions (which is now the norm in FPS games) and nice fire effects (rockets leave smoke trails, bullet cases fly out, etc). The death animations are varied, but not exilerating.

The controls are fully customisable, which means that a player with the most obscure control preferences can be sated. One problem is that the turning is almost exact. If it was faster then you couldn't hit anything, and if it was slower then everything could hit you.

The story. Well, um, er, there isn't really a story to speak of. But it seems that some time-controlling aliens are interfering with something or other, and characters from 1935-2035 are stealing things from organisations/groups/whatever, and running away with them. Basically it's glorified, one-man-against-loads, one sided capture the flag.

The graphics are good, with each level being crisp and clear, but a little empty. The characters are typical b-movie stereotypes, ranging from the cool 70's cop with shades and a Village People 'tasche, to a weird futuristic guy in blue armour. One distinguishing feature is the windows. The way they break depends on where you shoot them. You can also run through windows that are big enough, breaking them in the process.

The sound is all right, the guns sound beefy and the background tunes add atmosphere. I'm not keen on the techno though.

Now we move on to the map editor. This is the one feature that everyone has been talking about when it comes to Timesplitters. It is simple and non-complicated, with a menu of tiles, which you choose from, and then place it where you will. You can choose the style of the level, and this alters more than just the textures. The Gothic setting makes the biggest room into a semi-demolished church, while the Spaceport makes it into a small ship in dock. This means that by changing the style, you can create what seems like two different levels from the same layout.

I'm not a firm believer in four-player. The portion of the screen you get is pathetically small, and just increases the mortality rating. The option for co-op missions greatly evens the odds, with two gun-toting maniacs instead of one.

This game doesn't rely on realism (the first level involves zombies in an egyptian tomb), which some people may regard as a bad thing, but if it's realism you want, go play Operation Flashpoint on the PC.
Timesplitters is definetly high on the PS2 FPS ladder, along with Quake III Revolution and Unreal Tournament. This may not be the case once Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Deus Ex arrive on the PS2, but we'll have to wait and see.

This game will take ages to finish, and when (if?) you have you'll be playing it for ages, just for the fun of it (like Perfect Dark. whoops, I promised no comparisons, oh well).

This is definitely worth your money, and as the PS2 platinum range has come out with Timesplitters on it, the £20 I spent (that's right! I'm from Eng-er-land! God save the Queen and all that) was worth it.

Buy this game now.

Right now.

Why are you still here? GO AND BUY!

Fine then, don't buy this excellent game. you'll regret it though...


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/24/02, Updated 03/24/02


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