Review by Rooster349
"It's not perfect, but it's darn close"
The original TimeSplitters is widely known as a fast paced shooter with a shallow story mode and a deep multiplayer mode. TimeSplitters 2 promised to improve both the multiplayer and deeply flawed story mode of the original. And while the story mode is much deeper and more enjoyable, you will still have the most fun playing with other people.
The story is your basic B-movie sci-fi time travel plot. Two goofball space marines go through time saving the Earth from the evil TimeSplitters. You do this by posessing the bodies of another unsuspecting goofball in each time period, and finding a time crystal. The plot lacks cohesion, and events feel very separate. The characters are not developed at all. Then again, I don't expect this from a shooter.
One thing that raises story points is the humor behind the game. This game never fails to put you in odd situations. You'll be shooting flaming zombies in a circus, melting snowmen with a flamethrower, you'll even play as a human who believes he's a robot. This game has a crazy sense of humor, and many times, this is what keeps the game involved.
Sounds are perfect. Music is pretty good. Most tunes are techno, once in a while you'll even hear a distorted guitar. If you liked the music of TimeSplitters 1, that music has been included for you in arcade mode.
Nothing to complain about. Graphics are up to par with most PC shooters. I've not seen much better on the PS2. The animations are smooth, it stays at a constant 60 fps. The few people who will notice slowdowns are either hardcore gamers of fanboys of another console...
Story: The new story is objective based and certainly more involved, but it is still not amazing. Many new scenarios and a focus on stealth in some levels even out the pace of the game, but ultimately, you'll play it once, and go back once in a while to unlock bots or levels for the arcade.
Arcade: The arcade is simply a blast. The action is similar to the original TS, but now you have a choice of more modes, 3 different gameplay speeds, and more skins. The characters now have different stats, speed, accuracy, and stamina. Some will be fast, and suck at aiming, while others will be take a lot of hits but be extremely slow. This adds a lot of balance, and players will work doubly hard to unlock them.
Minor complaint: The skins don't do a special dance anymore when you choose them! That bothers me, but not enough to hurt the score.
Free Radical had a challenge with the difficulty. Timesplitters 1 was ridiculously hard. Many loved and praised the difficulty, while others hated the game for it. Free Rad had the job of capturing the original difficulty of Timesplitters 1 while making it more friendly to the more casual gamer. They did this extremely well. The majority of the game will be unlocked by the average gamer, while the true hardcore vets will go for 100%. Still more, the challenges, and arcade leagues have an extra trophy called the platinum trophy that all the hardcore gamers will strive for.
Even though the difficulty is great, some challenges will have gamers cursing and throwing their controllers against the wall. Like using a sniper rifle to shoot watermelons off of monkey hands. It's annoying as hell. Only the true hardcore gamer will care to go for gold on these difficult challenges.
Replay Value: 10
This game will never get old. It is the ultimate party game, offering 16 player action over a local area network or I.link. After you've unlocked everything and scored a gold medal in every challenge, you'll still enjoy schooling your buddies in one of the games many deathmatch modes. The improved mapmaker, among other things, provides you the chance to make singleplayer missions and multiplayer arenas. How cool is that?
Rent or Buy: Rent if you have no friends. Buy if you enjoy party games.
Total score (not average): 9.5 (rounded down)
If you have a ton of buddies who enjoy console shooters, this game could very well be a ten. Sadly, my friends enjoy puzzle games, so I'm out of luck. Oh well, you will still have fun with this game, no matter what.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/13/02, Updated 10/13/02
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