Review by PyramidHead87
"Not perfect, but worth the time"
Much like every other Timesplitters fan, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the third entry in this acclaimed game series (fifth, if you include the original Goldeneye and Perfect Dark), and disappointment upon disappointment finally led to getting my hands on this $49.99 item.
After a while of play, I was already getting used to the controls and interfaces because of my experience with the other two games. I was looking at the MapMaker the hardest, wondering what kind of new stuff Free Radical added this time around. Then, I played through the game...and when I finally beat it, I started asking questions as to what TS2 had that this game didn't.
The game retains its cartoony wonder with deformed character models and such. The game still runs at its normal 60fps...wait a minute! Aah, Free Radical, what happened?! Whenever even a LITTLE bit of something happens, the framerate chugs! What?! Highly unnatural for the Timesplitters games. Well, other than that, not much has changed, except for the fact that you can ACTUALLY see your hand holding the weapon. Each weapon also has its own distinct animation, showing that Free Radical actually put some thought into this one (no offense, guys). You can see the character equipping the silencer, you can see the character reloading the weapon, and you can see rockets jolting out of the rocket launcher, unlike TS2, where weapons would only show an inkling of animation and leave it at that. However, it feels a tad slower and rooms feel a bit claustrophobic, but I got around it eventually. Oh, and FR added blood, too, probably the reason why the game was slapped with an "M" rating.
A lot of the sound was recycled from the previous games, but that's certainly no big deal for me. The big thing here is the music----in all three games, they have survived three phases of music types: TS1 music was more techno/disco, TS2 music was a little more thematic and a little more drab, as TS3 music is more of an orchestral-type, with orchestrated scores in some levels, along with industrial-type music in others. And, after a questionable absence from TS2, the MapMaker theme makes its return. Oh, maybe YOU weren't asking what happened, but I certainly was.
Okay, here it comes...the meat of the game. The Timesplitters formula remains unchanged--you get dropped into a level concerning the concept of "time," you get guns, and you shoot guys as you make your way through the levels. Unfortunately, this makes levels seem linear and doesn't make room for any improvisation. However, there are quite a few levels here...but I don't necessarily think they were designed as well as TS2's levels. Not only does the game lack sending you ALL OVER time like in the other two games, it also lacks a bit in the MapMaker department. Yes, there are more possibilities this time around, but there are still glitches abound, the game will sometimes crash on you for new reason (or maybe it's just me), and you STILL can't create boss battles! After toying with the MapMaker a bit, you may begin to wonder what more FR could have done to make it more robust, like unlocking content for the MapMaker itself through the single-player game. Just don't use the MapMaker to make any fully-effective Deathmatches...for some reason, when you do a Deathmatch with AI Bots, they act like they have no idea where they are. Not to mention you can only put a handful of Bots in a MapMaker Deathmatch, which was another letdown.
Then, there's the Deathmatches...what happened to options like Flame Tag??? And what's worse, why are the challenges/leagues easier to accomplish than in the previous games? In TS1 and TS2, it took me quite a few tries to beat the later challenges. In TS3, even the challenges/leagues that were MEANT to be tough aren't that difficult. I swear, I got a Platinum medal without even trying too hard.
Continued from TS2, Sgt. Cortez returns to Earth with the Time Crystals he gathered. On his way back, he discovers that the Rebels are at a heated war with the Timesplitters (which, for some reason, there are only one kind: the Berserker Splitters. In TS2 there were at least 3 or 4 types). He crash lands, and with the help of his fellow Rebels, they fight back to the command base. Unfortunately, it's not all over for him. Word on the street is that there's a way to stop the Timesplitter war from happening altogether, and Cortez is just the man to do the job. So, he gets sent on his merry way back through time, following the supposed ringleader of the Timesplitter generations, while at the same time discovering that he was meant to globalize the world with the power of science. Yeah, the story is more coherent than in TS2 (which felt tacked on in that game), but it's certainly better than no story at all (like in TS1).
Overall, the game is still a decent rental for those who can just sit down and play it for a spell. But if you think you can still shell replayability out of this game, then by all means, it wouldn't hurt to buy the game, either.
8.25/10 (rounded down to 8).
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/08/05
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