Review by GRANDLETHAL01
""Free Radical" brings another great First Person Shooter to the table."
The Goldeneye team (Known nowadays as ''Free Radical'') is back at it again, and they have perfected the First Person Shooter genre. Some fans may remember the first Timesplitters on the Playstation 2 - the single-player was shallow, but the multiplayer was nothing short of priceless. Now, with major improvements in both categories, this is a must-have.
Well, I have to say, the single player story aspect is really nothing to rave about, it involves two Time Travelers who have to go through time collecting these things called ''Time-Crystals''. On your quest, you're put through strange environments, killing everything in sight, including some monkeys. The missions may remind you of a little FPS by the name of Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. Even some of the tracks are remixed versions of the original Goldeneye sound track.
The sheer variety of what's here will impress any first person shooter fan. Almost every aspect of this game is polished to perfection. This is proof that with a little Tender Love & Care really pays off. The mode that sucked me in the most (and in my opinion, the meat of the whole experience) is the grand Arcade mode. Just the variety of things that this mode throws at you is awe-inspiring. Whether you have to kill a bunch of monkeys who have been set of fire, or a Death match with only Rocket Launchers, this mode is truly something special. The other mode which will steal your time away is the ''Challenge Mode'' which is just as big, and fun as the Arcade-Mode, though noticeably harder.
The Single Player Story Mode, in terms of Gameplay, is relatively solid. The great variety in the last two modes I talked about is all here. Whether you are sneaking around the first level (which is reminiscent of the first mission in Goldeneye, oddly enough) or going on a violent rampage in the 1930's. It's all good and full of surprises. The only complaints I have is that the mode is somewhat short, and the Mission Objectives can be cryptic, which could leave you going around in circles. Small shortcomings aside, this mode isn't bad at all.
The graphics have also been polished to a glossy shine. Yeah, sure, they are a little goofy and unrealistic, but it just fits the game's silly style. The environments are nice and roomy, but I thought they could add more interaction with the elements of the environments. About the only things you can blow up are melons, barrels and crates. Bummer. The interior of many of the buildings are full of bland and repeated textures. I also found a few technical glitches (bullets whizzing through your enemies? I don't think so...) that were infrequent and not at all significant. Otherwise, the enemies and other character models look great, and the glitches aren't frequent and don't spoil any of the enjoyment.
The Multiplayer is fantastic - if you are tired of your copy of Halo, or you didn't like Halo at all, this is the game you need. I also recommend the System Link feature - you and 15 of your closest friends can join in on the blisteringly fast Frag-Fest. I've clocked in well over 13 hours in the multiplayer alone. Nothing like drinking soda, eating your favorite snacks, and playing some deathmatches to the wee hours of the morning. The game also has bots, which makes the experience all the better.
With so many unlockable secrets, this game will feel a bit daunting for the average gamer. Getting Gold Medals in the Challenge Mode will NOT be easy. In fact, you'd be lucky to get a Bronze Medal in the later challenges. As with any other game - if you stick in there, and gradually improve your skills, it'll be much easier and make the whole experience very satisfying. Aside from the innumerable amount of characters, there are some other secrets that are absolutely mind-blowing. I'll leave it up to you to find them, I don't want to spoil it for you.
The gameplay is just like any other FPS, but if you amp up the speed to crazily high levels, throw in a 100+ unlockable characters, some new modes that are worth playing through, than you get Timesplitters 2. Yeah sure, I'd agree that the story doesn't make much sense, the controls are a little sluggish, and the Mapmaker isn't perfect - but this is one of the greatest First Person Shooters I've ever played. Your collection isn't complete with out this. A shooter fan's wet dream.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/21/02, Updated 11/21/02
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