Review by Hotarri420
"The closest thing to prefection in a long time."
This game is the true heir to the N64 Rare FPSs. The original Timesplitters for PS2 was one of the best games early in the life of the PS2. It was lots of fun due to the rock solid framerate and smooth intuitive controls, what it lacked was real substance. I'm happy to say that the sequel took the best parts of the original and made it into a true masterpiece.
This was clearly not what the developers were focusing their energy on. It manages to hold the plot together (just barely), this is not for sure not on par with the likes of Halo. On the plus side the story is told with well made in-engine cut scenes with silly looking characters, it sets the mood very well for the gameplay in all the different eras. In case anyone is not aware this game takes place through out time, from the earliest levels set in the 1800's to the most futuristic levels taking place several hundred years from now.
This is an area that can be a little debatable. On the bad side, there is no bump mapping nor is there anything that hasn't been done before. What it lacks in stunning visuals (the game still looks great) it makes up for with a rock solid 60 frames per second, even in Co-operative mode framerate is something that really hurt the N64 classics as well as more recent games like Halo. I would readily sacrifice some extra graphical bells and whistles for fluidity. Some levels, especially the futuristic ones do look amazing, the rain effect in Neo-Tokyo is very well done. If you can get beyond the lack of some Xbox specific effects this is a very pretty game.
The music in this game is quite possibly the best and most enjoyable music ever to grace a game. I am a techno fan and this game has plenty of it, they went ahead and included the ability to use the music from any level when you are playing the multiplayer mode. The music is not restricted to techno and has some very nice jazzy and rockish tunes to keep everyone happy. The sound effects are also very nice, from the sounds of explosions, to gun fire, to reloading everything sounds great if not over done. Best of all when you light some one on fire they shriek in agony, very well done indeed.
This is what all the fuss is about, as long as you like fun, you will like it. That's about it, I got my significant other to play it (she mostly sticks with Everquest and the occasional round of Mario Tennis) and she absolutely fell in love with it. Even if you don't like first person shooters you need to give this a shot. As soon as I touched the controls on the original I was hooked, the same holds true for its successor. The Xbox controller handles it flawlessly, much like the Halo control setting. Sniping, running around and blowing things up never felt this good. The vibration funtion of the controller is also well used, holding down the trigger on the electrotool will leave your hands numb after a while. It is very nice in portraying the immense power of the weapon you wield.
In the single player portion you are required to complete certain objectives in each level, collect a time crystal and get out through the portal. It is very well done with bosses in most areas. The single player mode can be played co-operatively with no slowdown, you can even unlock secrets in co-op mode. Over all very fun single/co-op game.
In terms on Multiplayer possibilities this game is amazing, supporting system link play, (hopefully online through GameSpy/XBConnect soon) and split screen. I have not tried out the system link but 4 player split screen with a bunch of bots is a whole lot of fun. There are many many different game types to choose from, including the standard death match and CTF as well as some very original ones, can anyone go wrong with ''Monkey Assistant''? Even if you have no friends around you play this mode with more than 10 AI bots that put up a pretty good challenge.
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
With over a hundred unlockables and different objectives in each level depending on difficulty don't count on sleeping for a couple weeks. This is stuff that will haunt your dreams for months, and I am sure many a fraudulent excuse to avoid work or other responsibilities will be attributed to this game.
Final Score: 9/10
This game would have gotten a perfect 10 if two issues were addressed, one is the lack of some Xbox specific effects, bump mapping would have done much in making the environments look livelier. This is not what's holding it back from perfection though, the biggest issue is the lack of Xbox Live compatability, I would have had no problem waiting another six months if this was put into place. This would have easily surpassed Halo as being the best game on the Xbox as well as the best Console FPS ever made, in its current state it is definitely a close second.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/18/02, Updated 10/18/02
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