"Sleeper hit of the Year 2002... and Monkeys!"

Free Radical. The name probably isn't familiar to you, but their games probably are. Know what famous game the developers of Free Radical made in the past? Goldeneye 007 Yes, that's right. They were part of a giant second part developer, Rare. You may ask, if this group made Timesplitters 2, then is there any 'feel' like it was like Goldeneye 007? Read on to find out.

The story starts off with 2 soldiers running in a futuristic building, zapping down the monsters and baddies they see. The animation are fluid.... it's all smooth. They finally catch up to the guy that they were looking for. The reason? The (gasp) Time Crystal! Very bland. The bad guy, of course like all stories known to man, wants to destroy it go back in time to **RULE THE WORLD**. What'd you expect? Same old, same old. Sadly, the Time Crystals has shattered into 10 pieces. It's up to you to collect them all. The problem: all of them are in different places in different times. Yes, now you can play FPS in the likes of Wild West, the future of 2010, the Great Depression-era Chicago, and the Notre Dame with The Hunchback (yay, i love him, he even shoots people to help ya!). There are 10 levels in all, all very fun IMO. I've heard that the missions are very boring. I disagree. They are all enjoyable, has a Goldeneye feel in it. Why? You have to use stealth to press on. It's not a shoot-everything-until-nothing-moves like Doom or Quake.

I want to say that I was VERY impressed with the fluid controls. First person view requires very precise controlling. Would you want to have a FPS that, with a mere flick of an analog stick, will send your aim off to the top part? Not me... The controls are very tight, despite the fact that there is no jump button (which greatly disappoints me), I had no trouble handling my character through the story mode. You use the left analog and the left analog to move, just like Halo. You can even turn the cross-hairs on or off with a mere press of a button. (Now where's the jump button? agh!) I applaud Free Radical for their efforts put in the controls. It's one of the high points in this game.

Another high point, probably the **HIGHEST**, is the arcade mode. There are challenges and Arcade League to beat. Challenges are like a mini-missions for you to do. For example, you have to destroy all of the windows in a given area with bricks. Yes, it's an oddball mission, but it's a damn fun challenge. Another one is to evade a virus-infected character for a given amount of time. If he touches you, it's all over. There are countless challenges for you to beat. There's awards for you if you do good in those. There's Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Platinum awards are very difficult to get, but it's possible ^_^. Now, moving on. Arcade League are like Multiplayer, only with computers as your enemies or allies. You do various styles of battle (Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Bag Tag, etc.) You can get new characters for multiplayer, unlock a new level, or unlock new mode of multiplayer to play with if you beat some of the challenges or Arcade League matches! It just makes you want to play more and more!

Multiplayer: the fundamental source in first person shooters. People judge the FPS games by this criteria. I must say, Timsplitters 2 delivers. There are tons of modes to play, 128(!) characters to play with (one of them: a Monkey, my favorite!), 15+ levels, and it all adds up to an amazingly enjoyable multiplayer experience. My friends and I could not stop playing the multiplayer and kept playing the Arcade League and challenges to get MORE characters! 128 characters, it all varies form small to big, slow and fat to speedy and thin, great aim to lousy sluggy aim, all of the characters has its own uniqueness. Monkey is very quick and speedy, and very hard to hit since it's only 2 feet tall. However, its health is very low, only 2 hits will bring him down. If it can be hit! ^_^ The characters are very deep, very carefully made. For example, a playable zombie can have its head blown off form a shotgun fired. Yet, it can still survive and play! Nothing like seeing a head-less zombie killing a monkey and walking on the corpse!

MapMaker from the original Timesplitters is back! You can create your own multiplayer level with this wonderful feature. The variables are everywhere. Lights, walls, weapons, stairs, every little details can be tweaked! You can even make your favorite Goldeneye level such as Facility in this!

Enough with the praise. With all with that praise, you must be wondering why- Only 9? Where's the extra point? Well, this game certainly have its flaws. MapMaker isn't perfect, it's a bit clumsy making it. I can't just whip up anything to make a decent level. You have to use your time carefully and the space are limited. You can't be very detailed or you'll have the no more memory in the memory card to spend. Your multiplayer records are not saved, an disappointment. In the original Timesplitters and Perfect Dark you could see your totals from Multiplayer such as Kill Total, Deaths, Accuracy, etc. Also, the story is bland. Too much cliches.

Nevertheless, I loved Timesplitters 2. I loved seeing aliens in 2030 and whipping their arse. Challenges and Arcade League were helluva fun. My friends still duke out with me in Multiplayer after a few months. It is a must buy!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/28/03, Updated 06/22/03


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