"Close to perfection"

When I first heard about Timesplitters part 1 on Ps2 I didn't think much of it and thought it to be just another UT wannabe, but after playing it for a few minutes, I knew this was a classic. Now that part 2 was coming to Xbox, I just had to have it!

Graphics

Okay, so maybe it's not Unreal championship or Halo type graphics, but do graphics really form the most important part of a game, or does gameplay do that? In my opinion, it's gameplay that is much more important, cause what would you rather have?, a game that is an absolute bore to play but has awesome graphics, or a game that has lacking graphics but is addicting as hell (tetris anyone?)
When playing this game you can't help but have a flashback towards Goldeneye on N64. No wonder, because this game's development team had a lot of developers on board that used to work for Rare, who made goldeneye.
The graphics are pretty cartoonesk, but that fits the game perfectly: the game doesn't take itself nearly as serious as Halo for example. You can see clear to the horizon, the edges are nice and smooth, and everything just looks perfect. Especially the Notredame level is breathtaking.

Graphics: 9/10

Gameplay

The game's strongest part.
The controls are excellent, and while the game has 4 main modes (challenge mode, singleplayer mode, multiplayer mode, and league mode), the beating hart of this game is it's multiplayer mode, which has so many modes (deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the bag, vampire, flametag, assault etc, etc, etc) and options it will take you days to try everything. There are not that many levels though, but the ones that ARE there are all pieces of art. Ofcourse, just like part one, TS2 has full botsupport, and the bots are all excellent, so you'll never be lonely. The arena's fit up to 12 (!!!!!) bots and 4 human players, without the game having any slowdown! It keeps pumping at a solid 60 fps! I don't know how they did that, but I hope it grows to be the new standard for all future shooter games.
The singleplayer part has you complete 10 missions across a multitude of timezones, ranging from the Wild West, too future Tokyo.
The beauty is: the harder the difficulty you play the missions on doesn't only mean more and tougher enemies, but also the longer the levels are and the more objectives you must complete. On the hardest difficulty, all doors are open in the levels, but on medium, a lot of them are closed, while on easy, mostly half the level is closed.
Now, some would say that the singleplayer campaign is nothing more then an excuse to unlock stuff for multiplayer, and in some way it is. Completing certain objectives on certain difficulties unlocks new arenas, gamemodes, characters, etc. for multiplayer mode.
This is brilliant: if there is a level you just can't seem to complete, you'll keep trying, because YOU WANT TO HAVE THAT PARTICULAR CHARACTER OR ARENA!
But on the other hand, Ts2's singleplayer mode feels a lot like Goldeneye, which is still seen by many people as the best shooter up to date, so the singleplayer campaign is really something not to be underestimated.
And then there's the challenge mode and arcade league modes, these give you certain challenges to complete, ranging from 'kill that person so many times in so many minutes', to 'smash all windows in the level using bricks in so many minutes', to 'score 20 kills without letting your teammate die', the challenge's soon grow from fairly easy, to frustrating, nail biting hard and you guessed it: completing these challenges awards you with more goodies for multiplayer mode. You are awarded a medal (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) for your accomplishment, and the better the medal, the more you will unlock.
I could talk about this game for ages, but I think you guessed it by now: this game's replay value is HUGE and will probably last YOU! And should you still think it's not enough, why not create your own levels with it's build in leveleditor?

Gameplay: 10/10

Sound

Awesome, just like the graphics it has a really high 'cartoon rate', but like I said, this fits the game perfectly. Though most background music is great, some of them get a little irritating after a while. The soundeffects are great and are never in the wrong place, and the character voiceacting is perfect, even it's lipsinck and the facial expressions that come with it are works of art and look astonishing.

Sound: 8/10

Buy or rent?

Are you kidding me? If you are a first-person shooter fan, stop reading NOW and run over to the store and buy it. If you're not, rent it first, but I think you really can't go wrong with this.

Overall: 9/10
Category: classic


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 02/10/03, Updated 02/10/03


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