Review by Gerhalt
"Fun, exciting, but not quite "legendary"..."
Timesplitters 2 is a first person shooter for the XBox, Playstation 2, and GameCube. Created by some of the members of the original Goldeneye (N64), it combines action, stealth, and blasting your enemies, into one unique game. Some people don't (Or won't) like this game because of the cartoonish characters, others won't like the deja vu sense, but it is a fun game, though not quite ''legendary''.
The storyline is the main weak point of Timesplitters. Simply put, the Timesplitters (An evil race of aliens) steal the time crystals (Which allow you to travel through time). So you have to go and recover them, the first one in 1990 Siberia. Sounds sort of intriguing, and it could have been a strong story, however it didn't happen that way. Prior to each of the missions there is a small animated cutscene, which gives the setting for the level. However, all of them are either barely connected, or the connection is not there at all. They could have made the story alot better, but its not all that bad. I think the rest of the game really makes up for what it lacks in story. If your big on a storyline, then you may not like this, but it didn't bother me too much.
TS2's graphics are nicely done. There's nothing really extraordinary, but they are great. The lighting is very well done, and contributes to the mood. For example, while going through Notre Dame in the 1700's, you explore the dark and flickering passages of the cathedral, led by a candle flickering. Each enviroment is unique, and has a lot of nice looking pieces. They didn't skimp on the surroundings one bit. I was sort of dissapointed by the character's slightly cartoonish look, but it's so slight it really doesn't detract from the game. All the weapons are rendered very well, and the enemies look exceptional too. The explosions don't look that good, but they are all decent. They graphics are slightly above average, but since it's a multi-console game, they could have done better.
The sound of Timesplitters is great. Each of the levels has it's own unique soundtrack, which fits the atmosphere of each one quite well. The gunshots and ricochets sound realistic, as well as the laser and some of the other sci-fi weapons. Some of the gunshots bring back, as some people have already said, fond (And not so fond...) memories of Goldeneye. Another high point on the sound is arcade. I'll explain what arcade mode is in the ''Gameplay'' section, but Arcade's tracks are well done. Much of the music has a high, fast beat to it, which fits the fast pace of the level. Other ones are slower, fitting the mood of survival type modes. The sound is somewhat forgettable, but it's good, and they certainly did a good job on it.
TS2 has many modes of gameplay. The first is the main missions. In these, you must go through a set of 10 levels to recover the stolen time crystals. You can also do 2-Player Story Co-Op, and go through these levels with 2 people. You have to accomplish each assignment, including recover each time crystal, then enter the portal at the end of the level. The second single player mode is ''Arcade''. These are essentially mini-games, which you play with other people. They are usually either timed, or they have a certain goal (I.e. 5 kills in 5:00). The goals change depending on which medal you want to earn. The lowest is bronze, then silver, gold, and finally platinum. Beating minigames sometimes results in unlocking more minigames, earning new characters, levels, or other things. These are usually played against computer controlled ''bots'', and I really enjoyed these. Another single player mode is ''Challenge''. These are games that are not fighting, and you are the only person. I.e. you must knock all the windows out of the cathedral (Using your grenade launcher) in less than 2 minutes. These are fun too, and they also let you earn prizes.
Multi-Player on TS2 is also very fun, in fact it can be more fun that the main game. Up to 4 players can play, up to 8 can play by hooking up multiple systems (This is for XBox, I'm not sure about PS2 and GC). The reason multi-player is fun is that, besides being able to play a normal deathmatch or team deathmatch, you can play other games. Examples of these include flame tag, capture the bag, and more. These are lots of fun, and provide an alternative to just blasting each other up. Another thing that is great about TS2's multiplayer is bots. You can play against bots, as well as just your friends. For example, instead of just 4 players, you can play 4 humans against 8 bots. It's very fun, and provides more action. You can customize the weapons, bot set, etc. Multi-player is one of the strongest points of TS2, and it is really well done. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that only your points are displayed (Either kills, kills minus suicides, or kills minus deaths, depending on the option you select), not your total kills, deaths, and such.
Timesplitter 2's controls are average for a first person shooter. The layout isn't new or exciting, but it's workable, and provides solid gameplay. Like most games, you can customize it, however I found the default configuration worked fine. There are other options you can change, like sound level, Inverse Look, and more. The controls are well put together, but don't really provide anything new.
Another bonus to TS2 is the mapmaker. Most first person shooters don't come with this feature, and so this is very nice. Don't get your hopes too high, it's not very powerful, and still could use some work. You have to be careful, because there's not much room to use. It's a nice addition, but it could use more features, and more room. The mapmaker is only found in the Xbox version (I believe), however.
This game is slightly above average. It has many features, and I really enjoyed it. The replayability factor is very large, partially because of the sheer amount of characters and aptions. TS2 has the standard Easy, Normal, and Hard modes, but it also has a LOT of stuff to unlock. 100+ characters, 10+ arenas and levels, it is very replayable. Plus, the minigames give something fun to do when stuck on the main levels.
Buy or Rent?
Now TS2, though not a platinum hit (On Xbox) is around $20. For that price, I highly recommend getting it. I wouldn't pay $50 for it, but if you can find it for around $20-$30 I think you should certainly buy it. If your not sure, at least try renting it. I think you'll enjoy it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/12/03
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