Review by mohmaster
"My Only Love"
When you think of shooters you think of GoldenEye, the unrivaled ruler of all FPSs. But with the release of PlayStation 2 a game called TimeSplitters was released. TimeSplitters improved upon many aspects that were missed in GoldenEye, but TS still wasn’t very popular and the game was rushed. But now with the release of TimeSplitters 2, the game has improved greatly from its predecessor.
Including an in-depth story mode with huge levels and challenging objectives, a massive Arcade mode with two modes of play including Arcade League and Arcade Custom. Detailed graphics and areas make for a most delicious treat as well as over a hundred characters to choose from in Arcade Mode.
The TimeSplitters 2 story is pretty linear. Aliens called TimeSplitters show up and want to take over Earth so they make a space station nearby. The humans figure out that nine crystals power the station but right when some Elite Soldiers get there they throw them in time portals going forward and backward in time. So it’s up to you then chase them and retrieve the crystals. Of course almost all of levels have nothing to do with any storyline and the cut-scenes only vaguely give you an idea of what‘s going on.
Once you begin you completely forget about no storyline. The first level is set in Siberia at a dam. It’s nearly flawless, the mission objectives are fairly difficult yet enjoyable enough to make you keep trying. The controls are a little difficult but after a bit of use it becomes second nature. When I first picked it up I was confused with the Control Stick going up and down and the C Stick moving you side to side, but I quickly got the hang of it.
When you begin there are three levels of challenge: Easy, Normal, and Hard. On Easy AI is dumber, their bullets hurt less and there are a few objectives. Normal and Hard introduce harder objectives and a smart/tough AI. Levels range from the Wild West to Robot Factories, though the levels occasionally are extremely straight forward and easy to accomplish. Like in a level named Atom Smasher 1972, you basically follow the corridors completing objectives as they come until the end of the level. TimeSplitters 2 combines many different ideas and comes away with a pretty good game all around.
The main story is pretty short, but the best part of the game is Arcade Mode. In this option there is an Arcade League which could probably be its own game. It gives you several challenges in three different leagues. Each harder than the next. Challenges range from Deathmatchs to flaming monkeys chasing you down. You are awarded a medal on how well you do, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, as well as the elusive Platinum. Each time you get Gold you are awarded some goodies such as new characters and cheats. Although this is fun the challenges become extremely hard, you’d like to throw your controller out of the window you would.
Then there is Arcade Custom, you can set up your own game and play with up to three other friends or against bots or both. Tons of options are loaded on to you. Fifteen different playing fields, sixteen different modes of play, bots, one shot kill and so on. Oh yeah there is also over 100 character to choose from! Also a massive selection of weapons from Crossbows to Homing Launchers. This is the single best multi-player…EVER!
Then there is MapMaker where you can make your own map to kill your friends on. Choose from tons of different layouts to gun placements to player starting points. I sometimes found this tedious implementing everything so perfectly and getting every nook and cranny correct. People with a lot of time on their hands should look into this though. The developers (Free Radical Design) didn’t miss a beat with MapMaker.
TimeSplitters 2 is very well done in the graphics department. The massive worlds are perfectly done with pretty backgrounds and detailed surroundings. Although it isn’t the prettiest game around it still packs a punch. It runs fluidly never skipping a beat. It can have multiple characters on the screen with no slow down. The guns are well detailed and show some reflections. The lighting is done extremely well changing the mood in each level.
On some occasions though backgrounds can become blurry and slightly irritating to the eye. Also character models can look slightly over the top and just looked like it was put together really quickly. On the other hand some characters are very well detailed and each one moves fluidly through the game. I really enjoyed seeing an alien gun that shoots energy pulses and that if you miss they bounce off the wall. Of course most guns appear to be just floating there with no help from you (Sniper Rifle).
Finally, the sound department probably is the least flawed. The song that begins when you start up the game has to be one of the best songs I’ve heard on a video game. Each level has a different track and each sets up the mood of the level. In Chicago 1929 you got a nice sax playing in the background. In the Wild West you have a really cool western song. In Notre Dame you have cathedral music and on Planet X you have quick upbeat techno-ish music.
The sound effects are well done as well. Explosions, gunfire, people screaming, yelling, laughing, talking accompany you. Voice acting in cut scenes is very well done to, of course sometimes the voice gets off with the mouth movement.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 05/25/03, Updated 05/25/03
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