Review by Capt Snow

"Forget Halo. This is the next generation Goldeneye or Perfect Dark."

Everyone knows that Rare was the main reason the N64 did well. Releasing classics like Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and Conker's Bad Fur Day, Rare was certainly thriving. But at the end of their time with N64, and as they began to work for games on Gamecube, they slumped down. Soon Rare was sold to Microsoft, and they aren't doing much there. But, be honest. We weren't looking forward to Elements of Power, Star Fox Adventures, and their projects a lot. We wanted Perfect Dark 2. Perfect Dark had revolutionized the genre, we wanted that to happen again. So GCN owners were left stranded, looking for a good FPS. Yes, Metroid Prime was brilliant, but it wasn't an FPS at all. But know we have what we need. TimeSplitters 2 is the Gamecube's best FPS, and I think it's PS2 and XBOX's best too.

Gameplay: The first thing you might notice is how similar the game is to GE and PD. You still press a button to show the aimer, which you can then move. The health looks like it did in GE. And some of the multiplayer advancements are clearly PD inspired. You have a lot of different weapons, that make multiplayer highly intense. You have loads of multiplayer characters and stages. You have loads of multiplayer modes, from Capture the Bag to Virus, and from Assault to Gladiator. You have different teams, and totally different maps. And everything moves faster and more fluidly than in GE or PD. The framerate never drops, aiming is sensitive but controlled, and therefore multiplayer, with 4 people and 12 simulants, is just, if not more enjoyable than a smaller number. In PD you minimized sim numbers so the game wouldn't lag. You won't need to know. And you know how GE was in contempoary times, and PD was in the future? Well in TS2, it can be anywhere. If you want to pit space marines vs. aliens, sure. If you want to pit two armies against each other, fine. If you want to pit yourself against 12 zombies, that's okay. The story mode is loosely based around time travel. If you ask me, the story mode was a little dissapointing. It just wasn't terribly strategic. But don't think TS2 is a "party game", because multiplayer is playable by yourself, against ranging sims, just like in PD. But since there's more customization, the multiplayer singleplayer will eat up all your time. And don't be worried, there are plenty of other single player things. Challenges give you wacky scenarios to beat, getting Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum medals. Arcade League is a series of premade multiplayer scenarios where you have to win medals. But the biggest draw will be MAPMAKER! Here you can make your own maps, single player or multiplayer. You can save them and play the with your friends or alone. Mapmaker is incredibly easy to use, you have huge maps down in like 3 minutes, and it is very deep. You'll soon have a huge libary of maps that you can come back to and polish. And while playing multiplayer and mapmaker, you can set the speed to Chilled, Normal or Frantic. Chilled being the most tactical, and Frantic being incredibly rapid. And I'm barely touching the surface of the depth here. 10/10

Graphics: Brilliant. This game has a style of it's own. It's not uber realistic, but I wouldn't call it cartoony. Plenty of things, like bullet holes and the HUD, look very retro. But the characters look alive. They blink, breath, and animate so smoothly. Each simulant character does different things. Sgt. Cortez might slide along the ground, Chasity will backflip, sims will roll, etc. And lasers illuminate stages wonderfully. The style makes it clear that this game is not very gritty, but very palatable for all ages. And this game has some excellent effects, like smoke after explosions, water splashes, and snow and rain that stick to the screen. 10/10

Sound: The music is catchy, and perfectly captures the mood of each era, from chanting monks, to techno, to dancing music at the nightclub. You won't here much dialogue, but each character has a different voice, and the sound can get wacky. It's very funny hearing some of the character's sounds, yes they're sterotypical but they're funny nonetheless. Otherwise, riccochets sound amazing, and gunfire sounds acceptable. 9/10

Replay Value: This game will never get old. While you won't use your time on the Story Mode, you'll make hundreds of mapmaker levels, come up with different bot sets and customize weapon sets for stages, or work to get Platinums on the Arcade Leaque and Challenges (which is crazy hard). You'll always want to play Multiplayer, with or without your friends, and you'll show off your Mapmaker maps. 10/10

This is truly the next generation GE or PD. Forget Halo. While Halo has a better single player (that sort of falls apart in the middle), TS2 owns it in everything else. Buy this game now if you liked GE or PD, or if you just want sheer customization or action.

Overall 9.6 - Rounded to 10/10

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/11/03, Updated 09/26/04

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