Review by neothe0ne

"Best FPS of our time"

Blazing fast
Good controls
Endless replay value
Endless multiplayer modes
Most customizable everything
Up to 10 bots!
Tons of stages and characters to unlock
Huge weapon variety
A map maker!!
Interacts with the world well, they scratch their heads, move around a bit, fix their shoes, ect.

Corny story, but still fun
Easy is too easy, normal is challenging, and hard is too hard
Bots can jump/slide, you can't
Manual aim is strange
No vehicles in any part of the game
Interacts with the world well, they scratch their heads, move around a bit, fix their shoes, ect.

This is, without a doubt, the best first-person shooter for GameCube. TimeSplitters (the first) was a PS2-only game, developed by most of the 8 people who developed GoldenEye. They took their time on GoldenEye, but rushed TS1 for the launch of the PS2. The president of Free Radical promised us better the second time around, and now it's on GameCube and Xbox, too. The game plays, feels, and looks a lot like GoldenEye and Perfect Dark. The health/armor bars look like they do in GoldenEye, and the way you control feels like GE and PD, too, but with many improvements since there are now two analog sticks on any given controller. While there is not too much originality in TS2, it excels at making everything fun and worth-while. The graphics of the game are not quite realistic, having a cartoony feel. There's cartoony-looking animals, robots, alien Splitters, and humans to choose from, all fitting in the TS world. The graphics are smooth and look great. The music matches the stages well, ranging from electric guitar in Ice Station to the dance-techno in Nightclub. There isn't a lot of voice-acting in the game that's not part of cutscenes, but what there is is well done. The gun sounds are also good.

The story campaign features Cortez and Harp time-traveling to recover Time Crystals that the TimeSplitters stole. While there really isn't a storyline, it still has 10 fairly long missions and has co-op. Most of the stages are fun to play, but you may find the Normal and Hard modes to be way too hard. TS2 invokes more than just stealth and assaults in the single-player campaign, and gives you quite a few puzzles. The Arcade League and Challenge mode include random mini-games where you try to accomplish a goal, and get awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum for your efforts. The vast majority of stages and characters are unlocked there. You can also unlock codes like in GE, such as big (or small) heads, fat characters, unlimited ammo, all characters cloaked, ect. We had a kick out of Cardboard Characters; it's Paper TimeSplitters!!! (Even though the characters are paper-thin on one side, you can still shoot them properly.) In fact, one of the biggest issues of this game, which can be good and bad, is collision size. Bullets that don't quite hit the head still count as a head shot, but this is to your advantage most of the time, since bots seem to need no help in this.

You can fully customize your controls in TS2. Most games give you 2 or 3 settings to choose from. Not TS2. You can assign what every single button does, and so you can make your controls virtually anything. If someone complains about the controls of TS2, they must be missing this. TS2 has your head motion (C stick) automatically inverted for up and down, but you can change that in preferences. You can also decide whether or not duck and aim are on toggle or hold, set what happens when you pick up a new gun (options on how to automatically use the newest one, or to use the old one), rumble options, and many other options. One issue about manual aiming is that when you move the C-stick any way, the camera returns towards the original place slightly. I heard that this was a GameCube-unique problem with the C-stick, and it takes a toll on trying to snipe quickly. Another problem with sniping is that comps (and you) like to move a bit. The screen will move slightly up and down with your breathe-ins and breathe-outs, and comps will fidgit around a lot, talking into walkie-talkies (even though they don't), fixing shoes, scratching heads, looking around, and other realistic behaviors.

TS2 features 4-player split-screen multiplayer, with deathmatches, capture the bag (capture the flag), bag tag (posses the bag for the most time), flame tag (stay on fire for the least amount of time), virus (be the last one not to catch green fire), thief (every corpse drops a coin, pick up as many coins as you can), assault (complete team objectives on an assault on the AI), monkey assistant (monkeys help last place periodically), gladiator (only the gladiator can gain points from killing, kill that person to become the gladiator and gain points until you get killed), and countless other options. Multiplayer is completely customizable, letting you choose how to score (kills, kills-deaths, deaths), how long the game lasts, what music you want, what bots you want, what five weapons you want, ect. You also get awards according to how you play, such as Most Lethal and Hoarder. One of the many shining qualities of TS2 is the number of bots there can be. You can have up to 10 bots plus 4 humans in one multiplayer game, with about a hundred total characters to choose from. Each character has different statistics in Accuracy, Agility, and Stamina. As a side-note, more than one person can pause at the same time, so you can view statistics and change your settings simultaneously. All the stages in TS2 are well-designed and unique, ranging from the long and winding Streets to the huge Ufopia. The multiplayer runs just as fast as single player, and is almost garenteed to be chaotic, especially if you have double-wielding machine guns.. :)

The Map Maker in TS2 is, unfortunately, not as good as it could have been. You have 4 tilesets to choose from, and a large variety of room parts to choose from, including turns, doors, two stories, ect. You can place everything you see in the game, from mannable gun turrets to auto-gun turrets, to the four powerups, health and shield packs, and the five gun spawns. You can also set start locations, flag locations, and you can make your own objective-style story missions! The size of your map is extremely limited, and does not reach even a fraction of the size of regular maps. However, it's still nice to show off your maps to your friends, even if they have to stay basic to be saved.

TimeSplitters 2 is definitely one of the best games we have seen for modern consoles. Since Rare fell from its golden days on N64, Electronic Arts has turned out less-than-mediocre James Bond games, ever-falling Medal of Honor games, and the shooter genre has suffered as a whole. Halo for XBOX is a great shooter, but it's XBOX-only, and in my opinion, TS2 has it outmatched in everything but the story campaign. If you're looking for a great shooter, or just a fun game, TimeSplitters 2 is the right choice for you.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/29/04, Updated 01/03/05

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