Review by KasketDarkfyre
"High speed shooting in a low calibur game.."
Time Splitters follows in the footsteps of first person shooters like Goldeneye and Doom, but with a different twist in which you cross different time periods in an attempt to stop an evil force of alien-like creatures from taking over the world. Where Time Splitters brings in the gamer, is with the fast frame rates and the creative weapons as well as the different characters that you can use and play, and then the numerous variations of characters that can be used in the multi-player option. However, with some of the fatal flaws that come from playing too many first person shooters, the only thing that Time Splitters has doesn’t really set it above the rest of he pack.
Clean and crisp, the actual speed of the game doesn’t slow down enough to really give the gamer a true look at the surroundings. While well built, the lighting effects of the game range from being either too bright, or too dark with enemies popping out of every corner and taking a cheap shot at you. Couple this with the fact that the stages are too short, and there really isn’t much in terms of exploring the detailed battle-fields, gamers will find that the detail and the visuals aren’t enough to keep interest.
Enemy detail is another factor. Most of the enemies are well designed, and well drawn, but you don’t have much time to look at them with the speed of the game being on over-drive. When broken down, the playable characters, as well as the enemies faced really have a drawn-in and blocky look to them. This might turn off most players, and those that play through will find that looking at distanced enemies is an eye-squinting experience.
A cross-hybrid of techno and rock music, the music for each stage blends into the background more than it does come forward for the gamer to hear. The sound effects range from muffled explosions and the occasional scream of a dying target. Gunfire and weapons reloading sound good, but won’t leave a lasting impression on the ears, outside of some occasional annoyance after listening to it for too long. Be prepared to listen to the music loop in each of the stages, as each track is especially designed for that particular stage.
Always an issue with a first person shooters and Time Splitters is no exception to the rule that there has to be tight control. While the control here is decent and can be changed, fine aiming can come off as a chore in the middle of a heated battle. Movement is dictated more or less with the directional pad, but getting the weapon to fire in the right direction at either a lower or higher angle than what the center cross-hair is set to. Be prepared to take plenty of damage when trying to take out a screen full of enemies.
-Game Play 7/10-
Nothing new here, each stage is a straight, forward run to collect and item and then run back without getting yourself killed in the process. Most of the stages are unlocked from the previous stage, so the real challenge lies in the intense difficulty that the game has to offer. In some stages, most of the enemies come at you in a wave, or pop-up from behind obstacles to get off a cheap shot. The real difficulty is when you collect the item in question and then run through the Time Splitters who appear out of nowhere. Other various stages take you through different time periods, with either a male figure, or a female counter-part, all of which have no back-story. Disappointing.
The multi-player mode is rather fun if you have four people to play. After unlocking the characters and stages, you have several options of how you’d like to set the rules of the match, including capture the flag and last man standing. Be prepared if you have a small television as the screen splits up into four different cameras and causes more of that eye-squinting problem.
The best part of Time Splitters is probably the Edit Mode in which you can create your own battle ground, and therefore, create your arena of death to your own personal preference. This can be somewhat confusing and limiting when creating, as the game gives you a limit as to what you can do and with what. Something that is rather cool is the fact that you can set the lighting within the stages, but even that little extra is a short-lived thrill in the long run.
Time Splitters is a fast game, there is no question about that. However, with some of the technical flaws that include the blocky characters, the rambling sound and the cheap difficulty after you have collected the level item, gamers will find that there is no real outstanding difference between this and any other first person shooter on the market. While the multi-player option is fun, you’ll need a big television to play it and the editing mode is limited in some aspects. A rental at best, first person shooter fanatics should probably look towards Red Faction or elsewhere for some challenging and fun shooting action.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 07/07/01, Updated 07/07/01
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