Review by Icy Guy

"It's good, but does it beat GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark?"

The long-awaited TimeSplitters 2 has finally arrived. It's been hyped as being one of this year's best games, as well as being called the successor to the highly acclaimed (and very incredible) first-person shooters GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark, both of which had members on the development team that made this game. So how does it measure up?

Story (9/10) - Like the first game, the story involves our battle against the evil TimeSplitters, but with a bit of a twist. Each of the 10 levels has it's own ''story'' to it, and these all are parts of the giant story of defeating the TimeSplitters for good. I can't really say much because of spoilers, but trust me on this. It's interesting. You'll also notice some characters from TimeSplitters here, too, or at least their relatives.

Gameplay (8.5/10) - I can hear you screaming, ''8.5 out of 10?! But it's perfect!'' Yes and no. I must say, the overall feel of the game is great, but the hindrance here is the fact that the main Story missions aren't timed, so this cuts down the replay value and thus overall enjoyment of the game. But the other options almost more than make up for this. You have an absolute ton of Arcade mode options, ranging from modes involving gaining health from killing enemies to other matches involving flaming monkeys (stop laughing), there's enough in here to keep you busy for a while. The Challenges are back, with some nods to the Challenges in TimeSplitters (like breaking all the glass in a given area). There's also a new feature called the Arcade Leagues, where you must complete various tasks in a certain amount of time (or to stay alive for a certain amount of time, in some cases) to earn trophies. There are 3 different levels of Leagues for your enjoyment and skills. The MapMaker has gotten a HUGE set of additions, and you can now create your own missions (!) and set other things. Want to have enemies come to attack you once you hit a switch or pass a certain point? No problem. The only downside to the new MapMaker is that you can only place 1 object per square tile segment, which is going by the squares on the MapMaker interface. Oh well. But you can also add stuff like doors and windows (Yes!), crates (Yes, yes! Wait...), doors controlled by keys (Yes, yes, yes!), and...give me a drumroll here...autoguns and gun emplacements!! Overall, it's enough to keep you interested for a very long time.

Graphics (9.5/10) - How can you not give it such a good score? The character style is redone, and is almost cartoony, but it's funny. The graphics are done very well overall, including dirt spray from an explosion, realistic lighting, camera effects (words can't do this justice), and, one of the coolest things I've seen in a while, debris from surfaces if you shoot them. The guns are well-modeled, and so are the levels. Like I said, the graphics were well-done.

Audio (10/10) - ''Wow,'' is all I have to say. The gun sounds are great, and all the enemy speech is nice and clear. The ambient noise is good, too, but what really stands out is Graeme Norgate's skill as a composer. The music is VERY well done and very appropriate. In the first level, the Oblansk Dam (it's a GoldenEye 007 reference, if you couldn't tell from first sight), has fitting music, including a sneaky minor little reference to the Silo music from GE 007, considering Norgate worked on that, too. I can't go into too much more detail here, but believe me: it all sounds good. Especially the 1920's music. (That's all I can really say without spoiling anything.)

Multiplayer - I haven't played this with another person, actually, but I can tell it's going to be great. With all the new modes and stuff, how can it not? Yes, I sound like a fanboy here, but I have a very strong feeling the multiplayer is going to be very good, like in TimeSplitters.

Replayability (9/10) - It's the Arcade mode that keeps the replayability factor for this game, because the Story missions just don't have all that much more to them than they did in TimeSplitters.

Buy or Rent?: Buy. Now. Or wait until the GameCube and X-Box versions come out. Then buy it. Rent it at first if you're unsure, though.

Overall: Very well gives GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark a run for their money.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/10/02, Updated 10/10/02

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