Review by ryanzb

""If you have a PS2 and love first-person shooters, you'd look pretty dumb if you don't have TS2.""


Ahh, I remember back when PS2 was just in it's infancy, when it had just a handful of games, and most of them were coaster-material. But one game stood out from the rest (to me, at least).

The original TimeSplitters was truly a game to behold, and now, Free Radical blesses us with the second iteration of the TimeSplitters franchise...

And now, on with the review.

Gameplay :: 10 out of 10

Let's get straight to business. TimeSplitters 2 (TS2) delivers in every aspect, gameplay-wise. Almost everyone was complaining about the Story Mode back when the original TS was released, and comments like ''it's too f*ckin' hard'', or ''it's too unbalanced to play'', were rampant. Well, most of them were right. That's why Free Radical Design atoned for it's past mistakes by completely revamping the TimeSplitter single-player experience.

The weak single-player mode that plagued the original TS has been replaced by a completely mind-blowing experience, worthy of the TimeSplitters franchise.

Levels are now introduced by outstanding cinematic sequences, and although some of the scenes are a bit over-acted, it's easily overlooked because of the quality of the scenes, and instead, adds to the comical atmosphere of the game. Furthermore, the amount of hard work poured into the construction of each scene becomes apparent. As soon as the intro ends, a quick loading screen (read: QUICK) flashes for a brief moment, then the fun begins. Although the difficulty has been toned down, the challenge is still there especially in the later levels. This is good, because Free Radical Design carefully maintains the gradual increase of the difficulty curve. Simply put, TS2's levels easily rivals that of the popular PC game Half-Life, in terms of quality and the fun factor.

Multiplayer... Well, what can I say? The multiplayer aspect of TS2 is it's core, and it'll get you hooked... HOOKED, I TELL YOU!

Take the multiplayer from the first game, give it new, better weapons, totally upgrade the game's engine, add plenty of quality bots and maps to boot, and there you have it. TS2 multiplayer in a nutshell. And it'll get you hooked.

Story :: 9 out of 10

TS2 continues the story with a familiar approach like that used in TS1. The whole Story Mode consists of large, completely independent missions, all bound by the common objective of (NOTE: minor spoilers ahead) collecting the crystals scattered by the TimeSplitters into the different timelines of our history. Also, all the different missions have different ''sub-stories'' that are completely unique, and no two missions have the same theme. Unlike the first game, TS2 has a storyline that isn't ''move from point A to point B'', or ''collect this or that''. It actually HAS a story.

Graphics :: 10 out of 10

Although the PS2 is the slowest system of the big three, this fact doesn't prevent it from pushing graphics to make GameCube and Xbox make a run for it's money. Never have I seen graphics this amazing for a shooter, where processing power and RAM are very, very important (both of which the PS2 is limited in), not only to keep the framerate high, but also to be able to render larger environments and store higher-resolution textures. TS2's graphics engine boast high polygon-count models (player and weapons/items) and a draw distance that allows intense sniper-fight duels (ala-CS). Also, colorful pastel textures that mostly make up the player textures are easy to the eye. All this in 60 frames-per-second. Also, TS2 ''borrows'' certain graphical tricks from other games. The most apparent is the rain/snow effect heavily used in MGS2, they are almost identical in execution.

Sound :: 10 out of 10

Clear and Crisp are just the right words to describe TS2's sound. Guns' sound effects are very believable, and the Music adds to the tension and atmosphere of a level. It's a perfect 10.

Control :: 9 out of 10

We should all remember that this IS a console shooter, which means no keyboard/mouse configuration. Although this is true, this doesn't stop FRD from trying their best to give us the perfect controls that all of us desire. Like the first TS, ''Aim'' helps us to, well, aim better. As you hold down the button (or toggle if you prefer), the crosshair gains added sensitivity. Aside from this added ability, everything else works like a charm, and is also fully customizable for your tweaking needs.

Final Words

You shouldn't let a game of this magnitude to pass you by. Do yourself a favor, and go now to the nearest EB, buy TimeSplitters 2, and give yourself a pat on the back. This is what all games should be made of. Fun.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/24/02, Updated 10/24/02

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