Review by Hellfire X

"A credit to the FPS genre"

There's only one thing I can think of saying when talking about TimeSplitters 2: it is an absolute credit to the FPS genre. TimeSplitters was one of the release titles for PS2 and is one of the few that are still admired today. It was no surprise then that TimeSplitters 2 would be anticipated with such enthusiasm, and it was rightly so.

Pretty much what you'd expect from a FPS, but with that little something extra. The single player has been greatly improved, especially with the addition of the single player league series. The story and challenge modes have also returned with makeovers, with Story mode actually having proper objective-led missions, and there's a multitude of new modes for multiplayer. Monkey Assistant is the most innovative, with a team of highly trained monkeys armed to the teeth teleporting in every so often to help out whoever is in last place. Mapmaker has returned with the ability to create actual single player story missions. The challenges also have new ideas such as clay monkey shooting and cardboard target shootouts.
The downside? It can be extremely difficult at times. Hard mode in Story will probably leave you with a bald head, as will some of the challenges, but it won't stop you going back for more. There's something in them that keeps you going, and this is what makes this game so special. Controls are the same as in the original, which might not suit everyone, but they are easy to get used to and are also fully customizable.

STORY - 8/10
A great improvement over the original, but still predictable and linear. Go in, retrieve the time crystals and get out again. But at least this one has some sort of story which TimeSplitters lacked. The cutscenes are amusing and really help to set the scene for each level, another thing that the original lacked. Maybe a little more focus on inventive ideas would have bumped the score up a little, but enjoyable nonetheless.

GRAPHICS - 10/10
You won't see better graphics on a PS2 game. The rendering is spot on and really shows what the PS2 is capable of. And you know you're looking at such a feat when you see rain drops running down the screen, the air shimmer in front of a charged lasergun, or heat haze around flaming torches, corpses, monkeys... anyway. The main point is this: even if you don't agree with anything else in this review, you can't fault the graphics for anything, they're perfect.

SOUND - 10/10
Another great improvement. Those of you who remember the music in the original (Spaceways anyone? Ugh!) will be in for a pleasant surprise here. The music has been written to suit the atmosphere of each individual level, such as the saxophone soul in 1930s Chicago to the futuristic score for NeoTokyo. Sound effects are also spot on. Gunshots suit each individual weapon, as do the explosions from ballistic weapons. Overall, the sound and music really give a feel to whichever level you're playing.

This game will last you a long time. Single player might not, but then there's always the custom leagues. You can always give yourself a good laugh by playing a deathmatch with 10 monkeys as bots with rocket launchers. Better yet, invite a few friends round and let them fill in for the bots. And if you've got enough PS2s, controllers, games and mates, you can enjoy a 16-player free-for-all. Multiplayer is what gives this game its lifespan, but single player will probably last you a long time as well.

This game is definitely worth buying. If you're a FPS fan, you'll lap it up. If you're not, it'll probably convert you. Renting it won't give you enough time to really get stuck in to the new features. I liked it, and I'm sure you will.

OVERALL - 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/28/02, Updated 10/28/02

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