Review by Col

"A great game, a good sequel but still not perfect."

The sequel to a much acclaimed, if a little overrated (in my opinion) FPS, Timesplitters 2 has learnt from it’s predecessor’s mistakes and is a high quality game with plenty of non-stop action that makes most other first person shooters look pedestrian paced in comparison.

Graphics : 8.5
Timesplitters 2 has some fairly decent visuals, the flame effects being particularly good. The visual style is quite unique and this certainly makes TS2 stand out from the FPS crowd, although arguably, the attention to detail isn’t perhaps quite as high as some other PS2 titles.

Sound : 8
I’m not sure why sound is really worth rating, but others seem to do it so I will. The sound effects suit the style of the game perfectly, being over the top and slightly comical, though they’re not quite as ‘meaty’ as other FPS games perhaps. The music is pretty good, depending on your tastes, but can become annoyingly repetitive.

Gameplay: 9
For a FPS, the controls are brilliant, and nice and responsive. The single player mode has been enhanced, with a better story line and longer, objective based missions. There’s an element of trial and error to many of levels, which on the more difficult skills levels can be a little annoying. You can’t save during missions, but if you get far enough into a level, you reach a checkpoint which works as a temporary save, so when you die, rather than having to restart the level from the beginning again, you continue from when you reached the checkpoint. The checkpoints do seem to be placed a little early on in the levels perhaps though.

Also, there’s a ton of new single player challenges, and also a new addition, the Arcade League which is a pre-set collection of arcade levels to complete. By completing the challenges you unlock extras, such as new arcade modes, levels, characters etc.

Whilst the weapons are nicely balanced in TS2, the bots are my biggest concern. They can duke it out 1 on 1 nicely, but they fail to work as team, and there isn’t much co-ordination between them. So in team modes, you pretty much work alone, relying on yourself and not your bot allies. This makes Capture the Bag and Assault far less interesting than they need be… being able to issue simple orders like ‘cover me’, ‘guard base’ etc could have partially solved this problem.

The other game modes range from good fun to average – depending to a degree as to whether you’re playing with bots or other humans. Virus, for example, is great when you play with others, but lacking in the excitement stakes when playing alone.

Another adverse quirk of the game, is in the ‘best’ weapon selection. Although optional, when you run over a weapon, if it’s considered to be the ‘best’ one you have, it automatically selects it for you. Unfortunately, this can be a burden to you, because often an automatic weapon is preferable to shotguns, but the game doesn’t think so. You can lose precious seconds during a challenge, or die outright whilst reselecting your favourite weapon of destruction. The option to change weapon priorities for each user is a must for the sequel.

Replay Value: 10
The story mode won’t last long, but the challenges and arcade modes will. The Map Maker is back and improved, which ups the replay value considerably, although it’s still not very complex so you might overlook this. If you have a ready supply of mates on hand, this game will last you a very, very long while. Less so if you’re a loner.

Overall : 9
A brilliant game, fast, addictive, and with lots to do. It really does demand you play it with others though, because you miss out on the best part of the experience otherwise.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/29/02, Updated 10/29/02

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