Review by Kornb

Reviewed: 07/19/04

A console fps game that would been better if the devs would have been aware of the console's controller.

I am sure, there are a lot of people that will disagree with this review, but fact is that nobody can play this game and beat it on hard mode. A game is supposed to be fun and challenging, but when the challenge steps into the impossible, then things start to quickly get ugly and frustrating.

Now, I don't have a lot of knowledge about the Timesplitters series. Hell, I have not even played Perfect Dark or Goldeneye to see how these guys work at developing games. The only thing I know, is that Timesplitters has had two sequels on the PS2 (the console version I am going to review).

So, lets get going and describe the game's strong points.

The Graphics, while not spectacular, are really good. I personally loved the cartoony and lighthearted sytle of the characters. The level design is very creative, and everything flows really smooth at 60 fps. Never, I have seen a fps game run so good. The framerates rarely drop. The animation is top notch. I love the way how every character moves, from the ordinary running, to the more complex dodging and diving. The character design is also good, plus the fact that there are 50+ characters for you to unlock, which will bring some very funny customes to the game. The guns are beautifully modeled, and make up for a very engaging fps game.

The sound is another strongpoint from the game. The sound of the guns, while not accurate are really powerful. Every gun has its own different sound, and while your typical game match will be filled with them, there will be an ocassional moment for you stop (to reload) or to cool off from the action. Every level has its own background special effects. Like in Chinese Mansion you will hear the sounds of the water running on the surroundings rivers. In Streets you will hear the sound of a plane passing over you. The music is also sublime. The tunes are really well done, with a mix of jazz and techno. While the sounds were well done, there is this particular sound that really annoys the hell of me, and it is the one which is played when there just 10 seconds left on the match. In my opinion, that tune has to be one of the most annoying things I have ever heard. Everything else, sounds ok to me with the exception of the portable machine gun. It is supposed to sound real loud but sometimes it gets really annoying, but that is just me.

Well, I guess those were the game's strong points. Now we get to the worst part of the game, the actual gameplay. Everything, from how you aim to how your character moves, I think needed a little bit more care, and work. Your walking speed is way to slow. According to the game, you are running, but it is very often in a game match that everybody is passing way too fast around you. By the time, you move, and turn around and try to aim, you are dead. The aiming is another one of the game's worst things. Aiming would have been a very simple thing, but they had to mess everything up, by mapping the aim button with the L1 button. Fact, is in all my fps games, I am constantly running and aiming. Having to switch to aim mode and fire, really takes time, precious time that can mean success or failure. Weapon changing is another problem. It would have been nice to know what weapon is the one I am switching for. While you can get your arsenal filled with the coolest guns, having to actually use them, will take some time, and leave you with suspense of what freaking gun will appear in your screen.

I am sure, there are people that while are fps lovers, they have some problems with aiming on them, but aiming is something that quickly gets second nature to you. Well, this game forces you to be godly with your aim, or else you wont get anywhere else. It seems the devs were a group of sadistic people that wanted you to have hell with it. It is ok for a console fps to push you to be moderately quick with your aiming, but when the same game puts you in a challenge of having to shoot airbone monkeys and get certain amount of points under certain amount of short time, then things can get really hotheaded and frustrating. Enough to shout some cursing, and possibly throw your controller. Having the option to use a keyboard and mouse, would preferably have made things a little bit more easier and fun.

Adding that to the insanely difficult missions and the fact that you need luck to beat the game on the hardest difficulty, this game pretty much scores an average score. I mean, I like games to bring some challenge, but when things get too unfair up to the point of the AI having twice the speed of firing rate, along with some dodging stunts that they can do, but you don't and the problematic issue of being respawned way too far to your targets or too close to the same character that killed with a machine gun (this time having to face him with a pistol), then this game does deserve that score.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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