Review by roadkill

Reviewed: 11/24/02 | Updated: 11/24/02

Timesplitters is back, this time with a much needed storyline.

Timesplitters and I go way back to the launch of the PS2. I remember getting my shiny new (ok, maybe not too shiny, but it was new) PS2 with a couple of fresh never before seen yet soon to be forgotten games. I remember I was so excited, my eyes full of cheer and my voice sounding like a teen just hitting puberty. I ripped the sucker out of the box, turned it on and basked in the glow of the ominous blue light. I was amazed at what I next saw; the graphics were so amazing, so crystal clear. It was like I was actually watching TV. Then I took Tekken Tag out and popped in Timesplitters to give that a try.

Timesplitters is only improved this time around, offering a storyline, more multiplayer options (including LAN play) and co-op mode.

Gameplay - 9
Let me start off with a subject that may have turned a few of you away from the first Timesplitters, the controls. Timesplitters 2 (just like the first) features fully customizable controls, although the default ones are quite adequate (somewhat like that of Halo) it’s nice to know you have a choice.

Unlike the first Timesplitters, this one has a story. It’s the future; you’re fighting an alien race hell bent on changing the course of human history. But do the humans stop and think? No, they think the aliens have some malicious intent. But who knows, maybe they just want to buy a snow cone, ever think of that? Anyway, the aliens escape right before the humans can blow there big mouthed long tongued heads off and so, Timesplitters 2 begins. It’s like a Stargate meets Quantum Leap kind of thing. On you’re first mission, you’re main character (a buff guy) assumes the form of a women and fights her way through commie pipsqueaks.

But where the story mode ends and the multiplayer begin is really what will get you. The first Timesplitters offered a great multiplayer mode rivaled by few others; Timesplitters 2 tops even that of the first offering tons of different and unique in addition to all the goodies you’ve come to know and love. Now, you might be asking yourself, what’s with the monkey comment? Well, there’s a multiplayer mode called Monkey Assist which unfortunately I have yet to unlock. You can also play as the monkey in multiplayer. Let me tell you, it’s rather odd seeing him walk around with a gun that is bigger then him. This game also supports LAN play using the network card which comes standard with the X-Box. Just connect 4 units together over a hub/switch and go at it in an up to 16 player frag-fest. There’s only one bad thing about all these multiplayer modes. When you first start up the game, you only have a limited number to choose from the rest will have to be unlocked.

Of course there are the classic Timesplitters missions to do. These missions are things such as getting 10 frags (kills) within 3 minutes or capturing the briefcase and returning it to your base so many times. These missions can be fun when you’re getting frustrated with the story. In addition to some non-sense fragging on a massive level, these missions will also help you unlock stuff like new levels and characters.

To unlock levels, cheats, weapons or new characters for multiplayer, you have to take on the challenges or beat single player missions on a certain difficulty or meet some certain criteria.

As if that weren’t enough, you have the option of co-op play. You and a friend can team up to teach that alien menace that the human race can kick ass too.

This game plays well and for those of you that have formed an opinion about this game based on the demo alone, let me tell you, this is nothing like the demo.

One thing about this game is that the AI seems a little dumb at times. The guy can be standing facing you and still won’t see you. For some of us, this may not always be a bad thing.

Graphics - 10
For those of you who have played the first, think of those graphics with no jaggies and you got Timesplitters 2. Of course, Timesplitters 2 is not just a graphical update. Although everything you’ve come to love (or hate) about the first installment is in here, right down to the oddly deformed and anorexic characters.

Timesplitters 2 offers incredible graphics at a breakneck fast 60 frames per second with no slow down in sight even in multiplayer with 10 bots and 4 human players (of course, the same can be said of the original).

The coloring in this game is kind of difficult to describe, just look at the accompanying screens and you’ll see. There kind of a blend between realism and cartoon polished of graphics. But it works beautifully.

Sound - 9
A great soundtrack, even though you don’t have the option to select your own customized soundtrack, we won’t hold that against them. Nice eerie music that makes you freak out thinking something always coming to get you (which is often true). The sound effects are nice and straight out of the original.

The weapons sound authentic from the sound of a brick hitting a window to the sound of a screeching mini gun as you mow down all those opposing you. Also, the voice acting is good, but you can tell for some characters the accents were a little faked.

Replay - 9
This game is one to get you hooked. If the story mode doesn’t do it, the multiplayer definitely will, with this many different multiplayer options, you’ll be playing this one for awhile.

But the multiplayer is great. This game supports system link so you can have up to a 16 player LAN party. One thing about this game is that when it was being developed, they originally intended it to be played on Xbox Live, but at the last minute scrapped the idea. This would have been great over Live, but you can play over such programs as GameSpy Arcade or XboxConnect.

But wait there’s more, this game is one of few console games (I think the only FPS aside from Timesplitters) that offer a map editor. While it’s cool designing your own maps, I wish they would have added some new tiles since the previous Timesplitters. All it seems like they did was fancy up the tiles a little. Also, I’d love the opportunity to make as outdoor map, but that’s not going to happen here. Oh well, maybe Timesplitters 3.

Closing Comments
Live would have been sweet, but in an environment that’s probably going to be oversaturated with first person shooters, keeping this one offline probably wont effect your decision on whether to pick this one up or not. The graphics are nice and need no touchup as far as I’m concerned, but that can’t be said about the controls (at least not for me). Just some minor tweaking, just be glad this series gives you so many options as far as controls go.

Overall – 9

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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