Review by robcram

"TimeSplitters rocks."

Timesplitters was initially released as a PS2 launch title. It gained a lot of interest due to the fact that some of the programmers were ex-Rare (the makers of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark). Although the game was widely
Received, its story mode was a sheer disaster. Timesplitters main strength was its multi player madness and unique level editor. Timesplitters has once again returned in this all new sequel. Bring it on!

Timesplitters 2 is basically a 1st person shooter with its own cartoon style. The first thing you are presented with is the huge amount of options ¬
Available. These include a new and improved story mode, which sees you following a basic but involving plot (an excuse to kill, kill, kill). Through 10 missions set in various time periods, ranging from the wild west, to locations in the future. When playing through these you can instantly see the Goldeneye influences. For example the sound fx, the mission objectives increase on higher difficulties opening up new areas, the aiming system and the damage-HUD. These all work a treat as you stealth or blast your way through these missions. This mode is a massive improvement over the originals poor effort and on the harder settings becomes a real challenge, even for the experienced player. Its just great to see a game that can rival Goldeneye’s game play.

Timesplitters 2 does not stop at providing you an entertaining story mode either. It has more tricks up its sleeves, in the form of various challenges. These were also a feature of the 1st game and offer something different from the story mode. Here you will be faced with various tasks that generally have to be completed with conditions or against a time limit. These tasks include smashing panes of glass to stealth specific missions amongst other things. The point here being that the quicker you complete these then the higher the reward for doing so (I’ll come back to the rewards in a moment). These challenges are quite fun and a welcome change to the other modes on offer here.

The best feature of the 1st game was its compelling multi-player game. This featured the ability to fill your game with loads of bots, for some manic gun-play sessions with one or more human players. This has returned with many of the old arenas included as well as many new ones too. There are now more game types too such as elimination, infiltration and monkey assist. Most of the game types are standard fare amongst games of this genre , but here they work extremely well and offer a real blast, literally. You can also tweak all these game types to suit your style of play ,such as bot A.I ,weapons types, speed and handicaps. Also you can create your own arenas to play these games in as well as your own stories and challenges. This feature has improved since the 1st game and feels great to make your own stories ,even though it’s a little tricky at first.

Going back to the rewards , this game seems to be all about them. You see there are loads of hidden characters to unlock for use in the various multi-player modes. Also the modes themselves, although displayed have to be unlocked first. This makes the game a complete rewards fest, leaving you the player choice after choice of things to aim for ,other than your opponents heads. You wont be finishing this game in an afternoon. Every mode on offer has something to unlock and if you are determined like myself , then you will want to unlock everything.

If I was to criticize Timesplitters 2 then it would have to be on the game’s looks more than anything. Some of the levels are nice looking where as others simply look dire for next Gen technology. The character models are also very basic . Some people may be put off by the lack of a permanent crosshair, but if you are worth your salt you will overcome this quickly. To be honest its hard to find any fault with the game play although a few more bot options would have been nice a la Perfect Dark.

Timesplitters 2 is a great game and will keep you entertained for a long time in single and multi player. The sheer amount of things to do here is impressive which other developers should take note of. If you own an Xbox, Gamecube or Ps2 then this game should sit proud in your collection.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 06/09/03, Updated 06/09/03

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