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TimeSplitters 2

Review By:  Nick Arvites

Developer:   Free Radical
Publisher:   Eidos
# of Players:   1-4
Genre:   FPS
ESRB:   Teen
Online:   No
Accessories:   N/A
Date Posted:  


I love a good first-person-shooter. Sadly, the first-person shooter scene is filled with many mind-numbing and unimpressive examples of games. Thankfully, one or two titles per year rise above the rest as a great first-person shooter. In 2002, that title was TimeSplitters 2.

I never played the original TimeSplitters, but it was not necessary to know what happened into the first game. That is part of this gameís unique idea of a storyline. Instead of making one long continuous story, there are ten different stages with different characters in them. Sure, the main plot of "two soldiers trying to fix time from some aliens ties them all together" but the individual stages play like small games. This may seem lame at first, but each stage takes place in a different time period and has different weapons. In fact, the weapon list is massive and varied (everything from Tommy guns to laser pistols to rocket launchers). Secondly, it is far more difficult to make a continuous plot in a first-person shooter. There are exceptions, but the game tends to drag on far too long for many gamers.

TimeSplitters 2ís approach makes this game really easy to pick up and play because it is not about finding, exploring and uncovering a plot. Each of the levels can be completed in one sitting (thus the reason they donít have in-level saves). To counter the lack of in-level save points, the designers added checkpoints. If you die, you start from the checkpoint instead of the beginning of the level. Each level starts off with a briefing page and a scene that show you whatís basically going on. Granted, that does not really hide the simple fact that almost every mission is "walk in, kill all hostiles, grab the crystal, walk out." However, the reason you play this game is not for the plot, but for the environment. Each game world is different from the last and the stages in this game do not suffer from Halo syndrome (where all the rooms look the same).

The character design is not really realistic, but they are not idiotic cartoon characters either (well, some of the multiplayer characters and that damned monkey may be idiotic). There is one unique thing I noticed with this game. There is absolutely no blood or gore. None. Sure, you can blast heads and limbs off (actually, the game keeps count on stats like this), but you are not going to see a fountain of red when you do it. Does this matter at all? No. This game does not need cheap ploys ala-Soldier of Fortune to be entertaining.

What is the major secret to TimeSplitters 2ís success? One word that many companies do not seem to properly know: MULTIPLAYER. By far, this is the hands down best multiplayer first-person shooter Iíve played since the Half-Life mod counterstrike. This gameís multiplayer beats out Halo, Goldeneye and almost anything else you can mention. Lets start off with my favorite feature: 2 player cooperative mode. Too many first-person shootersí ignore the possibilities of a two-player story mode. TimeSplitters 2 recognized this as a good idea and implemented it. The levels arenít too long so two people could easily fly through most of the game in a day or two (compared to the month or so my friend and I spent on Halo) so you shouldnít lose interest in it after a few levels.

If a two-player story mode does not seem like your cup of tea, then the standard (and not so standard) multiplayer modes may be more to your liking. Up to four people can compete in the Custom Arcade mode, though you will want to play through the arcade challenge levels first to unlock more characters and game modes. This game has bot support too, so even one person can still have fun in the custom arcade mode. When starting up a multiplayer game, you can choose the map, the bots, and (most importantly) the weapons. Personally, I like setting it to a bunch of double weapons. Itís hard to find something better than running around with two machine-guns. Regardless, you can change it to whatever your heart desires.

The controls are the basic Xbox first-person shooter controls. The right trigger is the primary fire, the left trigger is the secondary fire, both joysticks control movement and aiming, clicking on the left stick makes you crouch, clicking on the right stick zooms in to aim, the A button activates objects and the Y button reloads. The one thing missing is jumping. I am very glad that I can finally play a multiplayer first-person shooter without seeing some fool jumping around the entire map (really annoying when youíre online and the lag kicks in...but thatís another story).

The music and sound is pretty good. I like that all of the characters have voices, even if theyíre stereotypical of whatever the mission style is. For example, all of the characters in the Chicago level sound like characters from a really cheesy detective movie. Just use that same line of thinking and apply it to the rest of the levels.

Because the multiplayer mode of this game is so great, the replay value is extremely high. Not only is the game divided up into relatively small levels that act as almost stand alone games, but the arcade modes provide quick and easy fun. Be it with friends or alone, TimeSplitters 2ís many hours of replay value make it automatically worth the retail price.


  • Best FPS of 2002
  • Quick fun
  • Awesome weapon selection
  • Awesome level design
  • Best multiplayer game I've played in a while


  • No blood
  • Not a plot-heavy game

Final Verdict: 

Why are you still reading this? If you remotely enjoy first-person shooters, buy this game. The single player game is easy to get into, and the multiplayer is the best seen in any first-person shooter in this generation. No blood? So what? This game doesnít need it. One of the best shooters ever.

Overall Score: 9.5

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