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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
FPS of 2002
multiplayer game I've played in a while
a plot-heavy game
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.