in review are from PS2 version. Xbox and Gamecube screens are below.
over a year ago, TimeSplitters
remains one of the best multiplayer FPS games on the PS2. Unfortunately, it did not
deliver much in the way of a single player campaign. The concept worked, the atmosphere
was perfect, but it is hard to get excited about a story mode with absolutely no story and
mission objectives that can be affectionately summed up as a game of fetch. Lucky for us,
Free Radical and Eidos are going the extra mile with the sequel, available this summer on
2 will feature a complete story mode full of time travel, intrigue, and, of course,
action. This time out there will be multiple difficulty settings for each level. Each
increased level of difficulty will contain additional mission objectives and tougher
enemies, a la Goldeneye, a game that many of the people at Free Radical helped to create.
Also included will be a cooperative story mode, a multiplayer mode that promises to be
even more customizable than the first, and an expanded map maker.
demo level I was able to play (available in the February edition of the Official
Playstation Magazine) was for the PS2 version only. From the beginning it is clear that
the campy atmosphere is back and stronger than ever. There are gun-toting monkeys in this
game, after all. The opening cinematic features a couple of clumsy soldiers who encounter
a zombie in a cave. It plays like a scene out of Abbot And Costello Meet Frankensteinlots
of goofy expressions and scream takes. After that its an overview of the level (a
snowy military camp nestled beneath a tall dam), then a straight shot into the perspective
of your character.
begin playing on the outskirts of the camp carrying only a pistol and a sniper rifle.
After taking out the guards with the sniper rifle, you move into the camp, careful not to
be detected by the security cameras, or killed by the snipers aiming at you from the dam
high above. Once you have taken out the cameras and enemies and looted the camp, you move
into the dam where your objectives await. You must restore power to the elevator and
disable the satellite. Along the way you will find a variety of weaponsa machine
gun, a grenade launcher, and a flame-thrower for starters. The flame-thrower does a
wonderful job of setting things ablaze, enemies especially. The demo ends when you meet up
with the soldiers and zombie from the opening scene.
graphics and sound are both especially well done, even as the title remains unfinished.
The landscapes are vivid and expansive, there is virtually no draw-in or fog, and I never
detected any slow down. The character models are very cartoony, but it is a style that
fits the game. The characters faces are very articulate and are easily as good as
those of 007: Agent Under Fire. There are plenty of deformable objects in the game, from
windows that shatter according to where they are hit, to shelves full of boxes, plates,
and watermelons. Okay, the watermelons are obvious target placement, only there to look
cool when they explode, but I enjoyed blowing them apart with my projectile version of the
Sledge-O-Matic nonetheless. Another strange anomaly are the potted plants that explode
after taking damage. I take this as a very funny in-joke, a commentary on the current
state of action fair like Red Faction where the game isnt over until everything is
blowed up real good. TimeSplitters 2 is so action-packed even the plants explode!
the level presented in the demo has a very retro-Goldeneye feel. It is almost as if your
time traveling compatriots have dropped you into a spiffed up version of the popular N64
title. For me this was a welcome homage as well as a nod to gamers, telling us that the
creators know what the first title was missing, and they are happy to give us what we
really want. TimeSplitters 2 is looking to be one of this years must-play titles. I,
for one, am anticipating many an hour of sci-fi camp, Elvis impersonators, killer monkeys,
self-made Machiavellian deathtrap levels, and multiplayer goodness.