Timesplitters 2September 12, 2008
After having such a success with there first Timesplitters creation it was time for the sequel. This game had more of a community now there was a new x-gen consoles avaible to buy the Xbox by Microsoft and the Gamecube by Nintendo. But shockingly only sold 0.3 million more than the orignal.
Here is another IGN review of the game and some of its features.
TimeSplitters 2’s story is not so much a tale as it is a means to sew together a wide selection of different play environments and styles into one common theme. The year is 2401 and an evil alien race, the TimeSplitters, has arrived — its one reason for existing to obliterate humans from the universe. As the extraterrestrial threat looms aboard a floating space station, Earth sends its last hope for survival, a duo of elite space marines, to dispose of the danger. After the armed team arrives it learns that nine unique time crystals are the source of the station’s power, but even before it can try to destroy them the TimeSplitters take the shards and jump through portals, rocketing backward and forward in time. It’s up to players to travel after, kill them, and retrieve the crystals so that the human race can continue its existence. It’s an intriguing concept, and while there are cut-scenes throughout the game that highlight the plot developments, the levels themselves feel almost unconnected. It’s as if Free Radical wanted to make a mobster-ridden Chicago, a robot world, a Blade Runner-like stage, some Aztec ruins and a Western, but couldn’t figure out a feasible way to do it while retaining a storyline. So voila: time travel. From a straight gameplay angle, this isn’t a bad thing, the worlds after all are varied and that’s a definite plus. But what interest do the TimeSplitters have in 1932 Chicago? We’re not sure — we never saw them there, we only battled mobsters and then retrieved a time crystal. The same can be said for most of the other levels in the game.
Still, gamers are likely to instantly forget any story inconsistencies as soon as they begin the first stage. It’s set in 1990 Siberia, an obvious throwback to the famous dam level in GoldenEye 007, and it carries with it all sorts of mission goals and objectives from long-range sniping to the disabling of camera systems, using bombs to destroy satellites and more. It’s extremely well executed. There is the phenomenally intuitive control setup, precise, speedy and more comfortable than any other first-person shooter ever created for home systems. The dual-analog-stick configuration is fast and friendly to the point where we can safely state that it’s the closest recreation of a PC mouse and keyboard to date, and nearly every other element of control is just as finely tuned — so much so that other FPSs feel weighted and unbalanced by comparison. There is the design of the level, filled with different difficulties of objectives, pacing, and enemy artificial intelligence. Then there are the gadgets and weapons, of which even in the first stage there are several, from a device that enables players to see where security cameras are stationed so that they can sneak by them undetected, to sniper rifles, shotguns, flamethrowers, timed mines and more. It’s just a very complete package and because this is the case the end result is nothing short of excellent.
Free Radical has stuffed TimeSplitters 2’s single-player mode with solid variety, options and features. First, there are nine worlds to battle through, some of them more entertaining than others. We concede that the game’s first stage, Siberia, is arguably its best and most balanced. The list includes everything from 1895 Notre Dame, in which gamers must progress a cathedral while fighting off zombies to 2280 Return to Planet X, a level based on an Martian planet, the 1858 Wild West, 1672 Atom Smasher, 1920 Aztec Ruins, a Robot Factory, a Space Station, and NeoTokyo, a stage ripped right out of the movie Blade Runner. The selection and diversity is commendable, and the developer has done a remarkable job of balancing so that on easy players will need deal with fewer objectives while on hard there are more goals, and enemy gunfire is deadlier. In our experience, all of the levels are fun. But, regardless of difficulty settings a couple of the worlds seem shallow, particularly ones such as Return to Planet X which involves a lot of gunplay and very little brainpower. Plus, as far as innovation goes, there is mostly nothing new in place here — TimeSplitters 2 has some GoldenEye, some Perfect Dark and some Quake, and it mixes all of these styles together triumphantly, but it’s not a pioneering, revolutionary game so much as it is a fine evolutionary one.
With less than 10 levels, the game is still beaten quicker than some other first-person shooters on the market despite Free Radical’s attempts to extend replay value with positively different difficulty goals. But the studio has at least included a series of arcade challenge modes to compete in, primed to test the limits of one’s skill, and many of which have a direct impact on the single-player missions. For instance, in one arcade challenge gamers must use a shotgun to guard a room from an oncoming horde of zombies, and the best way to preserve ammo is to kill the undead with one bullet via a perfectly aimed shot to their heads. Later in the single-player levels players will need to use similar skills to take out gangs of monsters and other foes. There are so many of these challenges, including a full league to customize and compete in, that they could almost be an entire game of their own, and because they unlock secret goodies, including tons of hidden playable characters, the incentive to keep playing is grippingly tangible. It’s extra modes and options like these that make the TimeSplitters 2 experience a deep, engaging one.
Were TimeSplitters 2 to have shipped as a single-player game, we still would have strongly recommended it as a fun, great first-person shooter. But the truth is that it’s the title’s multiplayer modes that propel it snugly into a league of its own. The multiplayer offerings are so bottomless, so packed with options, that we’d need a separate review to list them all, but we’ll try to go over the basics of why gamers should be excited. The first of these modes is the two-player cooperative story entry, which enables two gamers to go entirely through the single-player missions as a team in split-screen play. It’s absolutely superb. The cooperative mode is brilliantly balanced, neither dumbed down nor sloppily made more difficult. The goals remain the same, the objectives identical, but players must use their wits to ration supplies between the team — if there is only one sniper rifle on the ground and one of the players picks it up, another one does not magically appear in the second gamer’s arsenal; rather, he or she simply goes without it. The mechanic is thoughtfully implemented. The fact that the cooperative mode otherwise plays similarly to the single-player one, despite some framerate dips here and there, is extremely satisfying. Hats off.
Of course, that’s not to suggest that the other multiplayer modes are lesser entities. There are more than 15 different “arenas” — really large, speedy levels, and some 16 different play styles for up to four players to participate in. The sheer selection, again, is enormous. There are three basic play speeds: chilled, normal and frantic, with the latter revving up the pace of the modes significantly so that characters seem to sprint through the levels. It’s quite nice — a refreshing change from the slow, tediously clunky multiplayer modes in many console FPSs. Participants can jump directly into an intense four-player game and set all of the limits, from kills to the amount of time played, one hit kills, bots, difficulty of bots, and so on — the options in this regard are as deep and thorough as anything from Perfect Dark or GoldenEye. Meanwhile, the play styles each present have considerably different feels in the matches, from modes in which the worst player is helped by a squadron of dangerous monkeys to capture the flag, team deathmatch, and much more. These, coupled with the different weapons available — dozens from all of the different time zones, the amount of playable characters (more than 100 in all), and the fact that the framerate remains silky smooth and the speed crazy fast, make for one best multiplayer offerings for consoles. Period.
Finally, there is the MapMaker feature, which is an enhancement of the same option in the original TimeSplitters. Now gamers can create their own gigantic maps using a fairly intuitive builder that enables the creation of multiple tier, good looking, and deathmatch ready maps. There are all sorts of blocks and texture sets to play with. This addition works well enough that we had our own maps up and running in no time. Each map can be saved directly to memory at minimal cost. The amount of replay value achieved through this feature is practically immeasurable.
As you can see these characters is quite similar to the character in the first Timesplitters.