by Eidos Interactive
When the PlayStation 2 was released here in the UK one of the early titles stood head and shoulders above the rest, that title was TimeSplitters. From (some of) the creators of the Nintendo 64 smash hit, Goldeneye, the game gave early PlayStation 2 owners exactly what they wanted; great graphics and superb gameplay. TimeSplitters was easily better than any other PS2 title until the arrival of Gran Turismo 3 and is still one of the best FPS games on the console. Of course with such a success story, the game was always going to get a sequel and this time it's on all the major consoles. For the purpose of this review we will look at the PS2 version.
Most games are either purchased for there single player or multiplayer content. With TimeSplitters 2 however both modes are equally enjoyable. The story part of the single player side of the game sees you faced with 10 distinct levels all with different weapons, enemies etc. Of course the goal is to defeat the TimeSplitters again and it is up to you to perform a wide range of objectives, as well as collecting the Time Crystals, in each of the 10 different levels (that range from Siberia to the Space Station) in order to do so. Whilst the single player mode is not the greatest FPS experience ever, it is very good and the 3 difficulty levels provide challenge enough for anyone. The only real disappointment with the single player game is that the AI is not as sophisticated as in games such as Halo, and to be completely honest it's all a bit too brief.
For the multiplayer experience though, TimeSplitters 2 simply can't be touched by any other console game. In fact it's the first console game in my opinion to offer as much variety as games such as Unreal Tournament on the PC. The choice of characters and gameplay modes is simply amazing (over a dozen) of course most of these modes are locked when you first play. There is even an option to create your own maps and designate what game modes can be played on them. In fact in many ways this is the true Unreal Tournament for the mainstream consoles because of the sheer variety it offers.
Graphically the game looks wonderful. For those who thought the original game looked good you'll be amazed to find how much better the sequel looks. The game has been designed with a slightly cartoon feel and it gives it a very distinctive look. With a FPS game the framerate needs to be constant and TimeSplitters 2 is ultra smooth with no slowdown at all. The effects of fire and heat in the game look absolutely magnificent.
The single player mode can be subtitled, by selecting them in the options, so you'll be able to enjoy the cutscenes in all their glory. Mission objectives can be recalled (by pressing the select button) during a mission too, which is always good to see. During a multiplayer game all the information you could wish for is shown in text. Of course there are no sound cues for enemy noise etc., pretty much like in almost every other game.
TimeSplitters 2 is one of the most complete titles you can currently buy for the PS2. If there is a chink in it's armour it would have to be the fairly short-lived single player game but in it's defence you can have AI opponents in the multiplayer modes and in fairness this is entertaining in it's self. If you're after a strong story line with FPS action then you probably won't be too interested in TimeSplitters 2 but for everyone else the title is a must own.
Overall Game Rating: 9.3/10 Thin on the story part of the single player game, TimeSplitters 2 more than makes up for it with the best multiplayer FPS action you can find on a console.
Deaf Gamers comment: Subtitles can be enabled and objectives can be recalled. Deaf gamers will have no problem at all with TimeSplitters 2.