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TimeSplitters 2 (Xbox) artwork

TimeSplitters 2 (Xbox) review


"A few Christmasís ago (on the happiest Christmas of my life) I received a PS2 and the game Timesplitters. The game blew me away. The graphics were so much better than any other game I'd ever played at that time, the single player was cool, the multiplayer kicked complete ass, and there was hardly any work put into the story. Formula for a damn fine game, if you ask me. Thankfully, Timesplitters 2 for the Xbox is pretty much an exact copy of TS1 with graphical improvement, more characters, m..."



A few Christmasís ago (on the happiest Christmas of my life) I received a PS2 and the game Timesplitters. The game blew me away. The graphics were so much better than any other game I'd ever played at that time, the single player was cool, the multiplayer kicked complete ass, and there was hardly any work put into the story. Formula for a damn fine game, if you ask me. Thankfully, Timesplitters 2 for the Xbox is pretty much an exact copy of TS1 with graphical improvement, more characters, more weapons, more modes of play, more mini games, and more unlockable stuff.

The story is ''explained'' in an intro movie that is difficult to understand. This is basically what I've been able to get from it: In the far future there's an evil race of space mutants called the Timesplitters that want to destroy humanity. They hate us so much that they've traveled back in time and started ''sowing corruption'' and are basically being big jerks. They have stolen your Time Crystals. What the purpose of the Time Crystals is isn't explained. But none of that really matters- you've got to go back in time, shoot a bunch of people, and retrieve one time crystal from each level. The two main characters go back in time and take over the bodies of other people involved in various conflicts in the time periods.

Some of the people who worked on Goldeneye also worked on Timesplitters 2. While the game isn't really anything like Goldeneye, you can see the guys' influence. It controls alot like Goldeneye, it feels alot like Goldeneye, the explosions are even little Goldeneye-style ones.

The graphics have a sort of stylized cartoonish look to them- some people might like this, some people might think it's dumb. There are some nice looking weather effects that weren't present in the first game, along with better looking weapons effects. Overall it has a nice smooth look.

The campaign mode can be played in either single player or co-op modes, and ranges over 10 different levels, which are also 10 different time periods. The weapons available differ depending on the time period. There's everything from the wild west, to the 70's, to different periods in the far future, and back again. Each level can be played in 3 different difficulties- easy, normal, and hard. The easy mode is extremely easy. The normal mode is normal. The hard mode is VERY difficult, beating every level in hard mode will take quite a while. You have to unlock each difficulty level, at the beginning of the game you start out with level 1 on easy mode. If you beat it on easy you gain the opportunity to play level 2 on easy, or 1 on medium. If you beat 1 on medium, you can play 2 on medium, or 1 on hard, etc etc etc.

Then there's the multiplayer. TimeSplitters 2 multiplayer is going to be a dramatic change for people who are used to the slower more methodical style of Halo deathmatches. The matches are fast and furious- you'll be racking up 50 kills in a few minutes. You have 16 different multiplayer-only levels to choose from, only about 4 of which you have at the start of the game--the rest must be unlocked. Some of the classic levels from TS1 such as Chinese are back. You can put up to 10 bots in a match, and have the option of changing their skill settings. One of the few things that bugged me about the game was that even on the hardest setting the bots aren't that hard. There are 16 modes of multiplayer, running from the traditional (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag) to the not so common (Flame Tag-where one person is on fire and must chase down another player to pass on the flame, Zones-where your team must hold certain points on the map, and Monkey Assistant-where the person in last place has a horde of armed monkeys fighting on his side). Of the 16 multiplayer modes, only a couple are available when you start the game, the rest must be unlocked. At the end of each battle players are given awards like Decapitator, Pathetic Shot, Most Dishonorable, Most lethal, based on how they played. While hardly essential, this is a cool and fun little feature.

The multiplayer really is the highlight of the game. You've got an abundant 31 weapons to choose from-you are allowed to create your own custom weapons set every time you play. You can toggle quite a few options for each match, too. There's the varied match styles, the ability to turn on powerups (speed, invisibility, shrinkage, etc), you can toggle the radar, the option for everybody to start with a gun (essential in the more crowded matches), various handicaps, and your music of choice. There's quite alot of songs to pick from, including a few old ones from TS1. There's also a Timesplitters techno remix song, all the level songs from TS2, and a few others. Overall the music is okay, nothing great to listen to, but at least it's not annoying. TS1 veterans may enjoy listening to the retro funky Planet X tune. Get a few guys around a game of TS2 deathmatch with bots and a second won't go by where there isn't a machine gun blazing and somebody dying- this is all out war.

The craziest thing is that you can choose from a mind-blowing 126 characters. No, that wasn't a typo. Each character has his/her/its own set of statistics that have an effect on gameplay. There's Accuracy, Agility, and Stamina. Some characters cause more damage with their hits than others, some are faster than others, and some take more hits to go down than others. For the most part they're all pretty balanced, there aren't any characters that just mop up on everybody, however, there are some really weak ones. I guess the only reason to play as those guys is that they're pretty unique looking, but theyíll still get killed more easily than the others. You start the game with about 12 available characters-that leaves 114 to be unlocked.

As you can see, there's a lot of stuff to unlock in Timesplitters 2. Multiplayer levels, Multiplayer game modes, 114 characters. There's a few ways to unlock stuff. When you beat a campaign level on a new difficulty setting, you'll usually get something new. Then there's a large amount of mini-game type things to do. First is the Challenge mode, which has over 20 challenges for you to overcome. How many zombie heads can you shoot off in 2 minutes? How long can you evade an angry mob of flaming monkeys? Can you make your way into the Dam without being spotted? Each challenge has standards that you must reach, there's bronze, silver, and gold medals. If you do well, you'll be rewarded with a new character or silly little extra like the ''rotating heads'' cheat. Then there's the Arcade League mode, which consists of over 40 different single player bot matches. There's 3 different leagues with a range of skill settings. All of the matches have a short back story, most of which are humorous. Doing well in these matches will open up new multiplayer play modes, the matches themselves serving as an introduction to the new modes. You can also unlock new characters here.

There's a stat tracker that will keep track of every possible thing you could imagine. How many miles you've traveled in the game, your average running speed, total kills, total games fought with wins/losses percentage, total bullets fired, accuracy percentage, how many limbs you've detached, how many panes of glass you've shattered, the most kills you've attained without dying, and if you've played as the Monkey character. That's just a few of the stats, there are many more. All the bases are covered.

While the single player campaign mode isnít anything out of the ordinary, TS2 shines in the multiplayer area. The matches are fast, furious, and filled with explosions and automatic weapons fire. Even if you have no friends you can put 10 bots into a map and have a pretty good time. What really separates TS2 from its competitors is the sheer amount of stuff there is to do and stuff to unlock in the game. If you commit yourself to unlocking every one of the 126 playable characters, you'll be spending alot of time with this game. It really doesn't get very boring, either. There's always a new difficult Challenge to conquer. While not quite up there with Halo, itís definitely a refreshing alternative for the jaded Halo addict. TimeSplitters 2 is another game on the growing list of top notch Xbox first person shooters.

Rating: 8.9/10

goatx3's avatar
Community review by goatx3 (December 03, 2002)

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