Review of TimeSplitters
With the extra power that the PS2 possesses, it was inevitable that the popularity of Doom and Quake style shooters on the PC, would quickly expand to our new console. Already two of them have surfaced (the other being Unreal Tournament), and while essentially similar, they differ in one MAJOR area... The software engine that drives this game was written from scratch specifically for the PlayStation2, instead of directly converting existing PC code as was done with Unreal. Does this show..? Lets see.
TimeSplitters is a game that spans many time periods and places gamers in the middle of each locale with certain objectives to resolve.
In the Arcade mode you get to select from Death Match, Bag Tag, Capture the Flag and Knockout games. Two other games are opened up after you meet certain criteria. While each of these games are great, I personally liked the bag tag in both single and multi-player modes. In this game a bag is randomly placed on the level just waiting for you to pick it up. Once obtained, the idea is to hold onto it for as long as possible by avoiding enemy gunfire - one hit and its gone. The person (or team) that has held onto the bag the longest at the end of several matches wins.
In the Story mode you once again begin in one of three time periods, but you now have specific missions, like finding the golden Ahnk in the Tomb level and then getting it back out without getting killed. There is even an additional gameplay mode that is unlocked when you finish off the Story mode on the easy setting… how cool is that..!
What really makes things fun with TimeSplitters though is its extreme amount of flexibility. Each game, mission and mode can be setup, configured and tweaked to just where you want it. You can adjust the number and type of bots, scoring limit, scoring method, time limits, team play, friendly fire, always start with a gun, radar display, one shot kills, types of guns on the levels, how many of them, handicaps…the list goes on.
But, I have saved the very best for last… as this game contains its very own level editor..! Thats right, you can design your very own maps. The editor is extremely easy to employ… you basically select a tile piece with the cursor, move it where you want and click the X button. Multiple level maps can also be built and once complete you can use a 3D view to walk through. Once happy, its time to place the weapons, ammo, health, etc. Next you will want to add your color, lighting, effects, music, theme…man this is so freaking awesome. And best of all it is EASY to do and each map once saved only takes up 1KB of the 8MB memory card!
The game moves along at a breakneck pace…a full 60fps at all times. Things are cruising so fast that people not familiar with games of this type may easily find themselves disoriented. I personally loved it and was impressed that there were at least 6 totally different character models often on the screen at once, all shooting weapons and still there was no slowdown. Even splitting the screen into 2, 3 or 4 segments during multi-player mode couldnt slow this beast down. The developers definitely accomplished their goal of maintaining a constant frame rate in any circumstance…very impressive indeed.
Character animation was quite fluid with good smooth transition moves… none of the characters moved in a choppy manner. The backgrounds were also quite nicely detailed and varied significantly from time period to time period. About the only drawback was the fact that the texturing wasnt all that it could have been. Dont get me wrong, things look really nice to be sure but the depth of field could have been improved with more colorful and plentiful textures. As it stands though, this is still quite pretty and sure to impress you and your friends.
The music is okay. It can be quite involving and intense at times and then kinda goofy and fluffy at other times. The sound effects definitely keep pace with the frame rate and come at you fast and furious. I also like the fact that the game gives you the option of 4-channel sound…sweet.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'TimeSplitters' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Tom Rooney © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 18 TimeSplitters in-game screenshot slideshow
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