Thursday, 5 December 2013

Classic Game Review - TimeSplitters 2

Dun du du dah! Can you hear the fanfare, blazing out a triumphant tune, with everyone around it going absolutely crazy, screaming and applauding? No, of course not. This is me typing. If you can hear one, it's either because you're reading this next to a brass band, or you're just crazy. But, if there were a fanfare and masses of people celebrating, it would be because we've added a new section to our blog! Yes, now you can read brand new, refreshed reviews of the games you loved as a wee kid! It's Classic Game Review time! And we start off the first review with a bang, TimeSplitters 2. (Alun Owen, Triple-A Crystal Collector)


TimeSplitters 2 was a game developed by Free Radical Design, now known as Crytek. After the success of the first Time Splitters, the developers needed to live up to expectations and create another brilliant game, and oh boy did they. The game has two mission modes, single player, which consists of 10 missions and co-op (which has the same levels as single player, but the advantage of playing with a buddy). I know, 10 missions doesn’t seem a lot, but the great thing is that you can play these over and over without getting bored. Each level has a difficulty setting, easy, medium, hard etc. These difficulties not only changes how hard it is, it also adds new objectives (one of my favourites being Siberia on hard, where you have to destroy a helicopter on top of a dam). Every mission (except the last) is set in either the past or the future, copying famous films, for example, Neo Tokyo blatantly copies the dystopian sci-fi film Blade Runner, with the hovering police cars and even the same pedestrian crossing sound (yes, I’m that sad for noticing).

The objectives of each level is to collect the time crystals, that opens a portal, where you can hop in to be transported back to the space station where the game starts. Sgt. Cortez and Corporal Hart (the character you play as) are sent to collect these crystals to stop the TimeSplitters to use them against mankind. The TimeSplitters use these crystals to travel in time and change the course of history, spreading chaos over Earth. But, as Cortez and Hart reach the bridge to nip the crystals off the pesky aliens, 10 of them grab the crystals and jump into a time portal and are transported to various periods of history, like the Wild West and 1930's Chicago. Cortez pursues the aliens by bravely chasing them through time. In each time period, Cortez takes form of a person that represents that time period, which is pretty clever and adds a cool twist. 

No wonder that girl rejected you, mate...
There is also an Arcade mode, which has nothing to do with the main story. This mode has a variety of challenges, like holding off a horde of the undead or smashing the windows of Notre Dame with bricks. Crazy, I know, but so much fun. After completing a challenge, you'll be awarded with either a bronze, silver, gold or platinum trophy, depending on how fast you finished the challenge. 

The gameplay is superb. Yes, it's complete rip off of the classic Goldeneye for the N64, but this game is full of parodies and spoofs, and this tops it off. You get the classic crescents on the side of your screen displaying your health and body armour and the first person view. But, what makes this truly special is that it's not cheaply made, at times I thought I was actually playing Goldeneye. The vast arsenal of weapons you possess as well is tremendous, so many ways of killing your enemies! Weapons vary from a double-barreled shotgun to a rocket launcher and proximity mines. What would have been nice have been some melee weapons, that would add some competition if you and your friends wanted to play a murderous game of knifes only.

Goldeneye has improved its graphics. Oh wait...
All of the above make this game excellent, but what nudges this game from a great game to an OMG BEST GAME EVER is the multiplayer. There are so many maps to choose from, and even more game modes, tons of them. And, I mean tons. You can choose from the classics like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag and newer game modes, like Virus. Most of these are brilliant to play, others, like nearly all FPS's, are duds, so just avoid these (modes like Leech). You can also play with your friends or against bots. The AI in the multiplayers are usually up to scratch, with occasional neat rolls to dodge your bullets. Yet, there are some errors, sometimes they just stop in their tracks and start running around in a circle. Very frustrating, I know, especially in a game of Flame Tag, where one of you has to sacrifice yourself to be 'tagged' to carry on the game. If you want a good scare, play Flame Tag in the map Hospital. Those narrow corridors and dark halls are haunting, you never know what's gonna pop out... 

Get your own toilet!

Going back to the Challenge mode, you complete these mini-games to unlock new characters and weapons. There are about 120 characters to be unlocked, ranging from your standard Soviet guard to a flying genie snowman, and to top it all off, a hand. You will never get bored of these characters, and after a while, you will settle for a character and you will love and cherish him/her/it (mine being the snowman. C'mon, it's a flying snowman!). These characters also have stats as well, like Accuracy and Agility, but if you want a fair game you can disable this (not that it changes much anyway).

High Five!
So, this is a must buy for any gamer wanting a good ol' fashioned FPS, without the crappy online filled with racist 12-year-old children and a good, solid Story line. Okay, they could've added a bit more missions and developed some more, like the Return to Planet X mission, which is very dull to play with little interesting objectives. I also feel that Free Radical Design rushed the game a bit, how did they not notice the characters running like headless chickens? But, except for these minor niggles and faults, this game is by far one of the most fun split-screen game to play to date. Every map you'll enjoy playing, every character has a specific personality to them and you'll never tire of picking up a double-barreled shotgun and blasting the head off a stinking zombie. This is also the best game in the TimeSplitters series, and at the moment, it will be relatively cheap. So, if you have a GameCube, a Play Station 2 or an Xbox, go down to the nearest gaming shop (or pop online) and grab yourself this game! It's Time consuming, and it will Split your sides with laughter! (Weak pun to end review). 

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