• Timesplitters Review - Sony PS2

    Perfect dark is regarded as perhaps the finest console FPS of all time. Members of the team that produced Perfect Dark and of course, seminal classic Goldeneye, have departed from Rare interactive and in turn formed Radical design.
    Their first effort as a solo unit is the particularly intriguing Timesplitters, which was naturally one of the more highly, anticipated of the PS2 launch titles due to its heavyweight backing.

    Perfect Dark veterans will notice the similarities between the both games right from the start. The smoothness of the graphics, and the design and appearance of the weaponry is very Perfect Dark-esque, which of course is no bad thing at all.

    There are 2 different modes of play in Timesplitters: Story and arcade. Story mode is your generic adventure led scenario seen so often in games of this genre where in Timesplitters case your task is to collect an artefact and bring it back to the start of each level. There are nine mission based levels and each is of a very linear nature. The arcade mode on the other hand, is very similar to PC FPS titles with the usual suspects like death match and captures the flag, making their appearances

    Many developers have tried and tested different methods of getting the best out of the Dual shock pad. The method used in Timesplitters is fairly simple but also quite intuitive. You use the left analogue stick for movement and the right for aiming. It will feel awkward and strange to anyone that is used to the mouse and keyboard, but after four or five good sessions it soon becomes second nature, and you'll be gunning down foes left right and centre in no time.

    The R1 button acts as the main fire button, Radical design have tried to recreate the trigger button of their N64 incarnations and it works well. Another nice control feature is the cross hair, which is controlled by using the L1 button. Again this button is very Goldeneye/Perfect Dark-esque.

    The AI of the enemies is particularly disappointing however, and this does let the game down. The characters lack any real life, and just seem to stand around until you meet them; whilst they also tend to be extremely predictable There guns do a fair amount of damage too, and range from a basic pistol to a particularly fantastic rocket launcher! There are around 30 weapons all in all.

    The graphics within this game are a bit of a roller coaster. The gaming environments are superb with some great lighting effects and incorporate a great range of colours. On the other hand the character models are particularly poor and in a lot of cases look bland and lifeless. Frame rate is a constant 60fps without any slowdown even in 4-player mode.

    The game play is where it really excels. As soon as you start to play the game you'll notice it plays a lot like Perfect Dark on the N64. It is extremely smooth and once you have got used to the control system, it really is a joy to play. Gunning down a bad guy is extremely fulfilling and the speed of the graphics makes it just so much fun. There's never a shortage of enemies to shoot and a lot of the time there are 4/5 enemies on the screen at any one time thirsting for your blood. Although the game play, it must be said, is fairly basic and simplistic, it is extremely addictive nonetheless.

    The music in Timesplitters is fairly basic fare and being truly honest doesn't really add much too the game. The sound effects are taken off well with plenty of groans and screams when you gun down your prey.

    The multiplayer aspect of the game is particularly good, and you and 3 mates could spend hours shooting up the nine different maps. It's where Timeplsitters really comes into its own. The pure speed and variety of levels at your disposal make this game a must have for anyone who enjoys playing games with their mates. It really is that fun. It goes up their with the like of Goldeneye for true multiplayer greatness.

    All in all Timesplitters is a fine game, which will be enjoyed by all FPS lovers out there although it must be pointed out that the story mode is a little short and unless you are the sort of gamer who will be content with 'bot' matches you may be left feeling a little out of pocket. This is defiantly one of the better of the first batch of PS2 titles and fans of the genre should definitely buy this game as of yesterday, whilst others should also have a look because there is a lot of fun to be had with this one.

    A review by Stuart Rae