Review by roadkill

Reviewed: 11/09/00 | Updated: 09/15/02

A good game that really shows off the PS2s power

Released on October 26, 2000 as one of the two first perspective shooters for this phenomenal system, even before the PS2’s release, Timesplitters was hailed as one of the systems finest. Developed by EIDOS interactive and Free Radical (a few members that split off of from the developer Rare), you think that this game has it going on. But how does it measure up? Read on and see.

Gameplay - 8

Excellent graphics, but I think they could've done a little more with the characters. I think, if a game like Perfect Dark for the N64 can have great gameplay, great graphics and great character designs, then why not the PS2? Other then the characters, the stages are gorgeous with nice detailing, for example, the first stage of the story mode takes place in a temple; it actually looks like a real life Egyptian temple. One thing that simply astounds me is the frame rate. In multiplayer, say you get three of your buddies in a death match with say, 10 bots (the maximum number of bots). In times of intense action, you expect slow-down right? Wrong, Timesplitters just runs as smooth as ever. That, I find, is simply amazing.

As far as the controls go, this game features about the worse default controls ever. I mean, I know the PlayStation 2 controllers doesn’t have that many buttons to work with, but man, you could plan it out better. By default, the left analog stick is to run, the right is to turn. You can change this to a much better setup. The default controls may be rather hard to get used to, but once you do, that fun factor of this game will at least double. I suggest getting used to the defaults as they are similar to other FPS games for the PS2. You may be wondering, if the left and right analog sticks are in use, what you use to fire, crouch, aim, switch weapons and so on. Well, this was ingenious of Free Radical. The boys at Free Radical sure put to use what the PS2 controllers got, making use of almost every button there. The right shoulder buttons, the left shoulder buttons, the directional pad and the four face buttons. The freedom of control may be overwhelming at first but have no fear, in a couple of hours you'll be a veteran.

On thing that’s really synonymous with Timesplitters is a really bad storyline. And I would say that’s an overstatement. This game has no storyline. Pretty much the only thing you do is shoot your way through levels (some of which can be unnecessarily huge), retrieve an artifact, and return to some pre-selected spot with it. That’s pretty much all you do throughout the game. Unfortunately, you have to do this if you want to unlock anything. This is truly one of the most mind-numbing FPS games out there.

Also, somebody seems to have gotten the hint that people would like to create they’re own maps and play on them. That’s why Free Radical has included a map editor on here that is adequate enough. The major complaint that I have about it is the lack of tiles. Hopefully, this will be addressed in Timesplitters 2. Another thing I hope to be addressed is the size limitation. Not the actual physical size of your compound, but the memory size it uses on your memory card. Custom maps take an incredibly small amount of room on your memory card; I don’t know why they would decide to limit it to such a small chunk. I have about 30 or 40 custom maps and that all resides in a little 800k or so file on your memory card. Hopefully, in the sequel I can build that huge mega-complex I’ve been dreaming of.

Graphics - 8

Unfortunately, this game does feature something common among launch title games know as “jaggies”. The lack of aliasing “jaggies” has damaged this games appeal as well as many others of those great launch games.

This game will take you across time from the temples of Egypt to a place known as Planet X in the distant future. Each time period is nicely detailed and each also features its own unique weapons from that time period.

Sound - 8
Nice music but it's a little obnoxious. Sound effects are spectacular and the characters actually speak. Gunshots sound appropriate and the death moans are really cool. One thing that makes this interesting is whenever you select your character; they give you a little introduction about themselves.

Replay - 9
Get over the control, and you got a pretty fun game. One interesting feature is the map editor; this is actually the factor that may keep you come back to this game time and time again. It's possible to duplicate almost any blueprint. Say you want the Facility from Goldeneye (or Felicity in Perfect Dark), well, it's entirely possible. True, it won't look exactly the same, but it'll be yours. After you’re done creating your own map, save it and try it in multiplayer battle. You can choose several different layout types, choose the color of the room, you can even plan out the location of the weapon boxes, starting positions, health, armor and more. The only bad thing about a custom map (depending on it's size of course) is the loading time. Say you have an awesome map and want to play it in death match mode. Well, if you're map takes up the allotted space, expect to spend one to two minutes for it to load. Another bad thing about this game, you can't save death match settings.

Overall – 8
As I've said all along, that stupid control is the only thing keeping this from a higher rating. And I'm sure everyone would agree with me here, if the game rocks (as this game would) but the control sucks, the whole game sucks. Thank god for remapping the controls.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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