Time Splitters 2 Review

I’m going to save you some time and cut right to the juicy part: TimeSplitters 2 for the Xbox is a must buy.  It is the one of the best games available for the Xbox, heck it’s one of the best games for any system.  Granted it’s not a Halo beater, but then again what is? Why are you still reading this?  You got the bottom line, now go and start playing this game immediately.  Hmmm…still here, huh?  Well fine, if you are going to stay around I might as well give you some ammunition to back up spending you hard earned cash.

TimeSplitters 2 is the sequel to the Playstation 2 release day game TimeSplitters.  A lot of hype surrounded this original game at the time because some members of the team at Rare that created the legendary GoldenEye and Perfect Dark were now signing their timesheets over at Free Radical.  While TS was a fairly well received it was also a little disappointing given its pedigree.  Now Eidos and Free Radical are back and unleashing TS2 for all major console and the results are very impressive indeed.

TimeSplitters 2 is a game with a wide variety of play options and entertainment for both single player and multiplayer.  This game just screams and drips of replay value.  The heart of the single player game is the Story mode.  The “Story” that holds this mode together is sketchy to say the least, that it really doesn’t hurt the game in any measurable way.  Basically a crazed bunch of aliens take 7 crystals and dive into a time portal straight out of Stargate.  Naturally the aliens end up scattered all across time.  Really this premise is nothing more than a way to get cool looking levels ranging from the Old Wild West to 1920’s Aztec Ruins to a 2315 Robot Factory.

The boxman cometh.

In much the same way as done with GoldenEye, there are three different skill levels you can pick from.  With the easiest setting the game is pretty darn simple.  But crank that puppy up to Hard and it’s a much different experience.  In addition to having to go against smarter enemies, you have more tasks that you must complete.  For example, in the very first level at the 1990 Oblansk Dam in Siberia, there’s a task for burning all the filing cabinets that is optional on Easy but mandatory on Hard.  There are also more areas in each level that you must explorer on the more difficult levels.  You will also notice that there are more bad guys, more cameras and just plain more danger.

One nice touch in the Story Mode is that your weapons are pretty much what you would expect to find in the given period.  For instance, in the 1932 Chicago level you’ll be equipped with a Tommy Gun while in the 1853 Wild West you’ll have a wooden rifle with a scope that doesn’t zoom in very far. And so it goes throughout the game.  The detail level of each mission is very well thought out, from the level design of Notre Dame with its tons of stained glass windows, to the use of a wagon full of dynamite to blast a hole in the wall of the local sheriff’s office to bust someone out of jail.  It creates the type of hold on you where you keep playing until dawn because you just want to see what in store for you around the next corner or level.