Friday, 20 January 2012

TimeSplitters Retorspective

TimeSplitters Retrospective




Awhile I bought TimeSplitters and TimesSplitters: Future Perfect, I already owned TimeSpliters 2 and thought I might as well try the others, and seeing as they were made by the creative minds behind Goldeneye probably the greatest FPS ever brought out on the N64 and to me the greatest FPS game ever. These games are still in essence Goldeneye but with so much more, and really contend for the Goldeneye spot in my heart.

All the games have co-op story mode, wich removes the drudgery of solo play and gives you a much better change of finishing the levels when played on normal mode, also it's just great fun and as I have them on the PS2 you have to play them with a buddy round so atleast you're not with a random yelling profanities and racists slurs at you, even if you're whiter than a albino covered in tipex, everytime you make a small mistake. Add the fact that the deathmatch allows you to have four players and up to ten bot AI players, with the abilty to make your own multiplayer maps, you have a game that efys belief for games of it's time.

TimeSplitters

The first in the trilogy and one of the first release games for the PS2, TimeSplitters was a turning point, it's graphics at the time may not have been the best of the best but it had a style, being cartoony and never taking it's self to seriously. The story mode was'nt much of a 'story' you were just going through the level to grab an object then take the object to a designated hand in area, yet even this was challanging, some of the levels are a basic and easy A to B even on the normal dificulty, but one some levels like the mansion you're again zombies that will only die with headshots, with a double barreled two shot reload shotgun. When you start hitting the harder levels you will find yourself going S.W.A.T. and taking everything slow with military accuracy, wich though frustrating makes the game seem so much more epic. You don't et an ending for completing the game, it just keep the time you took so if you go back you can try to beat your old time also one thing I never got was the Timesplitters, later on they get unique models but in tis they're just zombies that hock plasma flem at you so it's hard to distinguish them from the reguler zombies. The arcade mode is your basic FPS multiplayer stuff, Deathmatch, Capture the Bag (instead of flag, duh. ), Bag Tag (King of the Hill. ), Knock out a sort of collecter scavanger hunt, Escort wich speaks for it's self and Last stand an assault type where you protect key objects for as long as you can from bots. All in all the game short and sweet and for it's time it ticked all the boxes, fun and frantic a game you should definatly give it a try.

TimeSplitters 2

The second installement in the Free Radical TimeSplitters tilogy, and to me probably the jewel in the crown, in this one we're introduced to a story wich revolves around a war between the humans and the TimeSplitters in the year 2401, our protagnists are the space marines Sergeant Cortez and Corporal Hart, a more musculer Riddick and red haired woman with a re-breather. We're told that the splitters are using the Time Crystals to infiltrate Earths past to change the course of history, so using a Stargate looking time portal Cortez is sent back to retrieve the crystals while Hart stays to hold back the flood of Splitters trying ot break into the bridge and taking out the portal. So diving head first into the portal Cortez and quantum leaps into the bodys of people from the timeframes he goes to, using them to get the time crystals and save the timeline. The levels themselves are very Goleneye esque and so are the missions but the one mission that always stays the same, get the time crystal. One of the most Goleneye like levels is the Soviet Dam, I know Goldeneye was made by the Free Radical, but really want to show of that they done it. Some of the levels seem to be in the near future to now, like Neo Tokyo in 2019, wich is also the obligatory 'stealth' level. The levels start off reletively easy on normal mode a few you may forget some parts of the mission and end up back tracking, but as they progress, even on normal difficulty they do get to a point of rage inducing frustration when you get turned into a colinder for the millionth time, forcing you to take to it with military accuracy as there are near to no medi-paks and armour is few and far between this being your only way to regain some durablity it angers you thats theres not more or that the enemys don't shoot with amazing accuracy and do more damage with the guns than you do once you get a hold of them. This may seem like a complaint but it's not, it's fun and the more angry you get the more fun it becomes as you're really having to think before you do anything, taking it slow so you can survive and feeling the tension build when you're out of armour and down to a fraction of health left and a few bullets in your gun and a wave of Timesplitters between you and your portal out.

The guns in this game are like an FPS rainbow of firepower, you have pistols like the revolver, luger and silenced pistol ( All these can be duel wielded. ) and finaly the sci-fi handgun wich has bouncey laser bullets that do more damage to you than the enemys most the time, also the auto crossbow that can get it's bolts ignited to deal with tree-ents. Then you move up to the rifles and shotguns, tommy guns, Soviet rifles ( AK-47's with grenade launcher capablities. ), SBP90 Machinegun and my personal faverote the magazineless Plasma rifle, though prone to over heating in tense battle leaving you unable to fire till it cools off it fires sticky plasma grenades on the alternate fire wich makes enemys run around like headless chickens screaming for mercy, you get the vintage rifle and sniper rifle both are just sniper rifles, as for shotguns you have the double barreled sawed off and the tactical 12 gauge autoshotgun, another fave of mine, gotta love fast firing shotguns just what the doctor ordered for infintry problems. Lastly you get the heavy weapons rocket launcher, homing launcher, grenade launcher, flame thrower and the minigun that is great for runnin' n' gunnin', then you have the more exotic Electro Tool used to stun robot enemys mostly and overload power nodes. Lastly the explosives these are just your standard Goldeneye remote, times and proxy mines with a make over to make them look more distinct.

The level creation tool is kept in this installement, the challange mode that is a bunch of levels with goals like behead the undead, break windows, collect bananas and other odd objectives, these unlock more charcters for multiplayer deathmatch and cheats, wich again taken from Goldeneye such as paintball, unlimited ammo, big head mode, gorilla mode and so on. Finaly you get the Deathmatch mode, again with bots, the modes are your basic deathmatch and team deathmatch, bagtag, capture the bag plus whole new ones such as monkeytag. All in all TimeSplitters 2 took the series to it's pinicale, and dodgey console aiming and levels that will frustrate you to no end, but with cratoony graphics, a sense of humor and distinctive levels, enemys and Timesplitters the game shines through, also the game is so amazing, so cool it features in the begining of Shaun of the Dead as the game Ed is playing. Pick it up if you have'nt it's out on the PS2, X-Box, ( Original. ) and Game Cube.

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

The third and currently final installment in the series, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect took the second game and polished it to a mirror shine, then added better graphics, more humor and a nice little time paradox system. The storyline takes place directly after the second game with Sergeant Cortez on his way back to earth and Corpral Hart unfortunatly K.I.A., with the time crystals in his posestion. Once arriving on Earth you find out the TimeSplitters have not been defeated and are attacking the planet on full scale, once you and your friends blast your way to the military base, the time crystals get stolen and you are sent back in time to find them and destroy them so you can prevent the present from happening and banishing the Time Splitters into the void of time space. Or something like that. With that plan in action you travel through difrent times as Cortex, not as a hero of that time, though the second player can control that times 'hero', as you progress through levels you have your 'future self' appear and help you out via temporal time holes and then you have to go back as your future self to help your past self so you can advance to become your future self in the past. God I hate time travel.. Once you get the time crystals and get past the balls to the wall last two levels, and beat the end boss who shows just how good this game is by parodying Citizen Kane with the end bosses death, genious! Games done but believe me, it's not easy again you will find yourself taking levels slowly, going special operations through them and focusing fire, taking good shot and making sure not to cock up. If you're going to go through the story mode, I'd suggest recruiting a friend, not only to give you greater fire power, but because the games ALOT more fun with a second player there.

The guns in this game are basicly a revamp of the previous game, though alternate fire is change to up on the D-pad wich can take you by suprise at the start but easy to master, but while the guns are'nt bad, there does seem to be less than before, but player one gets an arm mounted 'telepathy grabber' as I call it, wich lets you pick up objects and throw them instead of his mini map finder from the second game. Not alot to say on the guns other than they are good but limited a little compared to the second game. As for the multiplyer some levels have vechicles now, so it's sort of like Halo multiplayer death match, wich is really fun. Also you get a ton of charcters to choose from as per normal, one of wich is the Timesplitter monkey in a veriety of costumes, also al the standard TimeSplitter death match options such as Capture the Bag and Team Death Match, but thats not a bad thing, you can't really improve on the death matches in the TimeSplitter series really though. Again the Map Maker is there and it's got extra bits, but it's only able to make interior maps like the first two, wich though not a bad thing is a little dull in the end of the day. Again if you have the chance to pick this up for the major consoles, X-Box, Game Cube and PS2, do so for one as the games well worth a play.

Conclusion

From game one to three TimeSplitters is unique, inventive and very humoris, though while Free Radical has been bought up by Crytek they have not over looked the popularity of these games and in 2008 some leaked screen shots and concept art. In 2009 it was Crytek UK, formaly Free Radical, declared the project on hold till the market had a high industry demand for this game. I for one say there is a HUGE demand for a game like TImeSplitters, after the drudgery of recent FPS' in dull brown or gun metal grey we need a colourful, wimsical and fun game like TImesplitters to swing in, sweep us off our jaded feet and take us on wild and exciting adventure through time and space with monkeys!

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