Content at a glance:
Computer Platform: Xbox (Microsoft)
Produced by: Free Radical
Price Range: $10 or under
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Reviewed By: Josh
VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Christian Rating: 4 of 5 (good)
Gameplay: 4 of 5 (good)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 3 of 5 (mild)
You duck in cover while trying to dodge a hail of enemy fire. Then, you rise and attack enemies with your high-tech plasma rifle. They go down easily, and then more bad guys appear. Guns blazing, you run out into the open and stylishly defeat your adversaries. Just as it seems the coast is clear, you get shot from behind by… a monkey?
This and other outrageous situations occur in TimeSplitters 2, a first-person shooter known for its frantic gameplay, strange humor, and loads of extra features.
TimeSplitters 2 starts during the year 2401, when humanity is at war with an alien race called the TimeSplitters. The aliens seek to destroy mankind by using the Time Crystals to go back in time and change their history. When some TimeSplitters escape through a time portal with carrying the crystals, Sergeant Cortez follows them back in time to stop their ridiculously evil plan.
The time-traveling story aspect isn’t groundbreaking, but it allows for a diverse nine level campaign with interesting characters, all in different time periods. The campaign, while short, is memorable because of the unique style it’s presented in. As the game takes you through time, you will encounter zany characters in locales such as 1932 Chicago, 1920 Aztec Ruins, Planet X, the Wild West, and the Siberian Dam. Many people have commented on the game’s similarities to various games and movies, and those who recognize those references will sense some type of nostalgia.
There’s no cover system, and there’s no point in conserving ammo, as players who run through hallways gun blazing will most likely be successful in each mission. Enemy AI is pretty lacking, but they can still do lots of damage if you let them. This is strictly a run-and-gun shooter, although there are a few areas where tactics can be used. The campaign is enjoyable but also very easy, which will turn away gamers who are looking for something challenging.
The bulk of the game lies within all its extra features, not its easily beaten campaign. TS2 has an excellent split-screen multiplayer, a bevy of frantic arcade modes, and over 100 characters to unlock. The multiplayer mode has no online capability, but it makes for this with its fun maps and fast-pace of play, which puts it in a different vein apart from other shooters. The arcade modes could almost be a game by themselves: they are unusual, challenging, and often hilarious. Finally, the large and diverse cast of un-lockable characters can be used in multiplayer matches.
Simply put, variety is the spice of this game. There is bound to be something for everybody to enjoy about TS2.
The violence itself should be considered tame compared to many games available on the market. Enemies simply fall over and disappear whenever they get killed; neither blood nor gore is shown at all.
Most of the female characters in the game wear tight or revealing clothing. There are some mild innuendos in the game’s character galleries and arcade scenarios.
There are undead priests and zombies in the campaign and arcade modes. Their heads and limbs come off, but it doesn’t look gory at all. A maiden also turns into a zombie after being sacrificed by a murderous vampire (this is implied, players cannot clearly see this going on).
I found TS2’s humor to be slightly demented. Some examples of senseless humor in arcade scenarios include zombies setting circus clowns on fire, Asian monks attacking policemen, and ducks chasing after humans with shotguns. Most of the violence was made to be funny, although some of it just didn’t feel right.
For having been able to get it at a mere five-dollar price tag, I must admit that TimeSplitters 2 is certainly a great value. It lacks the depth and seriousness of other shooters, but that’s part of why it’s such a fun game.
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Year of Release — 2002
[tags] 4 stars, First-Person Shooter, Xbox (Microsoft), T (Teen), Free Radical [/tags]
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.
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