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Free Radical gives us the true sequel to Goldeneye!!
The launch of PS2 was certainly short on great games, in fact with the exclusion of a couple the launch games generally sucked. One game that sort of slipped in under the radar was Timesplitters. A FPS game that was the self-proclaimed fastest of it's type. Little did anyone know that the game was developed by the same team that brought us Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. A small team of developers defected from Rare and created Free Radical and this game was their baby. The problem is that Sony forced them to finish it pre-maturely, thus the version we received was not nearly what the game could have been. Two years later Free Radical is ready to give us the game we were supposed to receive then, does it match the classics mentioned above? Read on!
If there is one thing that TS2 is, it's fast. Moving at an amazing 60 fps while never missing a beat is a feat that many a developer cannot achieve on the PS2. This game is blazing fast, but that is not all. The in-game visuals are quite stunning to say the least, sure the engine is years old, but Free Radical has added so many tweaks and touches that it feels just as fresh as it did in the Goldeneye days. The amount of character models in the game is uncanny, from the huge breasted dumb blondes to the hilarious monkey this game certainly has class. The level designs are also spectacular, everything from arctic zones to alien planets this game spans them all. Lush environments add additional character to a game that already pushes the limits on how much you can chock into a game.
Everytime I hear the music in this game I think Goldeneye or Perfect Dark, it is so similar that you would swear they used the same tracks. This is assuredly not a bad thing as the music is a perfect mood setter for a FPS game. The sound effects are almost directly lifted from the aforementioned game as well, breaking glass, gunshots, and explosions are carbon copies of those in GE and PD yet sound so dynamic on true surround. There really isn't anything special or terrible about the sound it sort of just plays it's part and that is enough!
This sections makes up the meat of the game, TS2 is chock full of so much shit to do you could literally spend months attempting to see it all. In addition to the traditional story mode you have challenge, arcade, network play (over a LAN or i-Link), and a plethora of multi-player co-op and deathmatch modes. Every mode in this game can be played single or with up to four players, this adds on months of replay value to an already fantastic package. Let's start with the story mode. This consists of ten levels throughout different time frames, you take control of a character in each time zone and your goal is to retrieve the time crystal. Certainly it isn't as simple as it sounds, you also have a list of goals to achieve that increase whenever you up the difficulty level. Ten levels, three difficulty levels=hours on hours of gameplay.
Next on the agenda is Arcade mode, this is your basic deathmatch style games. Everything from virus to assault can be played here as well as the infamous capture the bag. You can play league or custom, both modes offer more than meets the eye. In league you are presented with challenges where you can earn bronze, silver or gold medals to unlock hidden character models, levels, and game types. After unlocking items you can play with them in a custom game against bots or your buddies, granted you have any hehe.
The next item is challenge mode, basically identical to the first TS' challenge mode you are presented with different alternative game styles to earn even more characters and game types. Classics such as glass break and decapitating enemies returns along with a few new goodies. To top off the game play aspect is the in-depth level editor. Sick of the levels the game gives you? Then make your own dammit, being able to construct several tiered levels with your own lighting and themes is as cool as you can get for a FPS!
Well I think I have rambled enough, I leave you with this. If you were a fan of the original TS you will be absolutely thrilled with this game, if you are a fan of FPS games in general I guarantee you can find plenty to do in this game. This title is well worth every penny it costs for the simple fact there is so much to do and it's executed extremely well. Another fine addition to this developer's great track history. Highly recommended!