88 miles per hour and nowhere to go. Review

TimeSplitters Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 4

Publisher

  • Eidos

Developer

  • Free Radical Design

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PS2

rating

88 miles per hour and nowhere to go.

I feel sorry for Christopher Lloyd, star of the Back to the Future series.

People go to Hollywood with all sorts of dreams and ambitions. Some achieve major

stardom and fame. Others find happiness through various acting venues. The rest

either become roadkill on the streets of success or worse…they become typecast.

People see Lloyd as Doc Brown, the raving scientist. Sure, he was in Taxi,

and he even had some memorable bits in movies like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s

Nest
, but most people know him as Marty McFly’s crazy buddy. Like so many

before him, Doc Brown” err, I mean Christopher Lloyd, has been shoved into the

backwater of Hollywood, appearing in collect call commercials and Hollywood

Squares
. If only Lloyd had an actual time machine, he could go back and

stop himself from ever accepting the Doc Brown role.

Great Scott! That one change in the space time continuum would change everything!

Lloyd would become a leading man, starring in action flicks. Peace would prevail.

The world would be happy. And maybe someone would fix the dismal single-player

part of TimeSplitters before letting it out the door.

The TimeSplitters are a diabolical force that easily surpasses the

piddling time traveling exploits of Christopher Lloyd. These TimeSplitters

bounce through time from era to era, mucking around in our history. It isn’t

so much a plot as a concept. People from within these eras must fight the TimeSplitters

and put an end to their evil deeds.

The single-player game is heavily mired in Capture the Flag tactics. Each

mission has an item for you to retrieve and an exit location. Every level holds

a different item. So throughout the game, you first run towards the item, then

run towards the exit dealing with enemies in specific locations and following

specific patterns.

Levels are very linear. You pretty much just run from the beginning directly

to the item, with side tangents to gain extra power-ups. This simple formula

is expanded upon later in the game, but stages still have a very direct layout.

Suffice to say, this simple setup isn’t particularly inspiring.

The default control uses the two analog sticks. It takes a while to get used

to it, and even then, I never enjoyed it as much as other console FPS games

like Goldeneye or Medal

of Honor
. Control just feels loose, and would have been a lot better with

a “centering” button.

Without a decent plot or radically intuitive gameplay, TimeSplitters

seems more bent on throwing action your way. No cut scenes. No briefings. Everything

is simply left to the bare bone essentials, which makes for a somewhat dry experience.

While not a necessary ingredient, presentation items like cut-scenes and briefings

create a better sense of an environment. Without them, the level designs themselves

are left to pick up the slack.

Unfortunately, these very surroundings are just plain uninteresting. Walls

are sparse and repetitive. With so many different time periods to romp through,

I hoped to see a heightened level of art and design. Maybe they should have

chosen just three time periods and developed each one completely. Instead, every

level has to be different, and every level ends up being unimpressive.

However, TimeSplitters runs at a high resolution and a spiffy framerate.

This is hands down the fastest first-person shooter for any console system .

But that doesn’t mean a thing when the worlds look so…boring. Plus, the anti-aliasing

problems show up once again in the form of shimmering details here and there.

Honestly, this problem compounded with the off-kilter lens seriously made me

feel nauseous at times.

Musically, it sounds like they found some no-name band from the 80s, handed

them a synthesizer, and told them to go nuts. And go nuts they did. The music

isn’t very good, but at least its usually drowned out by all the blasting and

screaming from the game. Let’s hear it for sound effects!

TimeSplitters isn’t a complete loss, though. The multiplayer mode makes

this game worth the effort. You can toss yourself into the fray against a mess

of computer-controlled bots and up to 3 other human players. The game still

moves fast, and the lens “seasickness” isn’t so sickening on a quarter screen.

But despite the better play in a multi-player deathmatch, the game never lifts

itself above any of its forefathers. Even without the nostalgia factor, I’m

still much happier playing Goldeneye.

As an extra, the game includes a basic map editor to create your own limited

stages. Select different rooms and piece them together. Create different floors

of a structure. You can also make slight changes to each room, like the tint.

It’s not nearly as powerful as a PC level editor, but considering the fact that

this is a console, it’s pretty cool.

TimeSplitters could use a trip in the ol’ Delorean just to realize

what the future of console first-person shooters should be. On this little journey,

it could find out that the single player adventures are becoming deeper and

more involved. The future of gaming will have enthralling and captivating environments.

Everything will be finessed and optimized, resulting in a better all-around

experience. Heed the visions of the future, Eidos, because TimeSplitters

is just more of the same old formula in a candy shell. Take away the coatings

and purportedly new features, and the game finds its way back to its roots –

in the past.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

2
Rating
Good multiplayer
Level editor
Lousy single player
Boring design elements
Control issues