Who said that Rare will never leave Nintendo? Well okay so they didn't but it's been said that half of RareWare employees who partially developed Perfect Dark and fully developed GoldenEye have been either laid off or quit to develop for the PS2. The story isn't too clear and I won't get much into the situation. Free Radical Design is what the former workers of Rare call themselves, Rare is a UK based 2nd party developer and at times is Nintendo's only support for their lackluster N64. First Person shooters is what Rare was good at and now that we have got half of the GoldenEye employees working on PS2 it may seem like Free Radical Design (FRD) will be Sony's Rare. TimeSplitters is an extremely promising and intriguing game that will be available at Playstation 2 launch in US, to learn more keep reading and don't forget the screenshots.
Let's get one thing off the bat, TS will indeed be four players via PS2 Multi-Tap, the PS2's 32 MB RAM will be put to use here and the result will hopefully be positive. We weren't able to snag any screens showing the four player mode, but we did see a few, though too bad the press can't get their hands on them yet. But in the meantime I will explain how the visuals are represented in the deathmatch mode. The frame rate I can't speak of because I haven't seen the game in action unfortunately, but the visuals remain as crisp as the single player visuals. It hit me to my surprise but Free Radical is achieving higher ground with the PS2, their visuals presentation for their game may give Epic's Unreal Tournament a run for its money. The facial textures look magnificent, whether your enemy is a human, zombie, or some sort of a mutant, the faces always look nicely detailed. The character detail is extreme, everything is as smooth as silk. The joints are perfect, it seems as if Free Radical may be using some sort of skin smoothing feature. Oh and did we mention that the backgrounds are eerily realistic and that you can have as many as ten enemies on one screen. This game seriously gets my crave for a first person shooter going.
TimeSplitters is a very story driven game. Your battling occurs between the years 1935 to 2035, from the day of mobsters, to disco and even to the future days of aliens and robots. The big show in GoldenEye was the four player mode and that was biggest reason why the game was hailed as one of the best N64 games ever. Like GoldenEye, TimeSplitters will also be a four player title that will be just as addictive as 007. What's even better is that the game will have a mode that lets you create your own multiplayer deathmatch arena. If that isn't enough to wet your pants, wait 'till you hear the amount of gameplay modes featured. First we have the Single Player mode, then we have the Deathmatch mode where up to four players are allowed to raise hell simultaneously. Multi player modes include: Level Editor, Flag Tag, Escort Assassin, Capture the Bag, Reverse Flag Tag, Target Practice and Knockout. TS will make full use of the Dual Shock 2's two analog pads.
Sounds good to me! Free Radical Design has said that they are confident that TimeSplitters will make its scheduled October 26th release. This might be one of the launch games on top of my list.