PS2 fans haven't been very busy in the FPS genre; though, there have been a few relatively good ones for the system, one of them which was TimeSplitters. With great demand, FRD (Free Radical Design) has decided to bring back its quite popular launch game, TimeSplitters, to further expand the awesome multi-player options and gameplay, and at the same time, they hope to make the single-player mode a bit more worth-while this time around.
FRDís main focus with TS2 is to improve on the single-player mode significantly, which was essentially the main aspect that made the first one fall short from being a must-have. This time, FRD is leaning even more towards one of their original efforts which is still touted as one the best FPS titles ever, Goldeneye 007. Upon first entering a level, the difficulty will be on easy with a few mission objectives to complete. Then, once you beat the level on easy, the medium difficulty is unlocked, which includes stronger enemies, more objectives, and overall, poses a greater challenge. After medium is conquered, you then unlock the next difficulty and so on.
While taking basically the same roots from the first TimeSplitters, just about everything will be revamped and augmented to present a more satisfying experience because FRD is quite disappointed with their first endeavor; knowing and admitting that they rushed it for the PS2 launch. TS2 is abundantly full of characters; reaching all the way to the 90 mark. Not all of them are playable; however, they are all beefed up with tons of polygons. Furthermore, theyíll include a plethora of facial animations such eyes and lips. In addition, the different animations in the game have been smoothed out to create a more fluid look.
Now that FRD has had time to get used to the PS2, and has had more than enough of hands-on experience, they can now create a nicer looking game, visually. Particle effects will come into play throughout the course of the game -- helping pull off some of the brightening special effects. Moreover, we can expect more colorful, smoother, and bigger environments on top of the impressive environmental effects.
The movie-scenes throughout the game have also been implemented impressively, helping the in-game play flow a bit smoother. And, of course, the nice upgrade in the graphics engine will also play a significant role to the actual impact of the cut-scenes.
One of TSís most prized facets was the fact that you could edit levelsí maps and also have so much freedom with it. In TS2, the same can be said, only it can now be said even louder. New additions to this aspect of the game include the following: more weapons, more customizability, more user-friendly, and maybe, just maybe, the inclusion of gadgets. Add this to the already great feature, and youíve got an incredible amount of customization, which, in turn, will hold to be a longer lasting game.
Lastly, there is also talk about possible online plans before the game hits stores; though, itís hard to be too certain this late in development. If FRD does in fact back up their statements, then TS2 should be a very impressive sequel. [Ed's note: TS2's original release was planned for Spring. Apparently, Eidos has put the game on hold as the game's developer is currently working with Sony in hopes of incorporating online gameplay. No specific release date has been disclosed.]
2/23/2002 Joseph Comunale