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Classic game appreciation section: TimeSplitters 2

And there’s more...

There was a huge single-player challenge component too. Mashing together all the characters and scenarios from elsewhere in the game, Arcade League provided a terrifying number (45, to be precise) of deliriously bonkers cheese-dream objectives based around TS2’s core multiplayer modes, all with multiple medal awards for improved scores and completion times, and all unlocking new, meaningful content across the board. No half-arsed production art here. This was stuff you actually wanted and could actually use.

Maybe you’d find yourself cast as an embattled Chinese chef struggling to put down his rampaging stock of calamari by way of a flamethrower. Or perhaps you’d be a mob boss, wandering around a hospital delirious after a hair-transplant, hallucinating an attack by giant ducks. Or maybe you’ll find yourself in a dinosaur-killing Turok parody, whose entire back-story justification is just one long set-up for a cerebral bore pun.

Oh yeah, and there was the officiall-monikered Challenge mode too. This one gave you another 21 objective-based minigames built around the main campaign’s core mechanics and weapons. There were stealth challenges. There were headshot challenges. There were “smash all the windows as fast as you can using only a brick” challenges. There were tower defence levels involving the Siberian dam and a barrage of exploding monkeys. There were shooting galleries. There were collect ‘em ups built entirely around the concept of a monkey’s lost banana hoard (another sly Rare reference? I’d guess definitely).

Seriously. TimeSplitters 2 was and still is utterly insane in terms of both the amount of content it provides and the sheer wealth of ideas and imagination it packs into that content. Forget every supposed shooter innovation since. Forget every custom game mode, or option, or bonus challenge, or crazy, emergent meta-game you have ever seen or heard of in an FPS. Forget everything you think is “a Halo thing”. Forget everything you thought was exclusively Battlefield’s forte. Forget how clever and fresh Gears of War 2’s Horde mode supposedly is. Forget this whole generation’s predilection with campaign co-op. Whatever you can think of, TimeSplitters 2 did it all. And it did it bigger, and it did it madder, and it did it in much greater volume. One one disc, with no additional DLC charges.

The more I think about how much TS2 did, the more I’m tempted to tell you to just forget every other shooter in existence and play TimeSplitters 2 for the rest of time. Because there’s so much going on in it that you very easily could. And I don’t even feel like I’m joking as I type this.

Crap, I thought I‘d finished with that last paragraph. I thought that was going to be the conclusion. But then I remembered the level editor as well. Yeah, you can build your own multiplayer and campaign levels in TimeSplitters 2. The editor never got the chance to shine that it deserved, due to last-generation’s comparative lack of online connectivity, but combined with the rest of the game’s way-ahead-of-its-time content, it would utterly ensure that TS2 would blow everything else out of the water if it got an HD, online-enabled re-release on current hardware.

You know what? Sod it. That’s last remembrance has just clinched it. Forget every other shooter in existence and just play TimeSplitters 2 for the rest of time. And if you happen to own, or have influence on those who own the publishing rights, let’s get it on current-gen consoles right now. If the last few pages have told you anything, it should be that TimeSplitters 2 was the game Xbox Live and the PSN were invented for.

Don't forget, if you want more of this sort of stuff, but want it in the form of a free-wheeling verbal ramble, we do an aurally listenable Appreciation Section every week in our TalkRadar UK podcast.

July 20, 2011

The classic game appreciation section: F.E.A.R.
It's not a crusty old Sega game this time! Yay!




The classic game appreciation section: Sega Rally
Officially awesome since 1995




The classic game appreciation section: Sonic the Hedgehog
Kicking off a new regular feature, on Sonic's 20th birthday


 

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  • Darkwun - August 1, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    think i preferred FP more because of the more involving story but i loved TS2. not to mention i loved on a MASSIVE FLUKE rubbing my friends noses in in it, the one medal they couldnt get a gold on... where u were the muscle man and you had to beat blaming zombies... half an fucking hour a survived to get my platinum... my eyes burned... and by the end i was actually glad to be killed because i thought the adrenaline was going to kill me... but the bragging rights were short lived as i still needed a mate to collect the bananas for me on the monkey maze. bastard.
  • machupichu1992 - August 1, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    I agree with everything on this article. I think I enjoyed Future Perfect more, but I think they just built on what TS2 already had.
  • gilgamesh310 - July 26, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    Indeed, one of the best games ever made. I have no idea why it wasn't included in their top 100 best games list though. No idea at all.
  • CitizenWolfie - July 24, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    Words cannot describe how much I loved this game as well as Future Perfect. The art design, the movie references, the level editor, the campaign levels, the multiplayer levels, the monkeys, the characters. Everything about it oozed quality and if any game deserves a HD update or even a straight up remake (so long as they kept every aspect the same) it'd be TimeSplitters 2. Actually sod that, the artistic style means the graphics haven't even aged at all. I'm not sure if I've still got it but if not I'm totally getting it again. Anyone up for a 16 player, brick-only-bouncing-bullets-monkeys-galore deathmatch?
  • colbztweetzout - July 24, 2011 1:32 a.m.

    I wish all the games and older machines I have bought over the years worked. Dont we all. Playing GTA 2 would be good for a rehash. go to the corner of the sand box and get the tank. COP KILLER.
  • Onieros117 - July 23, 2011 10:57 p.m.

    Oh man.. loved Timesplitters, both 2 and future perfect. Made loads of maps with the editor. From claustrophobic deathmatch arenas, horde mode style defense maps, to even a singleplayer campaign that I almost finished... great times.
  • Nishi - July 23, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    Kickass game with a lot of fond memories; wish my PS2 hadn't died...although (*spots Gamecubee version beside 'Cube*) Result!
  • harrypeter - July 23, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    Well if they don't make a Timesplitters 4, at least remake it in HD for the Xbox, PS3 and the PC!!
  • crumbdunky - July 22, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    TS , a a series, is amazing and TS2 holds a special place in many people's hearts. Having replayed, and been let down by, the original G'eye last year(just hasn't aged very well) I went back to TS recently fearing the same outcome but me and the wife spent days reliving our PS2 reverie! It was a great series and TS2 the best of that series and the sad thing is that Crytek appear too stupid to realise exactly why they bought FRD which CANNOT have been Haze and must SURELY have been(the nearly finished then taken away) Battlefront game and TS4, no? While Dr doak has already gone and is on a second post FRD company(the first being Pumpkin Beach IIRC making casual fluff)surely there are enough Crytek UK folk knowing how to take TS to the next level? Better than Halo in it's day and more deserving of success than a million CODs. BRING IT BACK , CRYTEK. Crysis is meh and TS amazing. LEARN this.
  • stevrduffy - July 22, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    Great appreciation section for a great game Dave! Boy, what a game this was, one of the reasons I still play my gamecube! The depth of the game was unreal, I remember creating a multiplayer level in the editor, a massive room with no lights so you were in complete darkness! Absolute carnage!
  • Pruman - July 22, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    I remember playing the first one when it came out (it was a PS2 launch window title, right?) and thinking it was very blah except for the fact that you got to use a Blunderbuss. I skipped this one based on that. After reading this, it's clear I made a mistake. I'll be picking this up the next time I'm at my local GameStop. Which version would you recommend? The XBOX one isn't on the 360 backcompat list, so that narrows it down to PS2 and GameCube.
  • philipshaw - July 22, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    Spot on Dave, this game has to one of the best FPS games of all time. I must have played it for a solid 3 years, even played it this year at uni
  • VermithraxDagon - July 22, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    Like many others have already mentioned, I'd rather play TimeSplitters over many modern shooters any day. It had such incredible and unique characters and art in its settings. I'm also a huge fan of Second Sight, another incredible and very underrated game developed by the same group. Played them all on my GameCube, which I still preferred over the PS2 to this day. Really hoping that TS4 isn't vaporware and if it is released, sticks to and makes proud the cherished TS legacy. Man I wish it was still '02 though...
  • Azralph13 - July 22, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    I still remember this being the best Ps2 game out there. Biggest shame...you cant play the xbox version on XBOX 360!! So how about in Microsoft...lets se it on Xbox live Arcade.
  • Austin_SJ - July 22, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    I remember going through every challenge to get the top score possible. But there was one level I couldn't beat, ice station capture the bag 4 v 2.
  • Zeb364 - July 22, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    I completely agree. I wrote a similar article back in September that said essentially everything you did and it warms my heart to see I'm not the only one who feels this way. I kept my Gamecube specifically because I had TS2 and TS: Future Perfect on it. You're completely right about the XBLA and PS3 release. It needs to happen now. Not just TS2 but also TS: Future Perfect. I would buy them both on day one. In any case, I'm off to hook my Gamecube up again and play some TS2. Probably all night.
  • DrizztP - July 22, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    Sadly if they had to make TS3 all that cool stuff that was included on the disc has a 90% chance of being charged for in DLC. The good old days when games had to offer as much as they could are gone. Now we get incomplete stories, content locked on disc, extras that used to be in games now have to be paid for.
  • pin316 - July 22, 2011 3:07 a.m.

    This, along with Soul Calibur 2, was by far and away the most-played game on my Gamecube. As well as three of may mates having it on their PS2s and another couple having it on their GCs as well. I wholeheartedly agreed with everything written in this article! Personal favorite, we used to have free-for-all, one-shot-kill elimination matches in the Wild West multiplayer map (the one with the courtyard), with 4-players, the maximum number or bots (I think it was 6/8), and everyone starting with 20 lives. That shit got intense
  • elmaropwnz - July 22, 2011 2:17 a.m.

    Wow, I thought I was literally one of the few who played this game, great to see someone else appreciates it, and thanks for reminding me I owned this wonderful game!
  • RabidCabbage - July 22, 2011 1:49 a.m.

    Loved this game. I would kill (probably. Well. maybe) for an HD remake, or for TS4 to be ressurected.