Many a moon has come and gone since the last Tales of the Bargain Bin, and for that I apologise to you, the loyal reader. But like a phoenix it shall rise from the ashes…hm, went to a weird place with that. So forget the woes of quantitative easing and all that expensive stuff and let’s jump straight into some cheap geekery with some good old fashioned Timesplitters 2.
This fantastic game series was created by Free Radical, a developer based in the UK who make their fair share of headlines. From their great games such as Timesplitters, to…not so great games, with their release of Haze. Recently the headlines have been made for non-game release reasons, as they went into administration back in December. Earlier this year they were bought by Crytek and have since become Crytek UK and little details have come out regarding their new project. But let’s not dwell on layoffs, let’s pretend Haze didn’t happen, and let’s look at a classic. It’s time for Timesplitters.
Released back in 2002 for Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube ( I still love those little discs, they were so cute and small and made you feel like a giant. Oh, was that just me?) the game saw you play as a futuristic space marine, saving the Earth from its inevitable destruction at the hands of the fiendish and diabolical Timesplitters. What makes them so diabolical and ever so fiendish you ask? Well they are bringing Time Crystals back through time, for, erm, some reason. The curs. To stop them you must follow them into the time portal and set about retrieving each of the time crystals.
The premise isn’t the stuff of legend, I’ll admit, but it allows the gameplay to constantly change things up. You are thrown into a dazzling array of situations; from the future to the past, from the wild west to a Siberian dam, oh, and there’s robots too. Each area offers different level design as well as different weapons to use, relevant to the era you are in, so you may have shotguns in one level and a silenced pistol in the next.
Much of the game carries the same feeling as Goldeneye, which isn’t shocking (nor is it a bad thing) considering a lot of the team moved from Rare to Free Radical after working on the famed James Bond shooter. The two games have similar interfaces and aiming systems, unfortunately they also share some of the same hindrances as you will find yourself unable to jump.
The game is somewhat short, but a fairly expansive challenge mode will have you working your way through a series of tasks keeping this game off your shelf and in your tray. The other element that will keep this disc spinning is the multiplayer. It’s fast, it’s fluid, it’s made by the people who made Goldeneye. Not only that but the art style of the game uses a comical look that still makes them pleasing to the eye even in this age of Crysis and the like.
If you are a fan of old-school shooters and never found the time to play this classic of a game when it originally came out, I urge you to give it a try. Or even if you already played it, why not bask in the nostalgia? With prices as low as 40p online, and similar amounts at your local games emporium, this is well and truly a bargain. One point I would like to note is that I played the Xbox version and had the unfortunate mistake that the 360 does not include this game in its backwards compatability, so I had to dig out my old behemoth of a machine, and give it a good old dusting off before being able to play.