Published on Tue May 10 2022
I've not played TimeSplitters before, it never really caught my eye during the PS2 era for some reason. I didn't see much in the way of ads, and the cover art isn't exactly the most enticing; I was too busy playing God of War and Call of Duty anyway.
Did I miss out? Maybe?
Having now played through the "Story" mode, I can say that it has some decent twitch gameplay, and some kickass music. I was definitely bouncing along to the tunes playing through each level, and they were pretty varied based on the content of each level. I cringed a little bit at the China level, but it's not anything majorly egregious.
Lack of actual story aside from what's provided in the manual was a bit of a surprise to me. Really the game is a series of very simple missions one at a time, and they literally all are just "grab item, get to the exit". There's nothing here to make you think or remember the characters and their plights, just pure fast action shooting.
Speaking of characters, I was surprised to see the variety of characters. There are humans, robots, ducks... ducks? Yeah. In the story mode each level offers a choice between a male/female avatar, and the women definitely got more... attention... in their creation. I could imagine the ads of the day calling out the "voluptuous vixens" or something to that effect, to paint you a bit of a picture. That said, the character designs are pretty unique overall, and quite varied. Like I said there are literally ducks. It doesn't take itself very seriously is what I'm saying here.
After I was done the Story mode it unlocked some challenge modes, which I played through and found to be surprisingly difficult at times. Getting 100 headshots on zombies in around a minute is pretty tough since you have to manually aim up and it becomes a matter of "flicking" your aim up with each shot. And there's a level where you have to kill 100 ducks, which I was for some reason expecting it to be like a duck shooting range or something, but it was literally just 100 AI enemies with a duck skin; people-sized Donald Ducks, complete with duck voices and everything.
And that's the thing I think about the game which has helped it stand the test of time, and remain popular to this day - the little things that make you smile are fairly constant. The gunplay is fast paced and feels good to play, the music is bumpin', and the graphics are nuanced and fun. It's a good game that seems to have accomplished what it set out to, it's fun!