When Rare made GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 in 1997, they created the best first-person shoot-'em-up the world had ever seen and, arguably, has ever seen to this day. Many of the geniuses behind the game left Rare shortly after to set up their own company, Free Radical. Their first game was the rather rushed (in time for the PS2's launch) TimeSplitters, but this sequel is polished to perfection and easily one of the best games of the year.
One of the main problems with the original TimeSplitters was its awful single-player mode, but this has been totally revamped for the sequel, with a proper story mode, all-new time zones and weapons, and absolutely mountains of unlockable hidden extras. Thankfully they've kept the wicked sense of humor from the first game, but there's also a lot more strategy for solo players this time around, including an amusing homage to GoldenEye's Arkangelsk Dam level, along with pastiches of other games and films scattered throughout the game.
The real reason for TimeSplitters 2's greatness, though, is the multiplayer mode. This is GoldenEye to the nth degree, with superbly designed levels, tons of weapons, and all sorts of tricks and gimmicks, such as remote-control gun turrets and invisibility pills. It may lack the epic scope of Halo, but in multiplayer mode at least this is a lot more fun--and fun, as the Beatles never said, is all you need. --David Jenkins, Amazon.co.uk
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