Review by: Mike Laidlaw
Published: December 6, 2002
It’s never enough when it comes to aliens. Not only do they possess advanced technology, incredible stamina and agility, and control of most of the galaxy, but they always have this burning desire to destroy humanity, and if they can do it for all of history, so much the better. Obviously, the eponymous villains from Timesplitters 2 have run across some serious resistance from modern humans, so instead of facing the wrath of powerful weapons and enhanced soldiers, they’ve simply decided to rot the core of humanity’s past and let the most depraved, disreputable and criminally insane have loads of support. Your job will be to stage a lightning raid into their time facility, capture the crystals they’ve attuned to various points in Earth’s history, and simultaneously prevent the Timesplitters from destroying the past and the future.
Unlike its predecessor, Timesplitters 2 puts much more emphasis on its single-player game without losing the mechanics that made the original a success with the deathmatch crowd. As noted above, you’re going to be in direct conflict with the ‘splitters themselves, but also with a host of evil henchmen across all of Earth’s history. As one of the human commandos, you’ll be bounced back and forth through our planet’s timeline, inhabiting bodies that are appropriate for the era. The overall effect is similar to the old TV show “Quantum Leap,” though with more guns and no one says, “Oh boy…” every time you leap into a new body.
Your quest will begin in modern day Siberia, where Russian scientists have unearthed a biohazard that’s slowly turning the base personnel into zombies. You’ll eventually discover the source of the problem, but encounter many more instances of the mindless mutations as you bounce around time. Without giving too much away, you’ll find yourself in a huge variety of situations, most of which are patently made up or taken from popular culture. To this end, you’ll take on the role of a hard boiled detective during prohibition-era Chicago, strap on your six-shooters in the old west and even take up ray guns and the like as you battle the monsters of Planet X. For more variety, you’ll also get to take the role of a shotgun wielding female Harlequin, who assaults the evil Jack De Morte as he attempts to corrupt the fair maidens of Paris in the Notre Dame Cathedral. The hunchback cameo has been included at no additional charge.
Obviously history-lite and good natured about the levels, the single-player game in Timesplitters 2 nonetheless puts together a good story and tasks you with various objectives, such as disabling a satellite uplink, rescuing the maidens and so forth. You’ll always have to retrieve the time crystal and usually take out a key villain who’s been the Timesplitters’ puppet all along. Finally, there are a series of secondary objectives open to you as well, and successfully completing them aids you in unlocking more multiplayer levels, options and so forth.