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A Quick Blast From The Past

October 11, 2012

A few days ago I was over at a friend’s when he said, ‘Want to play some Timesplitters?’ First of all I was amazed he still had Timesplitters 2 and 3 for his Playstation 2, and secondly I was amazed we hadn’t been playing it sooner.

Coming back to Timesplitters: Future Perfect was simply a joy. To finally enjoy a First Person Shooter again was amazing. To just set up a 50 kills deathmatch and play unencumbered by all of this online rubbish. Perks, killstreaks, rage quits, tantrums and gun recoil are some of the few banes of the modern day shooter. Timesplitters is just pure point and shoot. There is only one place the bullet can go in Timesplitters and that’s just where you intended to fire it. No drop-off, bullet spray, nothing like that. (I can forgive gun recoil if it’s done well and if the gameplay really is fun and addictive).

What to say about Timesplitters?! It’s manic, frenzy fun and I can’t tell you how much fun I had playing a bit of competitive co-op, something I avoid like the plague on modern shooters because it’s always about someone having a real good gun from the start and totally wiping the floor with you. But on Timesplitters you actually have to find the best gun and everyone can have it if they manage to grab it and, if that happens, there is a weird sense of joy as you know the tempo of the game will sky-rocket as you frantically fire back in a joyful frenzy.

Online nowadays you get friends rage quitting because they keep dying, you see them log out because they want to preserve a positive kill/death ratio. That’s not having fun. That sucks.

With Timesplitters it really is all about the simple joy of unloading a double barrel at someone who has a freaking laser rifle, both of you doing that manic dashing side to side. The yells, the cheering, the simple mother-jeffing (self censoring) pleasure of it all. No one really cares that they lose on Timesplitters, because it’s not about the win, it’s about the gameplay. That simple, addictive arcade-style shooter gameplay that has been lost to the darkness of time.

Timesplitters is all about knowing the map, knowing the spawn points, knowing the weapon spawns, keeping your aim dead center, finger hovering over the trigger.  You make your own win. Every player is equal, apart from the powerups dotted round the maps (you need to know where they are), if you ain’t good enough it will be tough. But damn you’ll have much more fun sucking at Timesplitters than Call of Duty.

Call of Duty, Battlefield, all these fake modern war simulations are ruining the First Person Shooter market. Only one FPS franchise stands out nowadays, and that’s Borderlands (I’m currently reviewing Borderlands 2). Timesplitters is a real testament of what shooters used to be about: pure fun, the kind of run-and-gun that sometimes made you laugh, made you hyped and even made you madder than hell. That’s the feeling I want from a FPS, not flat crap gameplay where you might as well be holding a pea-shooter for all the lack-lustre work gone into making the gun. When you pop off a round it should sound like it’s kicking like a mule, not tickling a vole.

You can’t argue with that

Suck on it Call of Duty!

Really keep an eye out for Dan Wesoly and his Timesplitters mod for UT2000 (which you can check out here) and if you see a kickstarter for Timesplitters 4, you better damn well donate!

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