TimeSplitters 2

Platform: Playstation 2

After getting into some new PC shooters recently, I was slightly disappointed with my initial play of this new title from Eidos. I started with Story mode, only to be bored by the first twenty minutes of action. The inability to jump also made me grumble a bit at first. Luckily, my first impressions were completely wrong and I was soon absorbed by the outstanding variety of options delivered in Time Splitters 2.

In my opinion, the story mode is the least valuable choice on the main menu. It's a decent introduction, but the story is really nonexistent and only serves as an excuse to put you in 10 different time periods with weapons and sounds appropriate to the locale. Despite the lame storyline, going from mobsters in Chicago to outlaws in the Wild West was quite entertaining. The graphics are very smooth and the characters are fun to watch. I loved shooting enemies in the feet and watching them hop around in pain for a few seconds. And all of your actions are being measured: the stats keep track of everything from distance traveled to the number of zombie heads and limbs severed.

Once you get away from the story mode, you'll find the real fun. The arcade and multiplayer action is great, with tons of gameplay modes; my favorites included Shrink, in which the players keep shrinking as they get killed, or Virus, with flaming monkeys running around trying to catch you on fire. Meeting certain achievements in the arcade games opens new levels, cheats and characters. With so much stuff to unlock, it will take dedication to see all this game has to offer. And just in case you don't get enough, it includes the easy-to-use map creator that allows you to build your own levels to keep you playing forever. With this much depth, it's easy to recommend purchasing this addictive game.

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