Ask shooter fans what FPS series they'd like to see make a comeback, and there's a good chance that TimeSplitters' name will come up. The developer responsible for the series still has "a lot of love for it" and its staff is interested in making a follow-up, but unfortunately that doesn't mean a new TimeSplitters is imminent--and there are also the reported issues the studio has suffered of late to consider.
"You would not believe the amount of times people ask for Timesplitters," Crytek UK animator Mark Jackson told Official Xbox Magazine at the Develop conference last week. "I couldn't really comment, but there's a lot of love for it at the studio. I can't really say much more than that."
Crytek UK is the former Free Radical Design, developer of the first three games in the TimeSplitters series. It's also the studio that, in 2007, revealed that it was working on TimeSplitters 4, a project that would never emerge. Instead, Free Radical worked on a new IP in Haze before filing for bankruptcy and then being saved by Crytek, which renamed the studio 'Crytek UK.' In 2012, Crytek confirmed that TimeSplitters 4 was not in development, though it wasn't for lack of effort--Free Radical founder Steve Ellis said publishers simply weren't interested in it.
Despite that, there remains passion for the series among the staff at Crytek UK. Asked if the prospect of a new TimeSplitters was dead, Jackson told OXM, "God no! Like I say, in the studio it's held very dear. It's just waiting for the right situations and deals to be done. I'm not privy to that, but from everybody working at the studio--everyone, whenever we say what would you like to do next, it's TimeSplitters.
"So yeah, there's a lot of love for it. But I couldn't say where that goes, or who pulls the strings to make that happen, or when it would happen, but it's certainly not something that people dismiss."
TimeSplitters made a mark on many gamers not only by being a solid first-person shooter--Free Radical's staff included former Rare staffers who worked on GoldenEye and Perfect Dark--but also with its quirky humor. The absurdity of featuring monkeys in the game (including the one seen in the TimeSplitters 4 teaser image above), combined with time travel helped TimeSplitters to stand apart.
Crytek UK is currently at work on Homefront: The Revolution, though it has reportedly been dealing with serious issues of late, including staff not being paid. This is said to have resulted in a number of employees leaving the studio, including Revolution director Hasit Zala. What effect this reported exodus will have on the prospect of a new TimeSplitters is currently unclear.
Whatever may happen in terms of an official project, fans have taken it upon themselves to craft a revival of the series, known as TimeSplitters Rewind. The volunteer-led project landed on Steam Greenlight last year after receiving the blessing of Crytek, which owns the TimeSplitters IP. The multiplayer-centric game will feature parts of past TimeSplitters games and is not yet playable by the public, although it remains in development as of earlier this year.
If a new TimeSplitters game does eventually happen, what would you like to see from it? Let us know in the comments.
Story updated to clarify the timeline of Haze's development.
|Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX|
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