A recent revelation from a former developer at Free Radical Design has shed light on the origins of the ill-fated reboot of TimeSplitters. Originally conceived as a “clone” of Fortnite’s popular battle royale mode, the game was expected to capitalize on the genre’s immense success. However, both the developers and fans alike expressed their lack of enthusiasm for this direction. The project seemed destined for failure from the start, with limited options and creativity.
Earlier this year, the reboot underwent a significant shift in vision. The developers abandoned their battle royale aspirations and instead opted for a remake of TimeSplitters 2, a beloved entry in the franchise. While this change may have signified a new sense of direction, it also raised concerns about the game’s marketing and development process. The lack of any marketing materials prior to the shift showcased the studio’s struggle to find its footing. Placeholder assets were used, emphasizing the disarray and lack of resources within the team. It wasn’t until the last year or so that artists were hired to rectify the situation and bring the game to life.
The new vision for the TimeSplitters reboot involved more than just a copy of TimeSplitters 2. Instead, developers incorporated elements from the first game and its sequel, Future Perfect, to create a unique experience. The story would now center around Corporal Hart, a departure from the series’ original protagonist, Cortez. While this alteration may have injected some fresh ideas into the game, it also reflected the game’s lack of a clear identity.
Despite the team’s best efforts, the TimeSplitters reboot remained far from completion. The anonymous developer estimated that at least two more years of work would have been necessary to fully realize the game’s ambitious remake of TimeSplitters 2. Unfortunately, the recent closure of Free Radical Design and subsequent layoffs have put an end to these aspirations. The entire team has been disbanded, with no plans for those who returned to Dambuster Studios, the development studio behind TimeSplitters 4, to continue working on the reboot.
The cancellation of the TimeSplitters reboot is a tremendous loss for both fans and the industry as a whole. The TimeSplitters franchise has a dedicated following, eagerly awaiting a new installment that could recapture the magic of its predecessors. The demise of the reboot represents a missed opportunity to deliver a memorable and innovative gaming experience. It is unfortunate that the project was plagued by both internal challenges and external circumstances, ultimately leading to its demise. However, there is still hope that another studio under the Embracer umbrella may take up the mantle and attempt to revive the franchise in the future.
The TimeSplitters reboot started as a battle royale clone before undergoing a shift in vision to become a remake of TimeSplitters 2. The lack of marketing materials and placeholder assets highlighted the challenges faced by the development team. The inclusion of new and modified levels and an altered narrative showed a desire for innovation, but also raised concerns about the game’s identity. With the game now cancelled and the studio disbanded, fans can only lament the missed opportunity to revive a beloved franchise. Hopefully, the future will bring new chances for TimeSplitters to shine once again.