A lot of the more seasoned gamers (and perhaps newbies as well) will certainly remember how much fun the TimeSplitters series was. The same people behind such iconic first-person shooters as the Nintendo 64’s “Goldeneye” and “Perfect Dark” also created it, after all. For many, they really pushed their winning formula even further, reaching a sweet spot where the action and content propelled things to an entirely new level. For instance, the sheer number of challenges and additional activities (outside of the main story) found in TimeSplitters 2 was reason enough to keep on exploring what the game had to offer. Likewise, the TimeSplitters franchise has been one of the few that saw fit to take advantage of multiplayer A.I. and simulants have to offer, often times creating enemies which pushed you to your limits. So, when it was finally revealed that TimeSplitters 4 would indeed be placed in indefinite hold, fans were understandably miffed…
Of course now we live in the era of the PS4, where anything’s possible, right? Wrong, apparently. According to circulating reports (like the one featured here), publishers see no chance of a TimeSplitters follow-up hitting either the PS4 or Xbox ONE. Not to worry though, this hasn’t stopped some of the more dedicated and astute from attempting to go around them entirely. As of February 2nd the “100,000 Strong for TimeSplitters 4” facebook page has accumulated 50,000 signatures on its petition. They’re not just speaking out for TS4 though; they also want to see HD remakes of the original games as well.
At the same time, there’s also an ongoing project which is being pieced together largely by fans called “TimeSplitters Rewind”. In a show of mercy, Crytek UK has green-lit the project and even their own sort of blessing to them by offering access to “original assets” from their older development cycles. Naturally, those in charge of the project have instead opted to start from scratch, rebuilding it from the ground up according to their own specs. Not to worry though, because they are incorporating the best elements from all three original games, so it should be an absolute blast if it ever sees the light of day. Concerning the multiplayer element (source):
“The game has plans for a multiplayer mode facilitating 8 to 16 players, either online or by LAN. All 300+ characters from the games, along with the numerous weapons and maps, are being remade for inclusion. 2 Hubicka confirmed that Pantheonyx will also be working on the campaigns from all 3 games in the series once Multiplayer is complete, though it is very far out.”
While this very intriguing fan-made title is to be originally released freely for the PC (perhaps sometime after 2014) they haven’t actually been denied by the PlayStation community for eventual distribution on the PS4. In other words, there is a slim possibility that the game might even be offered up on the PSN, perhaps as a free title.
OK, so what is it (specifically) that we find so appealing about the TimeSplitters series? While it’s impossible to list the personal reasons and lists for everyone, the general impression is that this iconic FPS franchise captured the essence of what a stripped down, no nonsense shooter should do. Sure, there are plenty of amazing titles out there which push the boundaries of gameplay and graphics so far as to almost be photo-realistic, but at the end of the day – it remains a game. The relatively straight-forward nature of a game like TimeSplitters 2 is such that your focus is often times dragged away from gawking at the environment and concentrating on the inherent challenge of dealing with super-powered enemies while running low on ammo and scrambling for your life. Simply put, the formula that the series utilizes is more in tune with a classic arcade feel, if you will, where you’re not being delicately led down a path, but mercilessly assaulted until you rise up and decide to do some damage of your own.
There are many reasons as to why we want to see a next-gen PS4 follow up of the TimeSplitters series – nostalgia, retro reintegration, etc. But for many it might be a much simpler attempt to recapture the innocence of the FPS experience. The ultra-realistic titles (featuring intricate physics), while magnificent, simply aren’t able to deliver a comparable experience for most hardcore TimeSplitters fans. Just imagining what an updated TS title might look like on the PS4 is very exciting, especially when you consider how one might incorporate elements like the touchpad or voice commands. However, even if the game arrives as a stripped-down title on the PSN, fans will be absolutely delighted nonetheless.