Free Radical’s TimeSplitters is more than just a first-person shooter. It stands as a reminder of just how great video games can be when played together, as well as a reminder of the virtues of split-screen multiplayer. With TimeSplitters Rewind in development, Flicks and Pieces takes a look back at TimeSplitters past, as well as a look forward at what is to come.
From 2000-2005 we saw three TimeSplitters games developed, each with an increasingly expert delivery of a finely tuned formula. Blasting your way through time with a varied and colourful cast of characters, bots and maps, TimeSplitters was a joy to play.
By the time the third entry Future Perfect released in 2005 the series featured a superb single player or co-operative story mode, and some of the best competitive multiplayer options available at the time, with bots featuring heavily in upping the frantic pace of the action.
The TimeSplitters sequels in particular featured remarkable level design, as well as a bombastic and ginormous cast of characters. For me personally, split-screen winner stays on games of TimeSplitters with friends would take up multiple days and evenings each week, each player with a favourite character (just don’t pick Monkey)!
Whilst online play is of course an incredible evolution of multiplayer gameplay, the camaraderie, gamesmanship and genuine socialisation split-screen multiplayer brings cannot be beaten, and TimeSplitters was certainly at its best when played together.
It was the multiplayer series of my youth, and for myself and critics at the time it could do very little wrong.
TimeSplitters 4 was unsurprisingly announced as a result of this success, and then seemingly put to bed upon Crytek’s purchase of Free Radical. After a period of sporadic news on the future of the series, in 2012 the eventually unsuccessful 100,000 Strong for TimeSplitters 4 petition began, headed up by Daniel Wesoly. Though the target amount of signatures was not to be met, the wheels began turning on the latest incarnation of the classic series.
Many years after the last iteration, TimeSplitters Rewind is now a work in progress, being developed on a voluntary basis by fans of the series with the blessing of Crytek, utilising CryEngine. Built from the ground up using original assets as reference, TimeSplitters Rewind will be a free, online only multiplayer experience, acting as a HD ‘Best Of’ for the series.
Characters confirmed thus far include classics such as Harry Tipper, Cortez, and the dreaded, fiendishly short Monkey. Furthermore maps such as Chinese and Ice Station have been confirmed amongst others, rounding off a stellar looking initial line up.
What to look forward to
Bots will be back, and with bots comes fast paced non-stop gameplay. Graphically this should be by far the best looking TimeSplitters has ever been. There have been some truly stunning games developed using CryEngine, and this should bring a unique take on the distinctive TimeSplitters style.
Beta has been mentioned on the Rewind website, but no dates have been given for this as of yet. Currently this is set to be a PC only game, however a PS4 release has also been mooted. Though Rewind will be online multiplayer only initially, the potential PS4 version does at least open up the possibility of split-screen making its return to the series.
For the time being, we can be safe in the knowledge that Monkey will live to torment another day.
Like TimeSplitters Rewind on Facebook.
See further news at the official Rewind website.
It’s time to split!