Pipe Dreams – Timesplitters 4

A lot of people these days complain that the first-person shooter market has become a homogenised mess with overly gritty and serious shooters. I am not in total agreement of that fact, but I do agree that the world of gaming needs more Timesplitters. As the world already has three in existence it may be time for somebody, somewhere, to perhaps make a fourth installment in the series as four is most definitely a larger number than three. I double checked.

For those who are, tragically, unaware, Timesplitters is a first-person shooter series which stemmed from the PlayStation 2 era that focused on wacky character design, uniquely designed multiplayer, and a bright, colourful art direction. Also, there was a monkey involved. It was one of my favourite PlayStation 2 games of all time, Timesplitters, I still cling onto my copy to this day. On the rare occasion I like to break out a game of multiplayer with friends or against AI in the Chinese restaurant level. It was a game that was made almost entirely around the idea of shooter fun over shooter seriousness.

The entire trilogy only spanned a single generation, you can pick up all three for the PlayStation 2 on eBay reasonably cheaply, or two of them for GameCube if you hate your hands, but the fans have been begging for a current generation Timesplitters 4 for too many years now. There’s a Facebook group, hundreds upon hundreds of YouTube comments on every single Timesplitters video posted, and every so often you’ll even see a journalistic wannabe peddling the idea that it’s about damn time it happened. Oh, wait…

Sir Chimpalot doesn’t fuck around.

The biggest problem? Free Radical Design – the original developers of the franchise. A development studio which was founded by three of the original Goldeneye 64 developers. Yes, really, so no wonder they made some terrific games after that! Shockingly, Free Radical Design hit financial troubles. There were many mitigating factors, however moving into the current generation left them making ‘Haze’ with publishers Ubisoft which ultimately left the development team helpless in their future.

The Flock

The game Haze eventually became a PlayStation 3 exclusive without their say. Contracts flopped, and a few more failed, and unreachable deadlines left them near death. Then, suddenly, from the haze (get it?), came a saviour… Crytek Studios.

Crytek bought Free Radical Design and transformed it into Crytek UK in 2009, where one of the three original Free Radical founders still resides after the other two jumped ship for varying reasons. Crytek UK would go on to work on Crysis 2’s multiplayer portion and are currently hard at work on Homefront 2. Take a moment or two to let all that sad sink in properly. I’m not saying either of those are bad games, well one might be, we can’t tell yet, but as Crytek bought Free Radical Design flat out they also own the Timeplitters IP. I say do something with it!

Crytek is a big enough games company to be able to handle the job, budget and team wise, so why have we heard nothing? As you can see throughout this Pipe Dreams various pieces of Timesplitters 4 concept art leaked out upon Free Radical’s demise. They had the idea, they wanted to do it, they even started low level design work on it, so where is it, over three years later? Crytek claim, and this is absolutely the way they put it, that public interest was “was not high enough yet.” An argument which I want to rally against, but I do somewhat understand where they’re coming from. We just need to make our voices louder when it comes to wanting Timesplitters 4.

Robot Monkey.

Therefore, I implore you, gamers and fans of first-person shooters who haven’t, to go out and play Timesplitters. Head to eBay, drop the £10, and see what you think. If you love it, then support Timesplitters 4. If you’ve played it, join the Facebook group, and keep wanting it. Maybe one day if we all want it hard enough then we’ll get it, even though it’s a long shot. I think this could well be one Pipe Dream which we can make a reality. GO, TEAM MONKEY! #GoTeamMonkey

That’s it for this episode of Pipe Dreams, my name’s Duncan Aird and I approve these dreams.


Do you have a suggestion for future Pipe Dream posts? I want to hear it! I think it would be awesome, and make my job a lot easier, so please do leave it as a comment down below. However, if you would prefer to use that social networking addiction we all have constructively then you can also Tweet your thoughts to @ReadyUp with the hashtag #RUPipeDreams, or just put a post over on our Facebook Page. The options are endless! Except those three are pretty much all of the options… I look forward to each and every one of your opinions! Especially if you love that freaking monkey.


Leave a Reply