Sci-fi FPS Timesplitters acquired by THQ Nordic, potentially signals series revival

Is it time to split again?

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Update (August 15, 2018 - 08:30 AM PT): A press release confirms that upcoming Timesplitters games are being published by Deep Silver.

Original story: It looks like a classic FPS series is on the verge of a potential revival as THQ Nordic has acquired the Timesplitters trilogy. The trilogy was originally developed by Free Radical Design, which was bought out by Crytek. The extent of the series' existence there was the roller-coaster of "in development" to "on hold" and finally "not in development" for Timesplitters 4.

Timesplitters and action-adventure Second Sight were both acquired through the Koch Media subsidiary. Second Sight put players in the shoes of a parapsychology researcher that wakes up with amnesia and powerful psychic abilities. It released in 2004 to average reviews, holding between a 73% and 77% on various platforms. 

The Timesplitters series featured strong shooting, a distinct art style, and pretty solid humor that made it stand out from other modern shooters at the time. It was a breath of fresh air as it made fun of the typical action film and game genre heroes and villains. It also featured map-making for multiplayer modes, a common feature for popular shooters at the time that could make a resurgence if well received in games like Far Cry 5. There's no confirmation that the Timesplitters or Second Sight series will be officially brought back to life, but fans are likely hoping this acquisition wasn't for nothing. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 15, 2018 6:10 AM

    Charles Singletary Jr posted a new article, Sci-fi FPS Timesplitters acquired by THQ Nordic, potentially signals series revival

    • reply
      August 15, 2018 6:28 AM

      But why? Is there a market for this anymore?

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        August 15, 2018 6:42 AM

        I mean, you could unlock a brick as a weapon in those games. You could be a monkey running around huckin' bricks at people.

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        August 15, 2018 6:54 AM

        I will fucking by the fuck out of it. I loved those games.

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        August 15, 2018 7:32 AM

        I'm right here. o/

        Honestly curious, have you genuinely played this game? There absolutely should be a market for it.

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          August 15, 2018 7:36 AM

          Yes I played 1 & 2 but I just don't see a mass market for it in this day and age, beyond nostalgia.

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            August 15, 2018 8:21 AM

            There's always a market for a game with clearly defined and identifiable (and obtainable) goals. Sandboxing is great when you have nothing to do, maybe it's just me but that kind of thing wears thin fast. Splitscreen and lan play? Those went by the wayside when broadband became ubiquitous, but it isn't like these are dated ideas, they're just unused. You wouldn't love to play that way again?

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        August 15, 2018 9:22 AM

        Timesplitters was FUN! Doing some sort of modern F2P evolution of it could definitely have an audience.

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          August 15, 2018 9:50 AM

          Yeah, I feel like Fortnite has a tiny bit of the ridiculousness that made TimeSplitters so fun. I think it was the first console shooter that also had immediate respawns in multiplayer. Death's consequences were that you didn't have the weapon(s) you had and needed to try and find something decent before you got demolished again.

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          August 15, 2018 5:58 PM

          Yea, for sure

      • Zek
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        August 15, 2018 7:22 PM

        The franchise has some nostalgia value for sure. But there's nothing about the original games that stands out in the modern market. So they're going to need to find a new hook.

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      August 15, 2018 7:22 AM

      As one of the few people who know The Truth*, I'm having a very hard time being optimistic about this. TimeSplitters Rewind still unreleased, can it ever happen now? It would be nice to see the old TimeSplitters titles on current consoles... I guess.

      *TimeSplitters** is better than Goldeneye.
      **Yes, the original TimeSplitters for PlayStation 2.

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        August 15, 2018 8:58 AM

        My friends and I used to put some ridiculous number in us vs bots matches (like 20476 kills to win matches) and play a single map for 4 hours straight. I like it better than unlimited because there is an end.

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          August 15, 2018 9:18 AM

          It's altogether rare that any game, let alone an FPS, has the kind of options available that TimeSplitters has.

          And I hate so much that the least TimeSplitters-like game is the one that most people remember (FP). They locked the target reticle by default, which works okay, but felt like an admission that they lost the battle in winning the hearts and minds of the FPS gaming crowd on consoles to Halo. When you get two TimeSplitters players who know what the hell they're doing, and get going at each other, it's crazy the accuracy they'll volley at one another. It's a completely different kind of FPS experience that way too few gamers really got exposed to. Hardly any discussion I ever see on TimeSplitters touches on it, but it's one of the prime aspects of its play that sets it apart.

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            August 15, 2018 9:47 AM

            Yup, for a console FPS it was stupid fast and had that 3D level geometry (well, sometimes) that made FP games so cool in that era. I have 2 & 3 at home and really should go through them again.

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              August 15, 2018 10:07 AM

              My soft spot is for the first game. It's the tightest among the three, cartoony and bubbly graphics in 2 and 3 but the same general idea to the gun play and larger hitboxes between them. I remember when TimeSplitters 2 was brand new, all my friends said they just couldn't play it and I was like what's the matter? The number one complaint was "it makes me dizzy." These were people who would play Halo all day long so it wasn't just a 3D viewport motion sickiness at play here. Near as I could tell, it was the way the guns moved, the target reticle moved when moving and aiming, and the hide-behind-the-couch-or-I'll-barf moments happened when holding the aiming button for accuracy or sniping.

              This shit right here at 0m49s -> https://youtu.be/lTVguOBbbXE?t=48
              And this here, pretty much the whole video -> https://youtu.be/N61WNeaeJdE?t=105

              It takes some getting used to, I admit, but it never gave me motion sickness, just a general confusion the first few times I played in order to figure out wtf was going on. The travel that the gun makes with every movement or lookabout is distinct, and near as I can tell different from any other game made since.

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                August 15, 2018 11:01 AM

                Yeah that never really bothered me. I probably played more of 2 than any of the others though. Partially because I got obsessed with map making back then.

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                August 15, 2018 7:14 PM

                It was fun running down the dam interior in goldeneye and zooming in and out with the sniper rifle. Gave a really weird effect and whilst it was fine for me some watching would always go a bit weird.

    • rms
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      August 15, 2018 7:31 AM

      Perhaps they just want to gin up a remaster, like Nightdive?

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      August 15, 2018 8:06 AM

      After being a PC gamer in the 90s, these games just never did it for me. The "best" console shooter, as I remember many friends referring to it, still didn't hold a candle to games I had played several years prior.

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      August 15, 2018 6:13 PM

      Let it die please