So often classic, legendary series are dragged out of the annals of history by contemporary AAA companies, just to make a quick buck on old glory. Hearing the news that Deep Silver is reviving TimeSplitters, you might be forgiven for coming to the same conclusion - but this is a lot more than just a nostalgia cash grab.
Announced via the official Deep Silver Twitter account, the publishing label has formed a new development studio called Free Radical Design. The original developers of TimeSplitters back in the day bore the same name, and this isn't homage isn't just at face value either. The revived Free Radical Design is headed by Steve Ellis and David Doak, original creators of TimeSplitters.
A new Deep Silver Studio is coming - Free Radical Design pic.twitter.com/N5qTTcZfsW
— Official Deep Silver (@deepsilver) May 20, 2021
This revival has all the makings of being the real deal with the original team on board with the project. TimeSplitters was loved by gamers and critics alike, with different entries from the series often appearing on "best games of all time" lists. They're definitely considered to be among the best shooters ever released, that's for sure.
Deep Silver has announced this TimeSplitters revival pretty early on, as actual development on this next game in the series hasn't really started yet. Instead, this is an announcement about the reformation of the legendary development studio and the reunion of Ellis and Doak with the intent of bringing back TimeSplitters.
Seeing as we're this early on in the process, it isn't clear whether the upcoming title will be a reboot, a spin-off, a remake or whether the duo will finally get the chance to finish TimeSplitters 4, which was cancelled during development when Free Radical Design - the original one, that is - folded back in 2008 and got bought out by Crytek in 2009.
Deep Silver stated in the initial announcement that fans will get updates on this initiative as they become available. Some might think this whole reveal came out of the blue, but rumblings of some sort of TimeSplitters revival have been whispered for a while now - Ellis joined THQ Nordic in 2019, and both he and the company have skirted around the possibility of returning to the legendary series in the near future.
Going back to the fan favorites of decades past is always a double edged sword - while you're definitely going to get excitement from fans of the original games and a lot of nostalgia points, new takes on classics often fail to live up to expectations, or simply serve to prove that the game in question was the zeitgeist of its time and rose tinted glasses kept that memory alive.
In this particular case, TimeSplitters has a lot going for it - its style and fast pace would make it just as fun and memorable today as it was back in the 00's, and with the original creators at the head of the reformed Free Radical Design you can bet that this isn't some soulless corporate cash-grab designed to capitalize on a popular name.
We're eager to wee what will come of this, and what direction Ellis and Doak will take the revival of the series.