The TimeSplitters franchise, until recently developed by Free Radical Design
, has been critically acclaimed throughout its history for its style, humor, and gameplay. While the game has a story mode, its main focus has been its multiplayer
, which has featured immensely customizable multiplayer modes, a large roster of colorful characters, and ability to create custom maps.
The series, namely the second installment
, has often been compared to Goldeneye 007
, which most of Free Radical's staff had worked on while at Rare
The overall story focuses on a war between mankind and an evil, titular race of time-travelers known as the TimeSplitters. The race, who were later discovered to be created by Jacob Crow
, the antagonist of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
, wish to destroy humanity by going into their past and destroying it.
Players control Sergeant Cortez
as he follows the race into the history of man in order to stop them. But how he has performed these tasks have varied. In TimeSplitters 2, Cortez takes on the physical form of a different person, in the same vein of Quantum Leap.
But in Future Perfect, he is his own self and even partners-up with people he took the role as in the previous game.
Throughout the course of the franchise, the story goes to different eras. These have included familiar settings like 1920's Chicago
and Victorian-era Europe
. However, the stories have also gone into the distant future setting the player on an alien planet or a robot factory. Some of these have been recurring, sometimes due to the overall significance of the story; such as a Cold War-era Spy setting and a Terminator
-style war between man and killer robots.
During these missions, players sometimes have the option to play a mini-game. In TimeSplitters 2, players can find unlockable vector games in some missions.
Players may also take part in various challenges to compete for a high score; such as endurance rounds, target shooting, stealth, or destroying things, among others. These challenges usually come with a silly story to explain the scenario.
Playing these challenges, and getting a high-enough score, results in unlocking additional maps, characters, weapons, and cheats.
The core of the TimeSplitters franchise's experience has been its multiplayer. While there is additional co-op
in Story Mode, the bulk of multiplayer lies in its arcade mode. Here players can choose from a large selection of game modes, maps, characters, and weapons. Players can also fight against bots
The franchise is notable for its enormous roster of playable characters, consisting of story characters, villains, supporting roles, and other NPCs that appear throughout the game. The roster also includes a multitude of eccentric roles and characters ranging from zombies
, circus carnies, animals, freaks, and other assorted crazies.
Additional to the arcade mode is the Arcade League. This mode, similar to the challenge mode, puts a single player into a pre-determined multiplayer battle between NPCs, again accompanied with a humorous back story.
The franchise also has its own in-game program that allows players to make custom multiplayer maps/missions using an assortment of themed rooms or "tiles." Players can layout weapon locations, spawn points, and special game mode items like bases for Capture the Bag. They may also choose the map's defaults, including weapons and music.
Additionally, players can make single-player missions by laying out game logic and NPCs.
In 2009, Free Radical Design ran into financial difficulties and most of the staff was laid off. Later, they were bought by Crytek UK
. At the time, TimeSplitters 4
was being produced. The founders of Pumpkin Beach
, who both worked at Free Radical, has stated that it is not their intention to continue work on the series.
There has been no mentioning that the project has been canceled so it has been regarded as being put on hiatus.