The developers of TimeSplitters Rewind have today unveiled new assets from their upcoming game.
The latest level to be showcased from the fan HD remake project is Streets, which appeared in both the original TimeSplitters and its sequel. The full stage is not yet complete, but the developmental team have shared details on, and a whole new look for, the level’s central room.
In the original, the space appeared rather desolate, serving as little more than an armour pick-up location – but it has now been transformed into a much more lively-looking mobile phone store, complete with full furnishings, carpets, and storage units.
The developer responsible for creating the level, Ibanez, shed some light into the thought process behind such a transformation. He said: “I wanted to unveil this room as a means of showing what you can expect from the rest of the design – the playable area geometry remains the same, but the technology limitations that existed back in 2000 and 2002 don’t exactly exist today, and hardware out there allows our team to add a considerable amount of detail that Free Radical Design would have wanted to do themselves.
“The design of this room is certainly a stark contrast to the original, but after a month of determining how I would add life to the level, I envisioned an environment of retail shops in the skywalks and rooms on the ‘second floor’ of the map, an office building with an extra (but inaccessible) third floor out of the existing corner building near the Blue team’s base, an Auto repair shop where the Speed pickup lays, and then it took a day for me to determine that I should ‘renovate’ this room into a mobile phone carrier location.”
The creative license employed by the development team has already proved rather divisive, however, with some fans claiming that the new look does not sit well with the atmosphere of the level as a whole. Facebook user Robert Foxx said: “Sorry to be a little negative, but it seems that the character of the level is completely changed. If anything, the original brick texture was more in keeping with the cold atmosphere than the carpet. It’s one thing to refine it with the extra polygons at your disposal, but the additional props to me seem like something being done because it can be, not because it should be.”
Others, meanwhile, seem to have embraced the changes, praising the team for thinking outside the box when it came to recreating what was arguably a previously lifeless level.
In his announcement post, Ibanez confirmed that the game’s engine has recently been upgraded, while fans should expect to see more levels from Rewind being showcased in the near future.
The project was born after an unsuccessful fan petition to license holders Crytek that urged them to resume development on the shelved TimeSplitters 4. Some of the more technically minded fans of the cult first-person shooter franchise soon decided to begin production on their own game based on the series on their own, and TimeSplitters Rewind was born. The team were subsequently given the go-ahead from Crytek UK, who also offered up official assets from the three games in the franchise as well as expert help.
TimeSplitters Rewind is a standalone multiplayer game, built using the CryEngine and encompassing the most popular aspects from all three games in the original series. Although the developmental team are using the original assets as a reference point, they are recreating everything “from the ground up”. It is being developed for PC and PS4, with the developers already receiving the green light for a release on the former.
As is the case with many fan projects, development on the game has been slow and at times arduous, with many changes in leadership and direction since its inception back in 2012. Today’s announcement does at least show that the team are currently active in their efforts to revive one of the most colourful FPS franchises around, which would surely be welcome in today’s marketplace alongside many titles that don’t stray too far beyond the shades of grey that make up their comfort zones.
Are you excited at the prospect of a remastered TimeSplitters game? Will it ever be finished? Let all your optimism and pessimism rip in the comments below.