Opinion PC Retro

TimeSplitters Rewind Is In A Good Place In The January 2020 Update

TimeSplitters Rewind is a project that’s looking to rebuilt the TimeSplitters series for modern day PCs, using the latest visuals and updating some of the mechanics along the way. Sadly the TimeSplitters games were never remastered from their original releases, mostly because the developers went under, and the IP has been passed around ever since. Now we’ve got a new update that shows exactly where the TimeSplitters Rewind project is at, and I’ve got to say that it looks pretty damn incredible. Check out the video below and read on for more details.

Right off the bat the updated versions of the levels from all three games are instantly recognisable, at least to someone who played nearly a thousand hours collectively in these games. Everything on the environment side of things is coming together really well, which means that the levels can soon start to get pulled together, once all the character and weapon models are created too I imagine. I hate to say it but this is the easy part of development, and it’s not even that easy considering that these levels are being recreated from visuals, not any sort of files. In total there are now blockouts for half of all the maps in the first TimeSplitters game, and the team have expanded the range of weapons they’re working on to include the Tommy Gun and the Minigun from that game as well.

In addition to these blockouts, the team has managed to full render a bunch of levels from TimeSplitters, some of which have toggles for story mode to be on and off to demonstrate the differences in the level in the different modes. The next step in the process will be integrating actual gameplay into these levels, effectively creating around half of the first game with modern technology, for modern technology, and well before any big game developer took up the mantle and did it.

Characters and Assets

characters

My favourite part of the TimeSplitters games is the characters. There are so many, and they’re all so individual, that I just had fun playing as them or playing against them, and watching them, trying to figure out who they are. Some of the new characters that have been worked on since last year include Mister Giggles, the creepiest clown you’ve ever seen, Ivor Baddic, one of the NPC soldiers from TimeSplitters Future Perfect, a Zombie Policeman, which I think is just an enemy type, and a female character that I believe is from the original game, but I can’t remember her name.

The team has also begun creating their own 2D assets, which are starting to replace the placeholder ones they’ve been using up until now. This includes ammo counters as well as powerups and in-game menu icons.

Last Stand

last-stand

The team have made some changes to Last Stand mode, a game mode that simply tasks players with defending their group of barrels from approaching waves of enemies. It was mental and hectic, and probably a bit too hard at times, but it’s undeniably TimeSplitters. In TimeSplitters Rewind, players now fight for survival against these waves of enemies, with all the weapons and levels built into the mode as they were. This changes the mode up to make it a bit more interesting, and a little fairer. As someone who played these games a lot, I can tell you that the only reason to play Last Stand was to get the trophies and unlock whatever rewards were behind the Arcade missions or Challenges.

Seven Years

seven-years

So far TimeSplitters Rewind has been in development for seven years, and I’ve been following it for that entire time, since I was in secondary school. The team making this game are so dedicated that they’ve gone beyond what is sensible in order to fill the gaps where needed, with one person learning an entirely new skill, game environment creation, just to help everyone get to the point where they’re at today. As a result of this hard work, the original TimeSplitters story is now up and running and working, though it does use assets from the original game right now. I can’t express how much I’m in awe of this team, especially when you realise how tiny they are compared to any other developer doing ports out there right now.

The Plan

the-plan

The plan has changed for TimeSplitters Rewind. The game is now going to launch with less content, but that means it can release sooner and hopefully beat the remasters that THQ Nordic is probably working on. That means that the game will launch like an early access title, with some content fully finished in it, and more to be added over subsequent updates, alongside actual updates based on player feedback. This also ensures that the project can get into the hands of fans sooner, which is great if something happens to it, like a cease and desist order from a developer or publisher.

Currently the team is looking for a number of new people to join the team, though environment artists are a dire need. If you are in any way able to help with the project with the skills you have, please get in touch with the team via the Discord, I’d love to see the project finished.

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