TimeSplitters 4: Nine things it needs to do to guarantee a gleefully amazing sequel

5. Local multiplayer is vital

If this isn't in, it's not TimeSplitters. Fact. TimeSplitters split-screen multiplayer was almost as big a deal as Goldeneye's at the time, and objectively it was certainly better. It we have to go online to play TS4's multiplayer, we'll cry. Ditto for Co-op. Oh, and as for co-op, can we limit it to two players please? I have a feeling that accomodating four would blow the series' tight, clever level design out of the water.

6. Do not put level-grinding into multiplayer

I know it's the fashionable way to do online this generation, but it isn't suited to TimeSplitters. The fact is, TimeSplitters had a far cooler multiplayer progression system in place long before the world became obsessed with perks and unlockable guns. Its nonsensically vast and eclectic Arcade challenge modes rewarded success with a nonsensically vast and eclectic array of playable characters, comprising every playable character and NPC in the games, along with plenty of insane comedy characters who didn't appear anywhere else.

Above: Being a monkey> having a UAV

All unlocked character skins were instantly available in multiplayer and did have broad tactical advantages in themselves. Robots were fire-proof, monkeys were nippy and small, etc. But the crucial thing is that while they added enough variety and depth to keep things interesting, not to mention bags of character, they never obscured the fact that TimeSplitters multiplayer was an immediate, all-welcoming, always-fair experience that anyone of any level could drop into and enjoy straight away. That was the real beauty of competetive 'Splitters, and it's why so many of us still love it to this day. So let's keep it that way. That said though...

7. Give everything modern online functionality

As I said inmy TimeSplitters 2 classic game appreciation featurea couple of weeks ago, TimeSplitters' multitudinous side-game offering made it the ultimate online shooter way before online console functionality was really ready for it. Just imagine the vast Arcade modes with online leaderboards and some implimentation of EA's friend-baiting Autolog technology (I'm assuming EA would publish TS4 at this stage, given its handling of Future Perfect and Crytek's Crysis 2). Sex. Ee. Good. Then drop in full online for TimeSplitters decadently large, all-encompassing, never-bettered spread of multiplayer game types and you've got potentially the best community-driven shooter in the business.

8. Loads of proper cheats, please

One of the most fun things that TimeSplitters developers David Doak and co. carried over from Goldeneye was the concept of proper, unlockable cheats. Big heads, small heads, big ears, silly hats, paintball, fattie character models, invisible characters, weapon mods, human-voiced gun noises, NES graphics filters, old film graphics filters... TimeSplitters had done it all by 2005. Sorry, Call of Duty and Uncharted. We do love your selection of comedy unlockables, but TimeSplitters did them first.


So let's have them back, with a whole lot more. With TimeSplitters' philosophy of unlocks-as-50%-of-disc-capacity taken online, TimeSplitters 4 could provide some of the most ludicrous, varied and rewarding custom games of the generation. If not ever. In fact yeah, definitely ever.

9. Release TimeSplitters 2 HD as promotional DLC*

Yeah, you heard me, Crytek UK. Get an HD, online-enabled version of TimeSplitters 2 out as a Games on Demand/Steam/PSN release and I'll love you forever. The only reason I can see against this at the moment is that TS2 is so perfect and complete a package that it could steal the sequel's thunder if pimped out to modern(ish) standards. Though to be fair, that would just be an incentive to make TS4 even more stunning, so it's not actually a bad thing at all.

So yeah. Put it out and make TimeSplitters 4 even more stunning. Cheers guys.

*Yeah, I know this one is only vaguely related to TS4 being a gleefully amazing sequel, but screw it, it's an excuse.

August 01, 2011