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A major restructuring program by Embracer Group since June 2023 has led to the shuttering of several studios and mass layoffs in others. One of the studios that was shut down was TimeSplitters developer, Free Radical Design. The studio’s shuttering also led to the cancellation of the TimeSplitters Next game that was under development at the studio.

Canceled TimeSplitters Next Footage And Alleged TimeSplitters 4 Prototype Gameplay Surfaces Online

 

Rob Steptoe, the former head of arts of the now-defunct studio, posted a 5-minute gameplay of the canceled TimeSplitters Next game on his LinkedIn account. At the time of writing, we could not find the video on his account, suggesting that he may have taken down the post. However, it was still available on Video Game Chronicles and you can find it below.

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The last TimeSplitters game was the 2005 release called TimeSplitters: Future Perfect. Free Radical Designs was closed last December, barely two years after the studio was re-established. The canceled game’s footage showed off gameplay in mostly third-person over-the-shoulder perspective.

Apparently, the title of the game was supposed to be TimeSplitters Next. The status snapshot put together around July 2023 gave gamers a peek at the game that never saw the light of day. It was clearly stated at the beginning of the video that it was “captured and edited in-house at short notice”.

Canceled TimeSplitters Next Footage And Alleged TimeSplitters 4 Prototype Gameplay Surfaces Online

 

The “Internal use only, do not share” watermarked video started by showing off what has happened previously on TimeSplitters. After the brief recap, TimeSplitters Next began, showing off the different playable characters which include males, females, and robots.

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Also, different weapons were shown off including pistols, automatic machine guns, snipers, and rocket launchers. The game was also supposed to have different worlds including underground tunnels. However, the aspect of the game we found impressive was the game modes.

Canceled TimeSplitters Next Footage And Alleged TimeSplitters 4 Prototype Gameplay Surfaces Online

 

 

TimeSplitters Next was supposed to have a slew of game modes including solo modes which can be played in Solos (2 to 100 players), Duos (4 to 100 players), Trios (6 to 100 players), and Quads (8 to 100 players). It was supposed to have an assault mode with 1 to 4 players.

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There was also a mode called Deathmatch where two teams would duel to decide which team had the last man standing. Another interesting feature of TimeSplitters Next was the ability to hide in barrels and take out unsuspecting opponents.

“Free Radical Design was a hub of creativity, but sadly, we join an ever-growing list of casualties in a broken industry where entire studios are treated as replaceable cogs in a soulless machine fixated on nothing but share prices,” wrote Free Radical’s QA designer the day the studio closure was announced.

TimeSplitters Next is not the only video circulating

Canceled TimeSplitters Next Footage And Alleged TimeSplitters 4 Prototype Gameplay Surfaces Online

A few days ago, a Redditor uncovered a PlayStation 3 DevKit console with prototypes of TimeSplitters 4 that have never been seen before. A 4-minute gameplay of the prototype has surfaced on YouTube. The players were fighting against bot characters in the build dated November 7, 2008.

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Free Radical Design worked on TimeSplitters 4 but could not deliver the project because of an internal crisis that culminated in the studio’s first closure. From all indications, this is the first time that gameplay of the unpublished game is making it to the public space in almost two decades.

Unlike TimeSplitters Next, the TimeSplitters 4 gameplay had a first-person view with the player’s full view coming into focus when the character was killed. The gameplay showed the player in what feels like a survival mode where you have to kill a certain number of players to beat the game.

Seeing these gameplay videos now, how do you feel that these games never made it to the public? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.


Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.

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