We look at 5 of the most interesting games that never were.
Games That Need a Comeback: Timesplitters
For me, Timesplitters is still the best shooter around. It had everything: a silly story, decent co-op, a huge variety of four-player competitive modes, a level designer and you could play as a monkey. Plus Tony the Tiger voiced the main character. You might argue that it was good for its time and doesn’t deserve a remake, but I think it’s something we sorely need for next-gen consoles, and here’s why…
Online + Local Multiplayer
Could you imagine the fun you could have with this? As I mentioned above, Timesplitters was full of variety and content, especially when it came to its multiplayer. There were lots of maps, hundreds of characters and many different game modes. The modes varied from standard modes such as capture the flag to monkey assistant, a deathmatch which gave the losing player some fuzzy little helpers. But the characters made it great – there’s no other game which lets you play as a shoal of fish or a robot with a fishbowl for a head. Timesplitters also had some interesting weapons, including the injector, a gun that shot needles which made the enemy swell up and explode. Gruesome and at times, very frightening, but good fun. These days of course, many characters and maps would be paid DLC and you’d have to level up online to unlock certain things but I still believe that it could be the best multiplayer experience out there.
The campaign stories for Timeplitters was never really amazing but Future Perfect was particularly good at making it a fun co-op experience. With the amazing games writers we have now, I’m sure a brilliant, hilarious story that doesn’t take itself too seriously could be written for a new Timesplitters. There’s a huge lack of decent local co-op games these days, so which better series to bring it back than this one.
If you’re (what we like to call) a trophy/achievement whore, then the above might not sound good to you, but allow me to explain. Many games put in pointless and easy to earn achievements and the player is left deflated after they’ve beaten a game when there’s nothing else to do. In the previous gaming generation, games were harder and Timesplitters really challenged players when it came to their challenge modes. There were plenty of stupid challenges you could try, from racing a remote-controlled cat, to throwing bricks through windows as fast as you can, and completing these challenges earned you trophies. Your score was ranked and if you got the gold trophy, you unlocked a prize – usually a character or a cheat. Imagine trying to beat them all! It was certainly a challenge but great fun, and it made sure gamers never ran out of things to do. A Timesplitters platinum would surely be a plat to be proud of.
Not many games give you the chance to create your own multiplayer levels, but Timesplitters did. Back then, some people created levels just to watch bots slide into a pit of spikes, but these days, gamers are pretty creative. This is proven by the likes of the LittleBigPlanet community, who make some amazing stuff and take hours to create incredible levels. Imagine that community making Timesplitters maps. Players could play, download and rate maps, giving a Timesplitters remake the ultimate re-playability.
A lot of modern day shooters are boring and follow the same formula. Timesplitters was different because it was fun and stupid, but it still had a brilliant control system and a huge amount of re-playability. Crytek, who currently own the rights to the series, won’t make Timesplitters 4 until they’re sure it has a strong enough fanbase, sadly. But perhaps, one day, we can make it so. There’s currently a petition to get Crytek to make a Timesplitters HD collection and if you want to support it, you can sign it here. If it gets enough signatures, it might be time to split, once more.