A THQ Nordic game’s reference to a TimeSplitters 2 remake got fans excited online, but the studio reveals it was really a more innocent reference.
Fans of cult favorite FPS franchise TimeSplitters remembered what hope felt like over the weekend when the THQ Nordic-published SpellForce 3: Fallen God included a tease of a remake of TimeSplitters 2, but it turns out it was just an innocent easter egg. The TimeSplitters franchise was at one point the spiritual successor to Rare’s legendary Nintendo 64 shooters GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark. Developed by many of the same team under the new name Free Radical, the trilogy of games featured arcadey over the top shooting in an age where the prominent style was slower and more cinematic.
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Free Radical was absorbed by Crytek following the disastrous release of Haze early in the PlayStation 3’s lifespan. The company eventually became Dambuster Studios under the wide reach of THQ Nordic, who also acquired the rights to TimeSplitters. In 2019, the company brought in series co-creator Steve Ellis to work on some sort of TimeSplitters project, but there are no details beyond that. So, when newly released game Spellforce 3: Fallen God included an in-game copy of a TimeSplitters 2 remake alongside other upcoming announced THQ Nordic products, the Internet began to get hype, especially fans who have been waiting for something from the franchise for over two decades.
Alas, THQ Nordic has confirmed to Eurogamer that the inclusion of this in-game item was actually a misunderstood joke. The vendor selling the item is known to SpellForce players as a distributor of lies, so the game was fabricated as an Easter egg. Curiously, THQ Nordic also called the Biomutant and Gothic games “cancelled,” even though both projects have been shown off in a playable capacity in the past. The vendor also sells at least one game (SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom: Rehydrated) that released earlier this year. It makes the “joke” even more confusing to consider, but it’s possible that it makes sense in the context of the game.
The whole situation is all the more baffling because THQ Nordic has been mostly known to produce these types of reamkes and remasters all throughout the previous generation. The company has released new editions of most every prominent THQ release, from a continuation of the Darksiders franchise to an upgrade for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. A remake of TimeSplitters 2 would be right in that wheelhouse, especially considering the talent that THQ Nordic acquired in recent times. If anything, a remake of a PlayStation 2 game would make much more sense than several of the THQ properties that have already received the treatment.
So, is THQ Nordic just trying to not spoil its carefully laid marketing plans for a TimeSplitters revival? Was a TimeSplitters 2 remake in the works that didn’t work out? If that is the case, are Biomutant and the promised Gothic Remake in the same boat? The response to this curious Easter egg poses more questions than answers, and it will likely be several years before the gaming public knows the truth. However, to the fans that cried out in delight at this news, take comfort in the fact that the publisher’s response to this query is proof positive that there are enough fans of this wonderful FPS series to make a ruckus and get people talking. If that doesn’t get a new TimeSplitters back on track, it’s a major missed opportunity.
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