TimeSplitters Future Perfect
Image: Free Radical

A PS3 demo of Free Radical's cancelled 2008 version of TimeSplitters 4 was recently discovered on eBay and has now been dumped online for players to poke around in.

This version of the game is dated November 2008 and was in development for PS3 & Xbox 360 at Free Radical shortly before the studio went into Administration (leading to the Nottingham developer downsizing from 185 staff to just 40 people and eventually being acquired by Crytek).

In the past, Free Radical has shared some teaser videos for the project, while other bits of info have surfaced in interviews with former staff and employee portfolios in the years since. However, this build appears to represent our most extensive look yet at what the company was planning for the time-travelling first-person shooter, with the prototype containing a playable version of a multiplayer map that had previously only been revealed in some developer concept art.

Image: Free Radical

The rare prototype of the game was found on a PS3 devkit listed on eBay at the start of this month, with the reddit user u/Flimsy-Zebra3775 bringing it to people's attention after posting an image from the listing asking if it was "legit". Shortly after, it then seems that they were able to purchase the devkit from the seller and have now successfully archived the build on the preservation website Hidden Palace.

Reacting to the news, the Free Radical founder/director David Doak posted a tweet about the recent discovery, in which he commented:

"Yep. This is exactly the kind of nonsense that <insert any publisher name> wasn’t interested in back in 2008. You’re welcome."

Something we should probably note is that this isn't the only footage of a TimeSplitters 4 project to be released this year. 5 minutes of footage from another more recent attempt to make a new TimeSplitters game was also published online earlier this month on LinkedIn.

This project (codenamed TimeSplitters Next) was being made by a reformed Free Radical and was first announced in 2021. However, it was eventually cancelled in December 2023 after the studio was shut down by Embracer.

[source reddit.com]