Canceled TimeSplitters Game Footage Seemingly Posted by Ex-Free Radical Employee

An ex-Free Radical employee has uploaded what appears to be gameplay footage of the canceled TimeSplitters project that was in development before the studio was shuttered.

In a post on LinkedIn, ex-art head Rob Steptoe uploSaded a video clocking in at around five minutes and forty seconds, and it seems to show the TimeSplitters game that Free Radical was working on before its closure.

Steptoe also has some choice words to share with Embracer Group, the company under which Free Radical was operating, suggesting that they can “go hide in a cave somewhere”.

If Rob Steptoe’s footage is to be believed, the canceled TimeSplitters project looks a lot like Fortnite.

The footage, which we won’t show here, has a massive “INTERNAL USE ONLY, DO NOT SHARE.” disclaimer across it, and begins with a logo that features a backdrop mirroring the design of the now-defunct Free Radical website.

Over the next five minutes or so, Steptoe’s footage shows a game that…well, looks an awful lot like Epic Games’ Fortnite, as it happens, from the cartoony art style right down to the weapon selection in the bottom-right corner of the UI.

Some elements remain that connect this project to the original TimeSplitters series, including the iconic curved health and shield bars, as well as artwork reminiscent of the concept art that surfaced back in December.

At one point, the footage lingers on a selection of game modes that promise the ability to play on maps with between 8 and 100 players, suggesting that the TimeSplitters reboot would indeed have been a largely multiplayer-focused battle royale-style game.

A gang member shooting out of a window while another drives in a chaotic chase in Saints Row, a game of which the canceled TimeSplitters title is also arguably reminiscent
The canceled TimeSplitters project also looks a little like Saints Row, a game by another studio Embracer shut down.

Free Radical is sadly not the only studio that has experienced layoffs, downsizing, or outright closure under the Embracer umbrella recently.

Others include Eidos Montreal, 3D Realms, and Saints Row developer Volition, the latter of which was completely shut down by Embracer back in August.

It’s not bad news for every Embracer studio, though. Warhammer 40k: Space Marine 2 developer Saber Interactive is supposedly splitting from Embracer as part of a $500 million deal, with the studio’s ownership being transferred to a private investor group.

If Steptoe’s TimeSplitters footage is indeed indicative of the direction the project was taking, I can’t say I’m particularly sad it was shuttered, but it’s still tragic that this version of Free Radical won’t get to make another TimeSplitters game. Stay tuned for more.