Today sees the release of Homefront: The Revolution — and the long-delayed game is packing a pair of fully playable levels from the beloved Timesplitters 2.
Homefront: The Revolution is a game that’s set in an alternate vision of the future where North Korea has invaded the United States, and the city of Philadelphia is under heavy occupation. However, it’s been revealed that the city has also been invaded by a completely different FPS franchise.
The three games in the Timesplitters series are fondly remembered by fans for their frenetic action and quirky sense of humor. Two levels from the seminal Timesplitters 2 are apparently accessible in Homefront: The Revolution — provided that players can find them.
To do so, players will have to find an arcade machine hidden away in a shadowy corner of the game’s prison area, according to a report from Eurogamer. The cabinet will offer up access to the Goldeneye-inspired Siberia level that opened Timesplitters 2, as well as the gangster-themed Chicago level from later in the game.
Both levels are apparently being emulated within the Homefront engine, which might raise questions about whether developer Dambuster Studios has been toying with the idea of a remake or a re-release. However, it’s likely that this is simply a nod to fans of the series rather than a tease for the future.
Dambuster Studios was born in the wake of the Crytek financial crisis of 2014. The company was formed from staff leaving the shuttered Crytek UK, which was itself a successor to Free Radical Design — the studio that was responsible for the Timesplitters trilogy.
While this easter egg shouldn’t be taken as a signal that more Timesplitters is on its way, it does raise some interesting questions about the ownership of the IP. Crytek retains the rights to the franchise, but sold Homefront to publisher Deep Silver when times were tight, so would have to have given its blessing to the inclusion of these two levels.
Fans would love to see the Timesplitters franchise return to consoles in its own right, but it seems unlikely at this point. Although there was reportedly interest from some of the development team who worked on the original games, Crytek is seemingly reticent to resurrect the IP.
For now, replaying classic levels in Homefront: The Revolution is the closest fans will get to seeing Timesplitters on modern hardware. However, if this easter egg proves that there’s sufficient interest in the IP, there’s a chance that we could see this classic FPS franchise back in the spotlight.