TimeSplitters 4 Prototype Discovered On PS3 Dev Kit

timesplitters 4 prototype

A playable prototype for the cancelled TimeSplitters 4 has surfaced after a Reddit user purchased a PS3 dev kit on eBay.

Reddit user Flimsy-Zebra3775, also known as ‘Lukeye’ shared a photo of a PlayStation 3 XMB with an icon for TimeSplitters 4 dated the 11th of July 2008. Lukeye shared a further three photos that showcased the game in action with a character wielding a distinctive weapon around a rain-soaked castle.

IMAGE SOURCE: LUKEYE/REDDIT

The Redditor was in the process of purchasing the dev kit from the online auction site and questioned the seller about the listing.

“I asked the seller a lot of probing questions without giving it away, they indeed had a friend who worked at Free Radical until November 2008 a month before the studio shut down”, Lukeye states.

TimeSplitters 4 castle
image credit: lukeye/reddit

“They are going to boot the game up at the weekend to see what it is and send me a video, if it’s legit I’ll buy it and if someone who knows HDD dumping helps me I’ll upload the drive”.

It appears that the TimeSplitters 4 prototype was indeed ‘legit’ as Lukeye later confirmed that they purchased the dev kit for £525.

Lending further credibility to the TimeSplitters 4 prototype is David Doak, the former Free Radical founder who commented on the discovery on Twitter, simply saying “Looks credible – I recognise the level”.

TimeSplitters 4 prototype found
image credit: lukeye/reddit

Preserve Those Monkeys

The TimeSplitters subreddit has understandably celebrated the discovery and been forthcoming in providing advice and support to Lukeye about how to preserve this once-in-a-lifetime find.

TimeSplitters fans and gaming preservation enthusiasts are currently working on strategies to dump the files from the dev kit to preserve the prototype from the internal hard drive.

TimeSplitters 4 prototype gameplay
image credit: lukeye/reddit

The dev kit in question is running an older version of the PlayStation 3 firmware, as indicated by the lack of a status indicator in the top right of the screen in the photos of the dev kit. The early PS3 firmware should make backing up the HDD relatively straightforward according to the PS3 subreddit.

When asked about the contents of the TimeSplitters 4 prototype, Lukeye revealed that “from what I can see and was told it boots up to a main menu, you can launch into the level and the loading into it has the typical TS [TimeSplitters] monkey on it”.

History In The Making

Free Radical Design
Image credit: free radical

The seller also provided more detail on the contents of the prototype, revealing that it featured a single playable level with music and guns. Lukeye revealed that the 2008 demo was shown to publishers to try and secure funding for the project.

Free Radical ultimately went bankrupt during the second half of 2008 after the release of PS3-exclusive Haze. The studio also worked on Star Wars Battlefront 3 before its cancellation, and a former developer at Free Radical shared that the project was ’99 percent done’.

Free Radical would return briefly before closing its doors permanently at the end of last year.

All eyes are now on Lukeye as they await delivery of their eBay purchase and the arrival of the Timesplitters 4 prototype.

The newly proclaimed ‘TIMESPLITTERS 4 GUY’ shared that “the system is on its way to me and I’ll have more info and videos too once I get into it”.

If you enjoy what you read and want to support an independent publication, you can join our Patreon to receive extra benefits and a physical welcome kit! We may also earn a commission from affiliate links on this page too. Thank you.

Read Our Latest Posts