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Free Radical was working on TimeSplitters 2 HD

Plus Rare almost got Killer Instinct HD off the ground

A high definition version of Timesplitters 2 was in development at Free Radical Design, an ex-developer has said.

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Speaking to Not Enough Shaders, Steve Ellis confirmed that work on the game was underway in 2008, before musing that the project could be used get the ball rolling on Timesplitters 4.

"We had an 'HD' downloadable version of TimeSplitters 2 in development at Free Radical in 2008," he said. "I don't know what happened to that but yes, I'd love to see it released at some point.

"Maybe it could be the catalyst that is required in order to raise enough interest in TimeSplitters 4 that a publisher might want to fund it."

Ex-Rare developer Lee Musgrave chimed in to disclose details on attempted revival efforts for a number of titles, including MIA fighting game franchise Killer Instinct.

"Rare outsourced some of the conversion/development of Banjo Kazooie for Xbox Live Arcade, and it was kind of a test case for us to see what could be achieved in terms of developing with a partner, keeping our costs low and making some revenue," he explained. "You can make your own conclusions as to how that turned out by the fact that we didn't move on to any of the other games you mention.

"We came close to firing off a conversion of Killer Instinct a few times, but there were licensing obstacles to that, and it never really had enough perceived interest to push it forward."

Musgrave also revealed what became of Donkey Kong Racing for GameCube, which the studio attempted to adapt for Xbox after it was acquired by Microsoft.

"Donkey Kong Racing was obviously pretty heavily tied to Nintendo as a franchise, and as Rare approached the finalization of a buyout deal with Microsoft it was clear that the game had no future, at least with the ape's as characters.

"We switched it around to be a Sabreman game, and there was a great early Xbox prototype - but someone, somewhere decreed that it was a little too old-school for the kind of 'revolutionary gaming experiences' that the Xbox was capable of delivering, and so it started down a path of meandering changes, updates and 'evolution' that finally saw it run out of steam and fall over."

Free Radical was rescued by Crytek from closure in 2009 and renamed Crytek UK. Earlier this year the studio addressed mounting rumours by denying Timesplitters 4 is in development.

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