Over the weekend, a former developer for Dambuster Studios (maker of Homefront: The Revolution and the descendant of the studio behind TimeSplitters 2) revealed his favorite Easter egg: A full version of TimeSplitters 2 — in native 4K, even — playable inside Homefront: The Revolution. Problem was, he forgot the cheat code to unlock it!
Well, problem solved! Modder/hacker Lance McDonald set to work reverse-engineering Homefront: The Revolution’s menus to figure out the way in, later realizing that “emulation ninja” (and Xbox principal software engineer) Spencer Perreault had already tweeted it out on Thursday. (A tipster told Polygon it comes from this Discord group.)
To skip to the chase, here is the unlock sequence:
Xbox One: LT+UP, LT+UP, Down, LT+Right, RT+Left, RT+B, LT+Y, LT+Y, RT+X, LT+A
PS4: L2+UP, L2+UP, Down, L2+Right, R2+Left, R2+●, L2+▲, L2+▲, R2+■, L2+X
Xbox One: LT+RT+Left, LT+RT+Down, LT+RT+Left, LT+RT+B, RT+Left, LT+RT+Left, LT+RT+Down, LT+RT+Y, RT+X, LT+A
PS4: L2+R2+Left, L2+R2+Down, L2+R2+Left, L2+R2+●, R2+Left, L2+R2+Left, L2+R2+Down, L2+R2+▲, R2+■, L2+X
Xbox One: RT+B, LT+RT+Left, LT+RT+B, LT+RT+Down, LT+Right, LT+Up, LT+Y, LT+RT+A, RT+X, LT+A
PS4: R2+●, L2+R2+Left, L2+R2+●, L2+R2+Down, L2+Right, L2+Up, L2+▲, L2+R2+X, R2+■, L2+X
Unknown (maybe cheats)
Xbox One: LT+RT+Down, LT+RT+Left, LT+RT+A, RT+B, RT+Left, LT+Y, LT+Y, LT+RT+B, RT+X, LT+A
PS4: L2+R2+Down, L2+R2+Left, L2+R2+X, R2+●, R2+Left, L2+▲, L2+▲, L2+R2+●, R2+■, L2+X
Unknown (Maybe Extras)
Xbox One: LT+RT+Down, LT+RT+Left, LT+RT+Y, LT+Right, RT+B+, LT+Y, LT+RT+B, LT+RT+Down, RT+X, LT+A
PS4: L2+R2+Down, L2+R2+Left, L2+R2+▲, L2+Right, R2+●+, L2+▲, L2+R2+●, L2+R2+Down, R2+■, L2+X
Xbox One: LT+B, RT+X, LT+Left, LT+Right, LT+Up, LT+RT+Down
PS4: L2+●, R2+■, L2+Left, L2+Right, L2+Up, L2+R2+Down
It had been known since Homefront: The Revolution’s 2016 launch that Dambuster developers had sneaked two playable TimeSplitters 2 levels (Siberia and Chicago, to be precise) into the Homefront world, in the form of an arcade cabinet inside a resistance hideout:
Matt Phillips, a Crytek alumnus who’s now a programmer on the console version of Rust, revealed that the whole thing was stuffed inside Homefront: The Revolution, so players could play a game while they played a game. Astoundingly, this isn’t just an emulated version of a game that was 14 years old at the time Homefront was released; it’s a native 4K port of said game.
Hilarious thing is, Phillips said he lost the unlock code — the notebook he’d written it down in went missing years ago. “I once gave it to a friend to leak in some Discord channel,” Phillips said, “and they called him a liar and banned his account, ahaha.”
The unlock code has been lost to time, I don't have the notebook with it in any more. I once gave it to a friend to leak in some Discord channel and they called him a liar and banned his account ahahah— Matt Phillips (@bigevilboss) April 4, 2021
Moreover, Philips included a way to play TimeSplitters 2’s cooperative multiplayer! Kinda.
It's probably about time this small fact came out, too: I ported the network stack to ride on top of HF:TR's co-op mode. If, and that's a big if, anyone was able to hack two or more arcades into one of the co-op maps, it'll boot to the multilayer menu.— Matt Phillips (@bigevilboss) April 4, 2021
If you’re wondering about the chain of custody here, and whether this creates a copyright issue, it doesn’t. Dambuster Studios was Crytek UK, and Crytek UK was Free Radical Design, makers of TimeSplitters, TimeSplitters 2, and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect from 2000 to 2005. Going forward, THQ Nordic (by way of Koch Media) now owns the TimeSplitters IP, but don’t get your hopes up for a TimeSplitters 2 remake, despite what you may have heard.