I really don't understand this. They can make a shooter. Why go for a universally panned franchise, with a single mediocre (or terrible depending on whom you ask) game while having the Timesplitters name, a franchise with three universally acclaimed games and at least a small dedicated fanbase?
Well, when THQ went belly up they already had contracted Crytek to bring back/reimagine the franchise after Kaos studios went under, and they had been working on it for awhile. Crytek didn't want to bin the work and I guess saw potential in what they'd created, so they just went and bought the franchise, rather than overhaul what they'd done as a new game. This began as THQ trying to make something of the IP.
Homefront was horrible. It was basically a re-skinned Call of Duty. The original devs of the game were practically COD-groupies. The controls were crap, frame rate was crap, gunplay was crap, audio for the guns didn't match when you fired the weapon and stopped firing...i.e., after letting go of the trigger the gun still had about .7 seconds of firing sound.