The arcade light gun game is one we’ve all tried. Who can forget those Saturday afternoons at your local arcade, feeding coin after coin into huge Time Crisis or Virtua Cop cabinets?
For the last few years however, this on-rails brand of shooter hasn’t brought in the crowds. And when the gamers aren’t eager to play, the number of said brand of games starts to shrink quicker than your favourite shirt on a fast-spin cycle.
But with a new PlayStation console on the scene, it's no great shock to see an old favourite brought of retirement. In this case, hardcore blaster Time Crisis 4. But can an age old gaming style cut it on the new HD-enabled consoles?
To try and compete with today’s major blasters like Halo 3, Resistance: Fall of Man, and Call of Duty 4, this isn’t the kind of Time Crisis title we all know and love.
At first glance, things do seem to hark back to those simpler gaming times. Arcade mode sees you ploughing through a series of levels, purely on rails, with your input only to initiate ducking behind cover, and firing at all those pesky enemies.
Things don’t stay true to form for too long however. The complete mission mode breaks up the standard on-rail levels with some traditional first person shooting. Yep, for the first time, Time Crisis is totally under your control.
Using the brand new gun – the orange GunCon3 – you utilise the pair of analogue sticks to manoeuvre around the levels and play a game that’s much like any FPS you care to mention.
The problem is, while using this method of control to move and look around, you still use the gun to aim your weapon. Meaning that you’re constantly confusing yourself with so many varieties of movement and causing major meltdown within mere minutes of play.
If the quality in these sections was up to the standard of say Call of Duty 4, then this wouldn’t be a minus point at all. Sadly, the quality is such a major step down from said classic shooter that you’ll tire of these FPS missions almost as soon as you give one a try.
The dip in quality continues with the graphics, with some incredibly drab areas to blast away in. Backdrops are continuously lacking in colour and disgustingly flat.
All that being said, if you ignore the complete mission mode which is made incredibly poor with the addition of the FPS levels, Time Crisis 4 is a huge amount of fun to play. The variety of weapons on offer, and the hint of tactical nature given with the ability to duck in and out of cover make Time Crisis 4 a hoot when you’re in the mood.
Storyline wise thing are suitably camp and laughable. It’s certainly not going to stick in your memory as one of the best examples of video game storytelling, but hey, with the laughably bad voice acting you’re always guaranteed a chuckle.
Time Crisis 4 itself is a fairly fun time, if feeling a little long in the tooth. Just ignore the FPS missions and get ready a fun filled few hours. Please though, don’t get expecting long term major thrills, or any kind of fresh gaming genius.