|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Havoc / Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
Time Crisis 4 seems to be out for the PS3 in response to the Zapper attachment for the Nintendo Wii. The Time Crisis series is a classic arcade rail shooter that wrests movement controls away from the player and has them focus squarely on fast-paced gunslinging showdowns.
In the arcade the concept can't be beat, but in-home applications seem to lose that arcade magic. Moreover, the visuals and sound quality are competent, but still sub-par for this generation of consoles. A lot of work went into adding a FPS component to the title, but compared to other shooters out there, it's just a waste of your time. It's unfortunate, but true. If you need a rail shooter fix, you're better off pumping quarters into the standup arcade.
Time Crisis 4 is not a very fun game. The rail shooter elements are well executed and exactly what you would expect, but the fun of the arcade seems to be lost in translation. The fast-paced action of the Arcade mode can be adjusted to your skill level in the options menu and will have you frantically waving the Guncon 3 around the screen, but all-in-all the bright orange gun just doesn't seem to capture the fun adequately. It's not that the Guncon 3 attachment functions poorly; it's just not perfect. Sure, you can reload, change weapons, and take out enemies fairly easily, but it all seems a bit shaky and contrived. The IR emitters works well, but being wired to your PS3 is decidedly last generation. What's more, your old Guncon controllers will not work for Time Crisis 4. In order to play the game you'll have to shell out $90 plus tax to pick up both the game and the Guncon 3. Even after doing so, you'll only be able to play as a single player unless you're willing to blow through even more cash to pick up a second gun. As we all know, Time Crisis is a multiplayer shooter to be enjoyed by you and your buddy standing side-by-side. You can play the game with the Sixaxis controls, but then the game would have no redeeming value whatsoever. Get ready to open your wallet for maximum enjoyment.
The FPS mode is a nice attempt at adding additional content and playtime. Additionally, extra story background and unique levels are provided that will give you greater insight into the world of Time Crisis. Unfortunately, the story is terrible and not worth knowing more about, and the FPS is simply not close to the quality of other contemporary shooters out there. I applaud the developers for giving fans more options, but this game should only be purchased by those looking for an arcade rail shooter, not a FPS! It should also be noted that the fairly smooth controls during Arcade mode are lost in Complete Mission mode. The analog sticks in particular are very poorly constructed. They do not feel precise whatsoever and they often stick to one side or the other. This forces you to maintain your thumb on the sticks at all times rather than being able to make micro-adjustments by flicking the sticks.