Time Crisis 4 Review

Let me start off with this: if you love the past Time Crisis titles, you’ll probably enjoy this game just as much. It really does nothing too different from the Time Crisis formula (other than add a horrible first-person mode which I’ll get to later), and allows you to play a lightgun game without lugging out your older consoles. That being said, if you don’t absolutely love the Time Crisis franchise, you’ll probably find little worth in this $90 game.

At its price you’d expect something great, or at least worth the cost, right? With Time Crisis 4, you just don’t seem to get that. The normal arcade mode is back and remains the best part of the game, but other than that hour-long mode there’s really nothing here.

Even the strongest part of the game (the arcade mode) suffers from a few flaws. For starters, the graphics are not good at all for a PS3 title. I don’t know if it’s because too much power is required to sense the sensors or just the developers’ own limitations, but Time Crisis 4 looks like a game which could have come out in the first few years of the PS2’s lifespan and been adequate. Yes, that’s how it looks in arcades and lightgun shooters always look a little dated, but with all the emphasis next-gen placed on graphics, it would have been nice to see some changes to make things look nicer — especially with two players.

Outside of the graphics, the gameplay I loved back in the day just seems to have gotten stale over the years. Whether it’s the projectiles or numerous enemies, there’s just something about this game that makes you use cover more than the past titles. Having just played several games which all utilize cover (Uncharted, Mass Effect, Call of Duty 4) Time Crisis’s isn’t nearly as revolutionary as it was in the arcade with the pedal; now it’s become more of a forced feature than fun feature.

Of course, there’s still something intrinsically fun about using the new GunCon 3 controller to shoot at all the terrorists and bugs on the screen. That’s why it’s a shame the arcade mode can be beaten in about an hour.With how easy it is to get a Game over it may take substantially longer than that, but there’s about an hour’s worth of unique gameplay in the main mode. (And you can argue if it’s all unique or not on your own time.)

I have to take a quick minute here to talk about my frustrations with the new GunCon 3. While it looks great, the new additions of the analog stick just look very cheesy. That’s not a big issue, though. What I didn’t like was setting up the sensors required to play (something to do with LCDs not emitting enough light or something scientific like that). They were clearly made for TVs with square frames, and the TV I tried it on briefly in my own apartment (with a curved frame) did not take kindly to them. They sat slightly slanted, and slipped off even with the weighted rubber band. I ended up having to tape them down.

There’s also the issue of accuracy. When playing Time Crisis 4, you need to get really comfortable (and stand/sit further than you think), because if you shift angles from where you originally stood too much (ie if you sit down or crouch) your shot will be off until you recalibrate, and even then at some angles it just doesn’t work well hitting the corners and sides of the screen.

Other than the new gun and its frustrating sensors, the other new feature of Time Crisis 4 is the FPS mode. Using the analog stick and some of the way-too-numerous buttons on the gun, you navigate through the levels, and use the gun to shoot at enemies. It’s a really neat idea on paper, but the actual implementation leaves a lot to be desired. For starters, the controls are really slow and frustrating. Add to that extremely boring fetch quests (“Find this key!”) mixed with repetitive shooting you’ve already got bored of after 20 minutes of arcade mode, and you have the makings of a chore to play. Years from now, don’t be too surprised if new technology makes something like this the norm (the Wii already is in a way for some shooters), but this effort just didn’t quite make it.

I really didn’t enjoy Time Crisis 4, outside of playing the arcade mode with a friend. I admit, though, that there are plenty who will love the game (and who do). It seems to be an acquired taste, and everyone who’s tried it has come away with a different opinion. If you love the Time Crisis games, you will likely love Time Crisis 4. If you were never a fan of the series or never really played one before, save your money.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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