We’ve a crisis here alright, and it’s not just the controls that are an issue
Format: PS3 Dev: Namco Bandai Pub: Sony Out: 18/04/08 Players: 1-2
I have to admit that when I first played Time Crisis in the 90s, I was completely blown away. The novelty of pointing a plastic gun at a television screen and shooting futuristic enemies was brilliant. At the time, games featuring light guns were cutting edge. It was one of the first ways to incorporate user movement into games by allowing you to actually aim at on-screen enemies.
Move forward to the present day and the Nintendo Wii is purely focused on user movement and has raised the expectations and standards of motion controlled games to a new level. This and the fact that Time Crisis 4 is now being made for a next generation console means that it has a lot to live up to.
Unfortunately, Time Crisis 4 is terrible. So terrible, in fact, that as a critic I really don’t have much to comment on. The basis for the game is exactly the same as when it was first released. You shoot, you duck, you save the day. It’s all a bit too familiar and offers nothing new or challenging to the series.
On the other hand, what they have tried to add to the game falls flat on its face. The light gun which comes with the game has two analog sticks and six buttons to be used in the new first-person shooter phases of the game. One analog stick controls you, the other allows you to look around whilst you aim and shoot with the gun as usual. That’s three controls for what, in essence, should be a very simple game. It just doesn’t work.
Time Crisis 4 did not surprise me. The era when games with light guns were cool is well and truly over. Time Crisis 4 offers little more than previous versions and what is being offered is truly woeful.
[This is an edited version of an article that was originally published in Platform Magazine - Volume 16, Issue 12]