Time Crisis 4
|Time Crisis 4|
|Distributor(s)||Namco Bandai Games|
|Designer(s)||Hajime Nakatani (producer)
Takashi Satsukawa (director)
|Genre(s)||Light gun shooter (Arcade, PS3)
First-person shooter (PS3, excluding Razing Storm)
|Cabinet||29" Standard twin 4:3,
52" Deluxe twin 4:3
|Arcade system||Namco System Super 256|
|Display||Raster, horizontal orientation|
Time Crisis 4 is the fourth installment in Namco's Time Crisis series which introduces new features to the cover-based light gun shooter gameplay engine of its predecessors alongside a new story and roster of characters. It was initially released as an arcade game in 2006, and was ported in 2007 for PlayStation 3, with the Guncon 3 light gun peripheral and features a new first-person shooter mode. It was later re-released as part of Time Crisis: Razing Storm with support for the PlayStation Move controller but without the first-person shooter mode.
The game opens in California, where intelligence officials from both the US Military and the V.S.S.E. or VSSE learn about a top secret weapon targeted for terrorists' smuggling and their plans. William Rush infiltrates a pier to gather more information, and finds that the enemy has already acquired the insect-like weapons (codenamed "Terror Bite"). After being told by Elizabeth Conway about an information leak incident at the airport, Rush then heads to the airport to help VSSE agents Giorgio Bruno and Evan Bernard who had been sent to stop the weapons changing hands. After killing Marcus Black, they discover U.S. Army dog tags on the enemies' bodies.
The "terrorists" are revealed to be the (Special Biological Weapons Research Unit, AKA the Hamlin Battalion). After Rush attempts to stop the Battalion destroying a dam, he, Giorgio and Evan fly to Wyoming's secluded bio-weapons research facility to defeat Jack Mathers. They soon learn that the Battalion has invaded Buckley Air Force Base near Aurora, Colorado, prompting the men to rush to the AFB. As Rush, Giorgio, and Evan invade there from the outside, a couple of Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAVs) or U.C.A.V.'s depart the base without warning. Rush decides to lead the Colorado National Guard toward an entrance while Giorgio and Evan try to take care of the UCAVs. They also encounter Wild Dog in the base and defeat him, ending with Wild Dog detonating himself for the fourth time. Meanwhile, Rush encounters and defeats Wild Fang, Wild Dog's younger partner from the previous game.
It is revealed that the Terror Bites' creator, Gregory Barrows ordered the nuclear-armed UCAVs to destroy the United States in a retaliation scheme for the poor treatment he received from the U.S. military. After beating Barrows at the destroyed stairs and the UCAVs control center, Rush and his team forms a human pyramid to lift Giorgio and Evan into it, where the agents press a big red button on the control computers to self-destruct all nuclear missiles that the UCAVs have already launched.
The game was first shown at E3 2006 prior to its recent final revision arcade release. One major change is the addition of the multi-screen or multi-hiding system, introduced in Time Crisis: Project Titan. Unlike Project Titan, which players went on the offensive, players are placed on the defensive. In Project Titan, players had to hide and shoot arrows to switch screens. Screen switching has been refined to allow the player to merely point the gun outside the screen to move around. The game also utilizes a new light gun control with infrared emitters. Prior to this, all Namco light gun games used gun controllers that relied on cathode ray timing. Because Namco's light guns with cathode ray timing utilized memory chip-to-lens pointing, the arcade cabinet designers had to ensure that the infrared-emitting light gun controllers would provide the same accuracy as their cathode ray timing-based gun provided in the past. This delayed the game's release given past accuracy issues with IR light guns.
The player can choose to customize gun calibration and/or turn the blowback on or off with a pre-game code explained in the cabinet. The game, like its predecessors, is available either in a 29" standard twin cabinet or a 52" deluxe twin. It also includes the multiple weapon system introduced in Time Crisis 3, with the pistol, shotgun, machine gun, and grenade launcher. On several occasions, the player is equipped with a machine gun with limitless ammo or a sniper rifle used to shoot the tires on a marauding truck. Several other functions exclusive to Time Crisis 4 include a scene where the player must pull himself from quicksand, several scenes where a certain position must be defended, with the penalty of one life if the position is lost. On multiple occasions, Rush appears onscreen, whether caught in a trap or attacking an enemy as a diversion, and care must be taken to avoid shooting him. It also features a voice navigation system that guides players through different situations. Given the voice navigation system, the game can be voiced either in Japanese or English. Prior to Time Crisis 4, the game was voiced exclusively in English.
PlayStation 3 release
- November 20, 2007 in the United States
- December 20, 2007 in Japan
- April 18, 2008 for Europe
- April 24, 2008 for Australia
The PlayStation 3 edition features 480p (4:3) and 720p (16:9 widescreen) support and a specially-programmed first-person shooter mode, which players engage combat similar to a typical FPS game, but with manual gun pointing, aiming, and firing, in addition to the arcade mode. Players play as Captain William Rush for 5 levels and as VSSE agents Giorgio Bruno or Evan Bernard for 10 levels through the game's "complete mission", complete with arcade footages when playing as Giorgio or Evan. Much like its predecessors, it featured the Crisis Missions. The Crisis Missions has some backstories, starring star of Time Crisis characters from previous installments.
The game received mixed reviews, with an average GameRankings score of 60.33%. GameSpot gave the game a 5.5 out of 10, while Jeff Haynes of IGN gave it an 8.0 out of 10, concluding that it is "a fun game for any shooting fan looking to blast away with their PS3." Matt Miller of Game Informer, however, was more critical of the game, giving it a score of 4.25 out of 10, criticizing its first-person shooter mode, "ludicrous plot", and shooting mechanic. GamePro rated Time Crisis 4 a positive score of 4 out of 5, saying the games plays just like the arcade, but replayability is an issue. G4 TV also gave the game a score of 4 out of 5.
One of the main key areas was the Guncon 3 controller included with the game. Chris Remo of Shacknews stated that it uses "two analog sticks for full movement and camera control, with pointer-based aiming on top" and that once "you get accustomed to it, this control actually works just fine, and feels like it could be the basis for its own game." According to Miller, however, the controller "feels cheap," with analog sticks that are "chintzy and hard to use"; referring to the left-hand subgrip which forces the main shooting handgrip to be held with the right hand, Miller claims that the Guncon 3 "hardly accommodates left-handed players." Ryan Davis of GameSpot expressed that the complexity of the control scheme seems to contradict the pick-up-and-play mentality of the light gun genre.
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