reviews\ Oct 26, 2003 at 7:00 pm

Time Crisis 3 - PS2 - Review

"Here they come."

"Five, maybe?"

"No, I’d say seven."

The patrol boat pulls alongside the fishing boat.

"What are you doing here!" demands a soldier in a black uniform. "This is a restricted area."

The two young men dive into the cabin of the boat, ignoring the warnings to stop. The soldiers pursue, but the cabin is empty - well, except for the ticking bomb that counts down to ‘Bye." As the cabin cruisers explodes, two sea-doos are launched and the two young men power to the beach where a small army awaits them.

Guns out, it’s time to fight seemingly insurmountable odds that will come at you from all directions - sort of.

Namco’s arcade shooter, Time Crisis 3 for the PlayStation2 is a fast-paced, constant action title. The intro and cutscenes play out like a movie, but the action is all first-person shooter with innumerable odds, a hair-trigger targeting system, and solid graphical elements.

Peaceful Astigos island, a satellite of the nation of Lukano, was hoping to break free and become independent. That hope was short-lived. The invading Zagorias army saw to that. But not only has this army stolen the freedom of the island, but has put in a missile base that threatens the Mediterranean nations.

VSSE has little choice but to send in two of its top agents - Wesley Lambert and Adam Dunaway.

After landing on the beach, Wesley and Adam have to work their way across the hostile island - there is no easy path here, and nothing covert about their egress to the target areas. Not only will they have to combat gun-toting soldiers, but others with claw-like weapons and martial arts moves. Fortunately, the targeting system on the release product is somewhat lax, and you can take down the flurry of opponents easily.

Game modes include one- and two-player games as well as a linking system for multiplayer action. Once you launch the arcade mode, the actual game plays out in story mode and a variety of stages.

Player movement is restricted and the game is very linear. In fact, the only movement you can make is to move out from behind rocks. But jumping behind rocks is good - that is how you reload.

The game is also very forgiving. While each stage is scored, if you are killed, you can simply continue the stage - to a point. Too many deaths and you begin anew.

The control elements are simplistic, but still take time to get control of. The two thumbsticks control targeting and the X button will shoot in conjunction with the R1 button - which allows you to duck out from behind your cover.

The sound elements consist mostly of loud guns, explosions, though the musical underscore and the vocal acting is very good. Graphically, this game is also solid to look at. The game employs the rag-doll effect and those you hit are staggered or knocked down by the force of impact. The environment can also be interactive. Hit the right tank and the explosion will wipe out your opponents.

This is not a game that requires a lot of thought. This is a game that will drag players through the world and give them a variety of targets. The cutscenes are merely precursors to the action, which is the focal point of the game. Ok, there’s a story. What’s it have to do with the game play? Not much, but it does give you a reason for racking up so many kills.

Time Crisis 3 is a fast-paced action arcade shooter that looks terrific and is fun to play. That the game is not overly immersive is incidental. While mostly a reflexive game, this title is quite fun to play.

Gameplay: 7.5
Linear, linear, linear - but action, action, action. The game will move you to the various locations you have to shoot from, so no thinking allowed. All you have to do is duck to avoid taking too much damage, reload, then peek out and fire away.

Graphics: 9
This game looks very good. The special effects are well done.

Sound: 8.5
This is a solid adjunct to the graphical elements. The game has a musical score that mirrors the action, the vocal work is excellent for the style of game and the effects - gun fire, ricochets and explosions - are well done.

Difficulty: Easy
Yes, lots of targets, and lots of ducking, but because of the way the game is set up, this can be an easy game to work through.

Concept: 7.2
Well, not too much here that will set the industry on its ear aside from the sterling graphical quality.

Multiplayer: 8
Two-player cooperative gaming is fun.

Overall: 8.6
This is not a game that requires much thought. Nor is this a game that requires you to work hard to use cover and move through a hostile environment. This is a reflexive action game that is big on action, in a target-rich environment. If you are looking for a shooter that won’t require you to do much more than target and shoot, this is the game for you. If you are looking for that same style but one that tantalizes the eyes with exceptional graphics, then pick up this game in a hurry.


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