reviews\ Oct 19, 2004 at 8:00 pm

Time Crisis: Crisis Zone - PS2 - Review

It’s time to hunt. Oh, don’t worry, you won’t have to go looking for your targets – they will line up nicely in front of you.


Namco has just released Time Crisis: Crisis Zone, a first-person shooter for the PlayStation 2 console system that features terrific graphics, wave-after-wave of targets and a storyline that tries to tie the whole thing together.



The storyline isn’t all that important – this is an arcade shooter. It breaks down into three elements, hide behind your shield, pop your head out to blow away the bad guys and environmental pieces, then duck behind the shield and reload.


However, for the record, here is the storyline …


Led by Derrick Lynch, the U.R.D.A. has taken over control of Garland Square, a complex on the outskirts of London.


“So you will understand and fear your own foolish mistakes,” laughs Lynch, somewhat maniacally, like extreme cartoonish bad guys are prone to do.


Garland Square hosts a variety of amenities, from department stores to a hotel to a park and office buildings. It also has a lot of other things – bad guys.


You can begin in one of three areas (said hotel, park or office), and you are placed behind a shield with a countdown. Once the countdown ends, you are given one point of view with plenty of targets spread across the screen from right to left. Some are close to you, others are off in the distance or hiding behind scenery. From a fixed position, your job is to eliminate everything on the screen without taking too much damage. Once you have done that, you are automatically moved to the next fixed position. Repeat the previous task. The variety comes when, in the park, the assortment of bad guys is replaced with one-man helicopters. This gives your targeting a bit of a workout.


Each bad guy has a damage bar above his head. Once he takes enough damage, he does a rag-doll flop, or flips backwards. The bodies disappear, so you don’t leave the place littered. You can withstand only so much damage before the game asks if you want to continue. In essence, you have a damage bar – obliterate it and you lose a life, lose all your little lives and it’s game over.



The control elements in this game are very simplistic, and the interface leaves nothing to the imagination. There are no real tactical decisions here. You use the shield to take the damage, wait for a pause in the enemy gunfire, as they reload, then pop out and blast them. There is a clock running, so you can’t waste too much time.


The sound elements are merely average for this type of game – and embrace the arcade shooter nature of the title. Graphically, Time Crisis: Crisis Zone does a very good job. The environments are somewhat destructible, and the bad guys do nice flips or tumbles to the ground when killed.


This is not, by any means, a thought-provoking title. Time Crisis: Crisis Zone is a reflexive arcade shooter that looks good, but offers little more than wave after wave of targets. If you are looking for just such a shooter, this would be worth checking out, or renting.


Review Scoring Details for Time Crisis: Crisis Zone


Gameplay: 7.0

Fixed shooting locations relegate this to thoughtless challenge. See bad guy, shoot bad guy. Try not to get shot much. Once into a level, the game pulls you through until you run out of health. This is a purely a reflexive exercise.


Graphics: 8.0
The environments are wonderfully destructible; the bad guys do nice flops when they are killed, and some of the special effects are well done. The game does look nice.


Sound: 6.8
Average is about the best this game has to offer in this department.


Difficulty: Medium

Several difficulty levels will allow you to tailor the game. The AI at the lowest level is predictable, and improves marginally as you climb the challenge ladder.


Concept: 6.8

This does the soft shoe with the storyline, trying to hold an arcade shooter together with a storyline that really isn’t that important to the action. How the bad guys got so much support is amazing. This is not a thinking gamer’s shooter, by any means.


Overall: 7.0

Time Crisis: Crisis Zone is a fast-paced arcade shooter that soft-peddles a storyline to try to work some cohesion into the game. Is the storyline that important? No. The action is pretty much nonstop, and you are dragged to each shooting location. This is purely a reflexive arcade shooter. If you are looking for a light straightforward shooter, this may be your ticket to the target-and-shoot entertainment you crave. It looks good and plays well. If you are looking for a little more meat with your FPS potatoes, you may wish to dine elsewhere.





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