Ever since its inception in 1995, the Time Crisis series has been a fixture of the best arcades. The unique foot-pedal cover system, combined with some of the most engrossing and thrilling action around has made it one of the most popular and enduring light gun games of all time. Now the latest title in the series gets the PlayStation 3 treatment in Time Crisis 4 for PlayStation 3, letting you bring the arcade experience home, and saving you countless pound coins in the process.
Your weapon in this new challenge is the G-con 3, a new light gun attachment for PS3 that syncs up with your system through the use of infra-red sensors placed in the top left and right corners of your screen. After a simple calibration process you're all set to go, playing by aiming the G-con 3 at the screen just as you would in the arcade.
If you've played a Time Crisis game before, or indeed, any arcade light gun game you should know what to expect here. Movement is on-rails, and you view the action from your character's eyes. As in previous Time Crisis games you can take cover when not firing, by using a button built into the grip of the G-con 3. When in cover you are invulnerable, but as the title suggests, time is limited and you'll need to take risks and stay out of cover as much as possible to stand a hope of progressing through the levels.
When in cover you can switch between weapons by pressing the trigger, choosing between pistol, shotgun, machine gun and grenade launcher. Each weapon has its own strengths, and there are certain enemies throughout the game that are particularly susceptible to certain attacks. More ammo can be collected for your special weapons through defeating certain enemies, but you'll always have ammo for your trusty pistol.
The Arcade Mode is where the main meat of the game lies. You play as Evan Bernard or Giorgio Bruno, two dapper crime fighters who must fight their way through a ludicrously over-the-top, gung-ho adventure to discover the secrets behind the swarms of robotically engineered insects known as Terror Bites that are invading the city.
At certain points throughout the game you are attacked on all sides and have to fend off an assault on multiple fronts. Here you can switch direction by aiming to the left or right of the screen in a tense stand-off with seemingly overwhelming numbers of enemies. These segments, along with vehicle-based sections help to break up the flow of gameplay, keeping things interesting as you battle your way across airports, military bases and even from within attack helicopters chasing down targets.
New for Time Crisis 4 is the inclusion of a first-person mode known as Complete Mission Mode. The G-con 3 comes equipped with two analogue sticks, and for the first time in a Time Crisis game you can now step off the rails and move around at your leisure using the sticks to move, while retaining the aiming system from the Arcade Mode. Playing as Captain William Rush, a non-playable character from the main story, the Complete Mission Mode contains 15 levels and fills in some of the backstory to the game. And that's not all; there are also 18 mini-games for one or two players that see you shooting as many targets as possible in a short space of time, which are great for perfecting your aim, or just for playing with friends after a night out.
With a fun and action-packed single player game, and the option to team up with a friend via a split screen co-operative mode there's more than enough here to keep the biggest shooter fan satisfied and, as a perfect recreation of the arcade experience in your living room, Time Crisis 4 deserves a place in the collection of every serious gamer. So grab a G-con 3 and get blasting!