Developer: Namco Bandai Games America
# of Players: 1-2
N Amer - 11/20/2007
E3 2007 Preview
Every crisis deserves a con – a GunCon. Time Crisis 4, the new, PS3-exclusive shooter from Namco Bandai, will launch with a new GunCon that incorporates an analog stick. Its purpose is two-fold: to eliminate the need for a pedal (which worked in the arcade but was cumbersome at home) and to offer players the chance to control their character in the series’ first take on off-rails first-person shooting stages.
The latter is a new mode that gives you greater control over the game. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready to be shown, so we’ll have to contain our anticipation for another day. However, Namco Bandai was ready to show off the basic arcade mode and how the new GunCon, improved PS3 graphics, and a superior lightgun registry system are helping to make this the best sequel yet.
The PS3 GunCon has two significant differences over past lightguns, both from Namco Bandai and from other developers. The first difference is that it uses two sensors to pick up the peripheral’s location, similar to the sensor bar for Nintendo Wii, allowing full functionality with LCD televisions (something that was not possible with the previous generation of lightguns). The sensors are to be placed on the top left and right corners of your television.
The second difference is that the GunCon, while mostly shaped like its predecessors, now comes with an extended controller piece (with a thumbstick and two buttons) that sticks out of the left side. You will find a second thumbstick on the back of the gun, presumably for dual movement and camera controls in the first-person mode.
Fans of the arcade edition or any other Time Crisis title will be instantly hooked by the super-fast, kill-or-be-killed gameplay. The GunCon worked great from any angle, regardless of where I was standing. This made it both simple and fun to aim and shoot, while the onslaught of enemies – which never seemed to stop coming – made the game just as addictive as ever.
Accuracy is the primary concern of lightgun shooters, and once again Time Crisis 4 delivers the goods. When my shots were dead on, the enemy didn’t have a chance to react – he was a goner. But when my aim was messed up, I was the one who suffered a hit (except for the few times I pushed the thumbstick fast enough to dodge a bullet).
Because this is based on an arcade game, most of the action occurs within the gun. You select your weapon by shooting the gun icons on the bottom of the screen.
The graphics aren’t as spectacular as Namco Bandai’s other PS3 offering, Dynasty Warriors:GUNDAM, but still look very good. They’re at least a couple steps above the arcade edition, running at a higher resolution and likely with more polygons.
Headed to PlayStation 3 this fall, Time Crisis 4 is set to be the first lightgun hit for Sony’s new console. Stay tuned to GamingPolo as we bring you more information on this and other hot titles that were on display at this year’s E3 Media and Games Summit.
The classic arcade franchise goes next-gen.
Reviewer: Louis Bedigian
Review Date: 07/16/2007