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July 23 2007
Time Crisis 4 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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The all-new First Person mode.
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The arcade mode is here of course.

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Naturally we'll have English text!
When the PS2 first launched there were a slew of light gun games including the best series on the market, Time Crisis. Over the last couple of years though the format has died - quite possibly in part due to the Gun-Con 2 guns not working with LCD or Plasma TV's, or possibly due to the hardware reaching the limit of what was possible on PS2. Time Crisis 4 on the PS3 looks set to reinvigorate the genre with more action, some quite new ideas (for the genre at least, and an all new gun, the Gun-Con 3.

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The new Gun-Con 3 looks impressive.
Before we get into the details about this game we have to mention that this game will ship with a next-generation G-Con 3 controller which is loaded with 6 action buttons and dual analogue sticks. It certainly looks a lot bigger then the older guns, but the analogue sticks should add a new dimension to the game with the ability to freely move around the levels and also change the camera angles. Time will tell how well this works, as you would recall the PS2's G-Con had a similar feature that was never used to any decent effect. While previous guns would only work with CRT TV's gamers will be pleased to hear that the G-Con 3 will work with LCD, Plasma, Rear Projection TV's and even Projectors. While the previous guns worked by 'looking' at the TV, this gun works by placing 2 small infra-red sensors near the top of screen to detect where you're shooting. One drawback though is that the new Gun-Con 3 will not work with your older PS2 and PSOne games.

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Graphics are a bit plain, but clean.
As with most light-gun games we don't expect a detailed storyline - hell, well be surprised if there's anything more then the most basic storyline and cut-scenes at all. But there is a story, and here it is... You are VSSE agent Giorgio Bruno. Your mission: to prevent a top-secret weapon from falling into the hands of international terrorists. That's it; short and sweet.

As well as the Time Crisis HD arcade gameplay, there’s a next-generation twist to this title – for the first time ever, you’ll be able to play in First-Person Shooter mode, as you take the role of Captain Rush. Using the G-Con 3’s dual analogue controls to move and shoot independently through five massive levels. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also take the fight to the terrorists in Complete Mission Mode, Crisis Mode and Arcade Mode as well as extra Mini Games (we'd really love to see some updated Point Blank titles on day!). The good news is that when you’re done with blasting on your own, there’s also a two-player mode for a 'seriously intense arcade experience'.

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Another shot from the FPS mode.
In addition to the standard weapons assortment, including handguns and shotguns, players can upgrade to grenade launchers and mounted machine guns (in the G-Con 3 FPS mode only) to increase their lethal firepower. There are also unlockable console exclusive bonus weapons. Select your weapon and be prepared to assault enemies from every direction.

If there is a disappointment with the title it's that there appears to be no online gameplay, or even rankings. Yes, they could be included, but at this stage there has been no confirmation at all from Namco or Sony.

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Looks like few enemies up ahead.
Graphically I can't honestly say that Time Crisis 4 looks like the most detailed game on PS3. Texturing in particular could do with a bit more work and the polygon count seems a bit on the low side as well. I guess though that the developers are working from an older arcade system, and while we haven't had confirmation yet of whether the game will run in 720p or 1080p, even at the lower resolution it would be a step up from the arcade system.

With Sony Australia targeting a late April 2008 release we won't have long to see how well this game turns out. What will be interesting is just how well Namco can implement the FTS shooter mode as it is a bit of an unknown quantity. If it works it really could see the beginning of a resurgence in the light gun shooter. Expect a review at launch.