- Publisher: Namco
- Developer: Namco
- Arcade, March 1999
- PlayStation 2, 19 October 2004 (as Time Crisis: Crisis Zone)
- Genre: 3D Action (Rail Shooter)
- Players: 1
- Save: Memory Card (80KB)
To differentiate itself from the other Time Crisis games, Crisis Zone's arcade cabinet supports one player only, and uses a light-gun controller shaped like a sub-machine gun. Not having to pull the trigger for every shot you wish to fire is no doubt a good thing, especially given how relatively heavy the new controller is. In addition, each scene in each level is packed with destructible objects which build up score bonuses as you knock them down in quick succession. However, the game's difficulty is also balanced to account for the inclusion of rapid fire. Whereas most enemies in other Time Crisis games will happily go down with just one bullet, that is generally not the case in Crisis Zone. In fact, just about every enemy, right down to common foot soldiers, have their own lifebars to display how much of their vitals you have to whittle down. I don't mind this per-bullet weakness so much, except there doesn't seem to be any location-specific damage (i.e. more damage for a head shot) as in most shooters.
|Destructible scenery is more prevalent here than in other Time Crisis games. (PS2 version.)|
As for the story, it's pretty much just another excuse plot. Crisis Zone takes place in a shopping/office park in suburban London, as it gets overrun by a generic pre-9/11 terrorist unit. They get answered by an international defence force, which surprisingly is not VSSE from the other Time Crisis games. You, the player, play as one of their number, a mister Claude McGarren (or "Croid McGalain" in the -- likely mistranslated -- arcade version). The three levels you have to liberate are a shopping mall, a park, and an office building, followed by one final boss level. Each of them lasts about six to eight minutes, so as with the rest of its arcade-based peers, it's not much for first-play length. Unlike the other Time Crisis games, you can play them in any order. I suppose this is great for those who aren't as good at the game and can't clear any particular level with just one credit, but once you're comfortable with your skills, there's not much reason to do so.
|Special weapons return in the PlayStation 2 edition.|
As for the arcade game it's based on? Meh, it's okay. The machine-gun controller gives it a different feel from its cousins in the Time Crisis series, and the levels are designed around that experience. These changes don't amount to much in the end, but then again, the formula which Time Crisis II arguably perfected didn't need to be changed any more than it was. The best way I could describe Crisis Zone is, then, "TCII with a machine gun". You should be able to form your own opinion on the game based on that statement.
+ Plenty of destructible targets.
+ The more constant character movement makes stages feel more dynamic.
+ The home edition is loaded with extras.
- No location-specific damage (still).
- The story is generic.
Control: 4 SMGs out of 5
Design: 4 SMGs out of 5
Graphics: 3 SMGs out of 5 (Arcade) / 4 SMGs out of 5 (PS2)
Sound: 2 SMGs out of 5
Value: 2 SMGs out of 5 (Arcade) / 4 SMGs out of 5 (PS2)
The Call: 80% (B)