13 Oct, 2004

Crisis Zone Review

PS2 Review | Shoot the TV or shoot yourself? Decisions Decisions....
The first thing we should point out is that Crisis Zone is not a member of the Time Crisis series. It is developed by Namco and the creators of Time Crisis, but it is not an official addition to the Time Crisis franchise. Unofficially though, this feels like Time Crisis, looks like Time Crisis and, with a title like that, sounds like Time Crisis. Everyone knows by now that the main appeal of Time Crisis lies in the fact that players use a light gun pointed at the screen to shoot down enemies. This is a very addictive concept (and a bit of a strain on the old arm too) but it does mean Crisis Zone retails for a little more than a normal game, and, considering the short-handed nature of the title, this is just abysmal.

Crisis Zone takes place in the recently opened Garland Square complex on the outskirts of London, after the heavily-armed terrorist group U.R.D.A has attacked and taken-over the area. Their motives have yet to be discovered, but, as elite S.T.F. (Special Tactics Force) counter-terrorism officer Claude McGarren, the player's mission is to help secure Garland Square and suppress the U.R.D.A terrorists by whatever means necessary.

Armed with a bullet-proof riot shield and a sub-machine gun, McGarren must eliminate any terrorist threats encountered through environments including a shopping mall, park and office building. All the weapons can be put to great effect in the fully-destructible environments; players are able to shoot up the locales by blasting goods from shelves. You can even burn racks of clothing with a flame-thrower, or wreak havoc with a rocket launcher.

One of the things that differentiates between Crisis Zone and Time Crisis is the new level of interactivity. Players can shoot CD’s and books off shelves, burn racks of clothing, break glass or slice through metal bars. This is great and a very welcome addition although it is long overdue.

Aside from the main “story” mode a challenge mode is also available. This mode comprises of challenges (such as hitting a certain amount of targets before the time runs out) and serves as a decent distraction. I think that this mode was only included so that the lifespan of the game wasn’t sp easily criticized. Still, it’s a good little addition, anything that adds to the lifespan is always appreciated. The lifespan is still very questionable though, for a game that retails like this one we really do expect it will last longer than one sitting.

Crisis Zone has immediate pick up and play appeal. Shoot, dodge, reload - master these controls are you’re pretty set. There isn’t too much depth to the game but that’s where the appeal truly lies. The story mode can be completed in about forty minutes which is really disappointing. It never really ever gets to complicated or hard to keep up with, so Time Crisis masters shouldn’t have a hard time breezing through the mode. For those of you who don’t have a G-Con you can also use the controller although it is nowhere near as enthralling or accurate.

The graphics have a very distinctive look to them that hasn’t evolved as much as it should have. The game still feels like Time Crisis and it even looks like Time Crisis, which isn’t good considering the game is quite old now. More effort needs to be taken to ensure the game starts looking like a current generation title. I thought the sound of bullets firing would never truly get boring - how wrong I was. After thirty long minutes of basically the same noise, things get very repetitive. The voiceovers are cheesy but I get the impression this was done on purpose. In that sense Namco have succeeded.

Don’t judge the score of this game as an indication to avoid it like the plague. Crisis Zone isn’t an overly poor game - it’s just not really different. The similarities between this title and Time Crisis 2/3 are really disappointing. I was really expecting some innovation in this title and all I got was an interactive environment, which has been implemented in just about every game these days. The lack of innovation in Crisis Zone is the real downfall of the title. Crisis Zone feels like it has been a rushed port from the arcade machine. It is time for Namco to rebuild the gaming engine and create a truly remarkable light gun game. The Eyetoy could have been remarkably handy in Crisis Zone. We would have loved to be able to duck or dodge bullets using the Eyetoy, it would have made the game that much more interactive and fun. Oh well, maybe next time.
The Score
Crisis Zone doesn't do much to differentiate itself from the Time Crisis series. It is an okay game that should have been better, I couldn't help but get an impression of "been there, done that" while playing the game.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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9 years ago
I'd like to point out that the Arcade version was great fun in its day. The huge recoil machinegun was a great peripheral and the graphics and destructible environments were pretty cutting edge. Many a game was enjoyed by me and I ended up being able to finish it in 1 credit.

Now to me the PS2 version has 3 main flaws:

1. Lack of arcade replica gun. Fairly understandable, but really does take aware from the experience
2. Gun Fog - Seriously a white/grey sheet over the whole screen every time the trigger is pressed is a BAD idea. Someone needs to be shot
3. Slow Conversion. It has been way too long since this was released at the arcades. Time crisis 3 has already come and gone in the arcades and on PS2.

I also think the extra missions arent much chop either. Dont bother buying this one, just have a go if you see it at the arcades.
9 years ago
dont buy its completely crap boring if u buy this u r the stoopidest freak ever.
u enjoy it for then minutes then its dead.
i mean it crappy shit
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