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Time Crisis 3 PlayStation 2

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Namco
Released: Out Now
Price: £39.99

One of the most popular light gun based series on the PlayStation 2 and in the arcades of course, has to be the Time Crisis series. Time Crisis 3 might be the third game in the series but it's the first one that we at deaf gamers have been able to review. We can't stress enough though that Time Crisis is really a light gun only game. Trying to play it with the standard controller will result in a really disappointing experience so if you want the game make sure you get hold of the version packed with the G-Con 2 light gun if you don't already have one.

There isn't much of a story to Time Crisis 3 and what there is, is rather paper-thin. The story centres around Alan Dunaway and Wesley Lambert. The Zagorias Federation has launched an unprovoked attack and invasion on the Astigos island, which neighbours the nation of Lukano. It's been discovered that 80% of the Astigos island has been conquered and that weapons of mass destruction are being setup, which would obviously threaten the surrounding nations. Dunaway and Lambert are the two V.S.S.E. agents who have been sent in to sort out the mess.

So what does Time Crisis 3 have in store for us then? Well you have the standard Arcade mode that can either be played as a 1 or 2 player game. If played as a 1 player game you'll control Alan Dunaway and the AI will control Wesley Lambert whereas in a 2 player game the second player would control Lambert and the game would be played in horizontal split-screen mode (only advisable if you have a large TV though). The Arcade mode whilst good, will only take you around an hour to complete though, which is rather disappointing but there is always the appeal of trying to better your last score. Rescue Mission mode is where you play as Alicia Winston and there are around a dozen missions here and you'll also get to play a few sniping missions too. The Rescue Mission mode is actually longer than the Arcade mode, which is good to see. Finally you have Crisis Missions which this time, include more objectives to keep you interested.

Namco have attempted to bring something extra to the light gun shooter genre with the inclusion of multiple weapons that you'll have to use appropriately in order to succeed. The game features a hand gun with unlimited ammunition, a machine gun, a shotgun and a grenade launcher. You collect ammunition by shooting certain enemies. You have to use this ammo wisely though. The grenade launcher is used for tackling big guns for instance but the ammo is hard to come by so you'll have to use it only when it's called for. The game is still played from a fixed position with the ability to duck for cover and stand up but this inclusion of different weapons and having to be careful when you use them, certainly adds a new and welcome twist to the gameplay.

Whilst Time Crisis 3 certainly looks good for a light gun game it's fair to say it only looks above average for a PlayStation 2 game. The enemies certainly look good but taking a closer look at the environment and the various objects and building within it reveals an unnatural, angular look to everything, which is quite poor. Texture detail is also sadly lacking and most of the surfaces have a bland look to them which is really basic. Still with all the hectic shooting that will be going on you won't have time to stop and admire the graphics but it's still a shame that more effort hadn't been put into it. To give credit to Namco though the game does look better than the Arcade game it was based on.

Whilst light gun shooters are not the most critical of games to need subtitles it would have been nice if Time Crisis 3 had them. The games introduction and the cutscenes in between the missions are not subtitled and whilst they aren't lengthy and can be skipped, it's irritating to know you are missing out on content for which you have paid. The missions themselves are no problem though and you'll be alerted in text when you need to reload and while there are other verbal comments, the information they mention can easily be found on the screen so it's not a big issue.

Time Crisis 3 will certainly please fans of the series and fans of light gun shooters in general. As we said earlier don't attempt to play the game with a standard controller though as it just doesn't feel right. You really need a G-Con 2 light gun to fully appreciate the game. It's disappointing to see that the game isn't subtitled and in my opinion it could have looked better but essentially it's a very good light gun shooter that fans of the genre will certainly not want to miss.

Overall Game Rating: 8.0/10
Offers much more fun than the arcade game it's based on, which is impressive.

Deaf Gamers comment:
The games cutscenes and introduction are not subtitled so you'll miss out on the games story.