Hands-On: Time Crisis Razing Storm

During a recent Sony Seasonal Preview event, Sal and I were able to get a hands-on with Time Crisis: Razing Storm, Namco Bandai’s next in the arcade franchise slated for a September release on PlayStation 3. The portion we played consisted of the first level of the Razing Storm arcade mode. We played the game with two Move controllers, though the game does support both DualShock 3 and Guncon controllers, as well.

The arcade level we played was fast paced – faster than Time Crisis has ever been before. You’re still on-the-rails, but your primary weapon is an automatic with infinite ammo. The first thing I noticed was that the Move controller was precise – extremely precise – and it was just the precision we needed to take out our first group of enemies. Enemies come in the plentiful in Razing Storm, mainly because you have an automatic weapon at most times. That precision is key for taking out either one at a time quickly, or sweeping your controller through their entire line back and forth. The precision should be expected for a Time Crisis title, but it was just really nice to see the new technology working so flawlessly.

As for the arcade mode itself, like mentioned above, it’s fast. Groups of about five to eight enemies will swarm you at a time, forcing you to dispatch them quickly. On the Move controller, you hold down one button to stay behind your shield and release it for the ability to shoot. Enemies will hit you if you’re not careful, indicated by a marker on the enemy himself that warns he’s about to fire at you. The marker is either red or blue, depending on who he’s about to attack, and with quick reflexes, ducking back behind your shield will save you. After every several groups, you’ll quickly be scored on how many enemies you killed, and how much damage you received. It quickly awards several stars to each player. It gave Sal and I a competitive edge as well as a cooperative experience. Fortunately for me, Sal lost most of the time. (Editor’s Note: Someone’s not coming to the next event… *wink*)

Though your main weapon is an automatic, at certain instances the game will give you a different weapon to use for a short time – either for more waves of enemies, special enemies, or for a boss. At the end of the arcade mode, we contended with a giant robot strapped with machine guns and rockets on its several arms. To be honest, I couldn’t really make out if it was a robot or a type of jet. I was too concerned with dodging behind my shield and shooting our new rocket launchers at it. Even though they give you new weapons, all of the weapons will have infinite ammo. The game is designed to be fast paced and extremely more intense. At the end of the boss fight, Sal and I were scored on the entire mission, where it adds up all of the stars you collected through that particular level.

The game felt great, and take in mind I’m not generally an advocate for the Time Crisis series, but this may be a title I have to pick up. That’s true especially because of the four different single player modes (arcade mode, sentry mode, story mode, and an online battle mode – story and online modes are an off-rails FPS) and the additional Time Crisis 4 and Deadstorm Pirates inclusions. It’s three games in one, practically. The arcade modes are set to be about two-three hours long, with the story mode to be about five to six hours. All with multiplayer deathmatch and the likes included as well. The game looks like it’s going to be a surefire way to jump start my Move game collection.

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