Time Crisis: Razing Storm Hands-On

What would happen if Time Crisis, Metal Gear Solid, Virtua Cop, and Pirates of the Caribbean had a baby?

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The long-running rail-shooter series has a new installment coming to the PlayStation 3 called Time Crisis: Razing Storm, but it's more than just one new game. In addition to the multiple (and very different) play modes in Razing Storm, the entire package includes Time Crisis 4 as well as another Namco arcade shooter called Deadstorm Pirates, which, as you might have gleaned from the title, has both regular pirates and skeleton pirates. But before jumping into the other games, we spent some time with the newest Time Crisis game, Razing Storm.

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Much like the previous games in the series, the main portion of Razing Storm is a rail shooter where you don't control character movement, but you do control where and when your character shoots and how he can defend himself. In fact, the hallmark of the Time Crisis series--being able to take cover behind objects--takes a slight twist in Razing Storm since your near-future soldier carries portable cover in the form of a riot shield. This seems to have allowed for the development team to open up the game a little bit and create more varied scenarios, enemies, and boss battles. Also, different weapons will come into play during specific situations. If you're fighting one of the game's stronger enemies or bosses, you'll take hold of a rocket launcher or very powerful shotgun to deal with the situation. And, of course, the fact that the environments are all highly destructible makes using these weapons even more exciting, but it does little to encourage precise aiming. There's also a little Virtua Cop to be had as some enemies will have an icon display over their heads, indicating how close they are to successfully hitting you with one of their many bullets.

In addition to the arcade mode, Razing Storm features two other gameplay options--story and sentry modes. The story mode is actually quite surprising, because it's a first-person shooter where you do control character movement. Like its rail-shooter counterpart, it also has a cover system that lets you duck behind designated objects, giving you some respite from enemy fire before you pop back out to take them down. When you've cleared enemies out of an area, you can move on to the next checkpoint and clear out the next round of bad guys. It's straightforward, but it still feels a bit weird to control movement in a Time Crisis game. The sentry option is a little more simplistic. It's a shooting gallery mode set against the backdrop of a prison riot. You're charged with taking out inmates while trying to avoid shooting guards, and there's absolutely no movement.

Metal Ge!?…er I mean, look at that bi-pedal tank thing!
Metal Ge!?…er I mean, look at that bi-pedal tank thing!

As for the other two games, Time Crisis 4 and Deadstorm Pirates are pretty straightforward. Time Crisis 4 features more traditional-style Time Crisis action, where you can duck behind cover and pop out to shoot enemies. It also has sequences where you'll have to decide which direction to face and shoot as enemies come at you from all angles. Deadstorm Pirates, on the other hand, isn't quite like the Time Crisis games. It focuses on pirates and salty adventures for treasure (whatever that means) as opposed to cops or soldiers, and two players can combine their shots into a single super shot. There are also treasure chests that contain extra health and other items to help combat all of the fantastical creatures you encounter throughout the game. But it's not all about shooting pistols. Deadstorm Pirates has sequences where you have to shoot cannonballs at ghost ships and even take on the role of captain and spin the wheel away from danger on the seas.

All of these games are compatible with Sony's Move motion control system, so if you have at least one wand, you should be good to go. But in case you don't have Move controllers, Time Crisis: Razing Storm also supports the standard PlayStation 3 controller as well as the Guncon 3. Time Crisis: Razing Storm is a PlayStation 3 exclusive, and it's scheduled for release on October 19.

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