PS3 Review – Time Crisis: Razing Storm

November 2, 2010Written by Jonathan Leack

Time Crisis: Razing Storm is Namco’s latest addition to the long-running Time Crisis series, and this time around it’s aimed at Sony’s new Move peripheral. The game incorporates three rail shooters including the newest Razing Storm in addition to Time Crisis 4 and Deadstorm Pirates, each with support for the new controller. With destructible environments, rocket launchers, huge enemies, and several titles to enjoy, is this PlayStation Move’s first blockbuster shooter, or will we continue the wait?

In the latest title to join the Time Crisis family, Razing Storm, you have the option to play in story mode as Alpha One during an uprising in futuristic South America. Assigned the task of combating the rebels and smoothing over the droves of enemies including armored troops and robots, you get to fight your way through a multitude of quagmires utilizing your assault rifle to punch your way toward the end of each area. While the addition of a Story Mode is welcomed, it’s apparent that Namco didn’t spend much time making sure it was easily approachable. The controls and cover system are simply deplorable, and as the difficulty ramps up this becomes even more apparent. The story included is lacking in most regards, and the frustration of fighting through such a sub-par shooting experience will likely have you throwing on the Arcade Mode before completion.

Time Crisis: Razing Storm does feature a few additional modes including the standard Arcade Mode as well as the all-new Sentry Mode. Arcade Mode is an enjoyable affair and includes the ability to play cooperatively with a friend and even with online ranking enabled. Playing Arcade Mode with an accomplice is the highlight of the game, and each level is brimming with destructible environments and some powerful weapons to enjoy during each of the game’s several boss encounters. Sentry Mode on the other hand puts you in a static location while you attempt to stop prisoners from breaking free from prison. The prisoners are quick on their feet and there are police you must avoid shooting which makes for some high-intensity gameplay that’s only hindered by its lack of options.

The two extra games included in the package are arcade ports, so the visual quality is inherently sub-par. The core game, Razing Storm, looks acceptable and the variety of stages are a plus. Destructible environments are a great touch and add to the sense of chaos during large firefights, and nothing says wow like a huge mechanical spider exploding after a few seconds of melting it with your satellite laser. Menu navigation is well-presented as well as very fluid, and only the controller calibration is a nuisance which thankfully only needs to be done at start-up.

Sound effects in all three included titles are uninspired. The voice acting in Razing Storm is decent for a rail shooter, but it certainly isn’t convincing. The cheesy dialogue in the Story Mode really doesn’t help in its effort of pushing this decade-old series toward the modern market. However, if you’re an arcade fan, the mixture of cheesy audio with a classic arcade presentation might just draw some nostalgia.

Since there are three games included you can expect to find a respectable level of variety here. The two added games can be completed fairly quickly, but each of them delivers a noticeably different gameplay experience. Razing Storm‘s Sentry and Ranking modes offer some great competitive value, and it goes without saying that playing with a friend is a lot of fun. The Story Mode is likely the longest experience to be had, but its horrible control scheme tosses that out of the equation. Since playing alone isn’t particularly fun, this is a game that’s a solid for cooperative play, but limited for single-player endeavors.

Namco has managed to make another enjoyable cooperative rail shooter experience with Time Crisis: Razing Storm. Unfortunately, playing alone in any of the three included games doesn’t last long, and the Story Mode is a weak attempt at modernizing the series. The presentation is average and the voice acting isn’t its strong-point, but the PlayStation Move really allows for a precise arcade-shooter experience in the variety of game modes included. Time Crisis: Razing Storm might not be the blockbuster shooter title that the PlayStation Move is waiting for, but if you’re looking for a fun arcade shooter to play with a friend, this might be your cup of tea.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+ Three games for the price of one.

+ Several game modes and fun cooperative experience.

– Story Mode is weak and has horrible controls.

6 out of 10