As one of the most popular light gun shooters, Time Crisis has been a familiar sight for anyone who has stumbled into any half decent arcade for almost 2 decades. It’s been a while since the last main entry in the series, Time Crisis 4 came out in 2006, so the appearance of a new Time Crisis game should be welcome news to long-time fans of the series and light gun games in general. Making its worldwide public debut at the EAG Expo in London, Time Crisis 5 was on show and playable for the first time since it’s announcement late last year.
In Time Crisis 5, the perpetual antagonist Wild Dog is up to his old tricks again and T5 stars a new duo as they shoot their way through an assortment of soldiers, drones, mechs and more. Being the first numbered Time Crisis for a while, It looks like Bandai Namco have been working on iterating on the tried & tested formula with T5, which brings a load of new features to the series.
One of the major differences is that T5 is the first in the series to use a flat-screen LCD monitor for the arcade cabinet (even Time Crisis 4 used CRT or rear projection displays when it launched back in 2006). The twin 55″ panels provide a vibrant picture of all the action happening on-screen. The game also sports a new handgun design for your weapon, which now includes a dedicated button to switch weapons during the heat of battle. On the side of the gun, a small orange button allows you to easily switch between your available weapons at your disposal. The new handgun also has a sliding force feedback feature which lets you feel the recoil as you’re firing shots.
While playing through the game, I found the new handgun quite comfortable to use and the built in feedback helped to enhance the immersion of playing the game. Bandai Namco has also apparently been working on the new depth sensors, positioned around each monitor to allow precision tracking of the new handgun, which seemed to be working quite well when I was aiming and shooting.
Also new to Time Crisis 5 is the ‘double pedal’ system, which replaces the large single foot pedal which has been a trademark feature of the series since its original debut. These two pedals (one for Left and one for Right) allow you to switch cover easily by tapping a pedal to move between different points of cover in the level. Using this allows you to quickly maneuver to a vantage point and shoot your enemies’ weak spots. This becomes essential for some of the enemies that have shields, or being able to evade attacks or escape smoke bombs. The pedals also retain the ‘release to hide behind cover’ mechanic from previous games, so you’ll be using them to switch cover points then releasing to duck.
As for the actual game, it looks noticeably better than the last game with improved graphics, from the environments and character models and just the overall look of the game. Time Crisis 5 is also powered by Unreal Engine (but we were unable to find out whether its built on Unreal 3 or 4). There are currently 3 main levels, with an additional 3 levels to be added via an additional ROM pack for the machine when it’s available later this year.
The current content on offer provides a fun rail shooter experience, while the double pedal system lets you have a little bit of freedom in how you take on each encounter. The handgun also seemed quite responsive and accurate, with no major problems that I could notice.
According the Bandai Namco reps on show, Time Crisis 5 will be available worldwide later this year for arcades, so hopefully some of the remaining arcades in the UK might pick this one up.