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Time Crisis 5: some thoughts & impressions

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It's been one hell of a long wait (9 years) but here is Time Crisis 5. As before, Wild Dog is back and a new team of VSSE agents is out to stop him. Robert Baxter returns but not as a playable character. Luke O'Neill (player 1) and Marc Godart (player 2) team up with Robert to stop an old nemesis. Running on PC hardware (Namco System ES3), this is one of a few arcade games that's powered by Unreal Engine.

What TC5 brings this time is the double pedal system and the weapon change button. Instead of the large single pedal, there are two smaller ones. You can go to a left or a right cover point, which works a bit like Project Titan but is more convenient. Some battles will require use of it, like the one with the HACS robot boss. This one is ponderously slow, and before long it's not too hard to circle around to the weakspot and tear it apart. You don't hide to change weapons anymore- the button on the side of the gun handles that now. As always there is the option to calibrate the gun (have the gun trigger held while you press a pedal to start your game), and it's best to do that.

The weapon loadout is based on that of TC3 & TC4, but you have lower ammo limits. Only 100 machine gun bullets, 20 shotgun shells, and 2 grenades may be carried. Once mighty in TC3, the machine gun has fallen. It wasn't too bad in TC4 either despite it being reduced to a third of the handgun's per-bullet damage, but here it seems truly nerfed to a tragic joke. I found hardly any use for the MG and stuck to handgun most of the time.

Scoring is a bit imbalanced as well. It seems like half of your score comes from stage 1. The time bonus per area is based on cumulative time, so that means a second saved in area 1 is worth 7,200 (4,800 for area 2, and 2,400 for area 3). A slow time on the first area will cost you badly. Now stages 2 & 3 are on rails save for their boss battles, which is the only thing that will give you any time bonus there. Accuracy does get a bit more importance in these areas. In fact, there is an exploit in the 3rd stage's first two areas: you can shoot one enemy and stay covered. Since you fired 1 shot and killed 1 enemy, the accuracy is 100% and you get 100,000 points for doing jack. That's a bit broken.

Cool boss villains like Randy Garrett, Jack Mathers, or Jacob Kinisky are not to be found here. All the end of stage bosses are vehicles operated by... you guessed it, Wild Dog. However, the stage 1-area 3 boss is somewhat cool. It's a quadruped armor vehicle that looks like it could've been in Razing Storm. When you see Wild Dog as the final boss, he's not too different from his Time Crisis 4 incarnation. The gravity gun is back, but now he's learned how to dual wield it with the Mauser pistol. Instead of using objects to klonk you, he'll mainly use them for defense and fire the pistol to attack.

The graphics are definitely current-gen and would look on par with a PS4 game. TC5 doesn't look dated as TC4's arcade version did. Animations are decent, such as the way enemies fall from a ledge when shot, motorcycles making a wake as they zip over wet pavement, or the H.A.C.S.'s wipeout when it's taken one too many hits from you, flying into a wall and spewing a cloud of smoke and debris at you as it expires.

QTEs have finally made it into a TC game. Thankfully there are only two. Just press the indicated pedal quickly enough to pass one. There are also a couple target events similar to what Virtua Cop 3 had. You need to shoot markers before the timers on them expire. If it's not a problem, try to land a hit on the bullseye for more points.

One serious annoyance is the occasional 1-second freeze. It can happen once or not at all in a playthrough. With bad luck, it can happen several times consecutively. This can throw your timing off. There is one known instance of TC5 crashing with a Windows 7 error message and restarting.

Unfortunately, the play length is a step back. WAY back. It's even shorter than the first Time Crisis. An 8 minute clear time is definitely possible. Like before, it's made up of 3 stages each with 3 areas, but the areas themselves are really short. Namco does deserve some credit for promising the True Mastermind Edition upgrade, which will add extra content to the game (at least another 3 stages). Hopefully they'll also fix the stuttering as well. For now you can try a hard mode after finishing the game.

Time Crisis 5 is not terrible, but there is a bit of disappointment to swallow with it.

THE GOOD: It's Time Crisis.
THE BAD: Areas are too short.
THE UGLY: Random stuttering. If you're lucky it won't happen.

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Updated 14 Nov 2015 at 12:01 AM by gameoverDude

Video Games


  1. gameoverDude's Avatar
    The hard mode is not really that much harder, if at all. When you go into this after finishing the normal game, you start it with the number of lives you had at that point (not necessarily 3).

    Guns on TC5 use an internal recoil system, rather than what TC4 has. The recoil is neither as strong nor as clicky as TC4, but it's still satisfactory.

    On stage 2's chopper battle, try to rack up high combo counts especially in area 1. 150 hits isn't bad. Rhythmic firing in bursts rather than just "keeping that trigger squeezed" can be helpful on tanks and helicopters to keep a chain going.
  2. gameoverDude's Avatar
    HOW TO AVOID DAMAGE IN LAST PART OF STAGE 1 AREA 1 (Playing as left player, Luke)
    In stage 1 area 1's final section, it's extremely easy to lose a life. Despite the game saying "start from left cover" I think it's better to begin in right cover, because this lines you up with the red propane tanks. Set these off and be ready. There will be 2 enemies approaching Wild Dog from the right. A red soldier will run up beside him and stop to fire. Try to take him down before he can shoot. And soon after that, there's a dark blue "ninja" soldier with a machine gun who will go past Wild Dog, running and firing the MG if left standing. This SOB can be highly annoying. Once he appears, spray him til he drops. Your hits should stun him and keep him from getting off a shot.
    Updated 13 Aug 2015 at 07:09 PM by gameoverDude


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