As some of you know, I spent a couple years while I was in ‘Vegas working for a company that ran video arcades. One of the biggest benefits of this job was being able to play all the new games for about a week to stress-test them before we put ’em out in the field.
Back when Time Crisis came out, I thought it was the best shooter-game I’d ever played. Having that ‘hide’ pedal was a superb twist on the idea of a shoot-’em-up. Last night, I came across the next generation from Konami: Police 911
The basis for this game is that you’re a Tokyo beat cop called in to assist against a Yakuza gang. SWAT is already on-site, but they figure they could use all the guns they can, so your sorry but is going in too – with a sidearm only. Oh – did I mention no body armor? Yup. You better know how to duck, chombatta.
Like Time Crisis, this game walks you through the scenario location by location, allways putting you someplace where you have the use of some sort of cover, whether it be a wall, a bar, or a line of riot cops with shields. Where TC has a pedal for you to step on to toggle between views, P911 has a sensor grid in front of the game to track your actual movements. When you duck, so does your character. The game is exceedingly accurate at this – your point of view only changes as much as you duck, instead of being a simple toggle. This also gives you more options for play, since you can also move right and left to take advantage of cover or optional firing angles. (Hint – early on, there’s a little window to your right with a bottle in it. Shoot through here to take out one of the three thugs coming at you, instead of leaning left and getting hit by all three.)
The only bummer the game has is that you are going after gangsters toting a single .40 calibre sidearm with a limited number of clips. Yep – after a certain number of reloads, you have to stuff your magazines while crouching behind a trash can in the middle of a firefight. Goes towards the realism, I guess.
One other thing, folks: stretch before you play this game. I run up and down stairs all day in my house, and my upper thighs are still twitchy after only one game last night.