Place the weapon on the floor and back away.
Been a while since you've picked up that light gun, eh? Yeah, I know how it is. Like me, you've probably gone through the Time Crisis games six billion times and just shooting the same guys over and over again has gotten really stale. Since there really haven't been any other light gun games, your poor orange hand cannon has just been collecting dust in the deepest depths of your closet. How sad.
But a new day has dawned and Empire Interactive has given us all a new excuse to revisit our old Guncon. Promising an "immersive light gun action" experience, Endgame features five big levels filled with plenty of bad guys to shoot, several modes of play and plenty of special effects. So if this game is that good, why is my old orange friend headed back to the closet? The answer is simple - Endgame is just a rehash of other successful light gun games, minus a lot of the good bits.
Time Crisis veterans will have no problem picking up Endgame, since it plays exactly the same way. Rent-a-cops, security guards and a truckload of military guys with the accuracy of an Enron accountant will pop out from behind various barriers and take pot shots at you while you duck for cover to reload. In fact, it's so similar to Time Crisis that I've had multiple people walk by and swear this was a Namco game.
The story is pretty simple and has about the same amount of cheese as most action shooters. You play Jade Cornell, a friend of some guy who knows too much about a bad man who's running an evil thing bent on world domination. Lots of hired guns are out to get you and the only solution is to wield a deadly piece of plastic with lethal force. I'd love to explain more, but that's about as clear as it gets.
Unlike other popular shooters, Endgame makes no effort whatsoever to set itself apart from the crowd. It's perfectly linear, has absolutely no special pickups and fails to include any noteworthy extra features. To make matters worse, you'll be clunking around from section to section with load screens and cut scenes that appear to be cut off. The main game won't take very long to master and after you've completed it, there isn't a whole lot of reason to do it all again.
The game's only other semi-interesting mode, known as "Mighty Joe Jupiter," adds some life to the game, but since it's just more of the same with less story, it doesn't score Endgame any brownie points.
Visually, Endgame doesn't do anything outstanding. Based on the RenderWare platform used in GTA 3, the game looks only good enough to get by. Even the cut scenes look a little goofy at times, with drug-induced expressions and proportions that are slightly off. There are even a few scenes where the main character has a bubble butt that would bring Jennifer Lopez to tears.
Before I put this game out of its misery, I do have to mention a pair of pluses. One little touch that saves Endgame from annihilation is the hit detection. Shoot a guy in the leg and he'll fall over and clutch it. Shoot another guy in the shoulder and he'll spin accordingly. It's nowhere near the level of detection found in a game like Soldier of Fortune, but it gets the job done.
Also nice are the destructible environments. You can put holes in walls, shoot out large vases and interact with a majority of the things on screen. The only problem is that there aren't many things that are worth interacting with. Explosive barrels are few and far between and the environment doesn't offer much else as an alternative method for dispatching your foes. Too bad.
I must admit that it was nice to whip out the old light gun again, and at least Endgame meets the shooter prerequisite by giving gamers plenty of guys to blast. But that's about it. If you're a true gun game geek, it's a good distraction for an hour or two - just don't spend more than five bucks on it. Any more and you may want to turn that piece of plastic on yourself.