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Crisis Zone is a spin-off of the popular Time Crisis arcade shooters.
Garland Square recently opened on the outskirts of London. This urban complex contains hotels, a mall, a park, and an office complex. Unfortunately, the entire facility has been overrun by a powerful terrorist organization known as the U.R.D.A., headed by Derrick Lynch. The terrorists have made no demands, neither they have any motives. Facing an unknown threat, the government thus concludes that the U.R.D.A. must be stopped at all costs and Lynch must not be allowed to execute his hidden agenda, whatever it may be. With the aforementioned in mind, the Special Tactical Force (or S.T.F.) has been ordered to liberate Garland Square and suppress the U.R.D.A. Squad 1, the task force responsible for the liberation of Garland Square, is led by Claude McGarren (the player character).
Although heavy resistance was imminent throughout the complex, Squad 1 secured the area although Lynch was not visible. S.T.F. Headquarters than receives disturbing information about Lynch's goal of "over-working" an experimental atomic reactor 5km below the complex. McGarren and Squad 1 engaged in a tense time-sensitive conflict to nullify Lynch and to prevent the reactor from becoming unstable, ultimately saving the security of London.
Six months after the Garland Square incident, new U.R.D.A. mastermind Jared Hunter hijacks Grassmarket District and as an insurance policy, has Melissa Kessler (the S.T.F. Commander's daughter) in custody. Although Hunter's demands include but not limited to the release of his comrades in exchange for the complex's freedom, he is seeking revenge against the S.T.F. platoon (Squad 1) for ruining the organization's plan of attack at Garland Square.
McGarren and Squad 1 engage in a liberation coup de grace to rescue Melissa and bring forth the downfall of the U.R.D.A. The platoon got into a rough start, having to contend with a droid called the A-0940. Afterwards, McGarren and Squad 1 had either minor or no problem reaching Melissa. Hunter provokes Squad 1 into a fight on top of Belforte Hotel's pool area with Squad 1 coming as the victor. As Hunter attempts to escape, McGarren engage in an air-to-sea chase to crush Hunter and ultimately secure Grassmarket.
In Crisis Zone, the player is part of the elite anti-terrorist trooper of the Special Tactical Force (S.T.F.), Claude McGarren. The game uses the same pedal system to reload and hide; however, the player uses a machine gun, a customized Steyr Mannlicher TMP with a sight laser and a capacity of 40 rounds. Players take cover behind a portable ballistic shield that is strapped to the character's left arm. Crisis Zone is the first Time Crisis game to date to allow the player to select between three levels to play in any order. Upon completion of all three of them, the player can then play the final level to beat the game.
A PlayStation 2 (PS2) port of the game was released in 2004 in the UK and the US with smoother polygon textures, higher difficulty, and an additional mission taking place six months after the Crisis Zone Arcade mode. The PS2 port is compatible with GunCon II lightgun. The US version of the PS2 port is called Time Crisis: Crisis Zone.