Before we start, I'd like to admit that I haven't played Virtua Cop 3 an awful lot. In fact, I only recall playing it once, and even then it wasn't for very long. The brief playtime didn't stop the game from forming a favourable impression, however. Since that short playthrough, I've always wanted a home port so I could play more of it. Unfortunately, it never happened.
Released in 2003, 8 years after the last entry, Virtua Cop 3 was a little different. It was still a rail shooter, but players could tackle the levels in any order they chose. Harder players could therefore tackle the harder levels first, and vice versa for newer players.
The second addition was a bit unique. Hanging onto the Bullet Time fad that video games had back in the early Noughties, Virtua Cop featured a pedal that would start E.S. Mode. E.S. Mode slowed time down, and gave you more time to shoot the enemies. You could also shoot down enemy bullets with a bit more ease. The mode did expire after a short time, however, so you couldn't use it continuously.
Virtua Cop 3 was also the first game to allow the player characters (all returning from Virtua Cop 2) to carry a second weapon. You are more likely to stick with the default weapon, but the choice to switch it up is most welcome.
Plot wise, Virtua Cop is as daft as its rail shooter brothers, pitching the three characters up against an entire terrorist organisation. For the sake of spoilers, we won't delve into it any deeper, but suffice to say it is suitably ridiculous.
Despite its arcade-only appearance, Virtua Cop 3 is by far the best game in the trilogy. The shooting is crisp and responsive, and the E.S. Mode adds a mode that I don't recall seeing in any other arcade shooter. The liklihood of seeing an arcade cabinet around is low, but if you do find one, go stick some coins in. You might just enjoy yourself.