Tokyo 42 is a game for ants.
In this game, your character is accused of a murder, so… you become a hitman to get in touch with the people who framed you. This is somehow acceptable to your character and his buddy, who just decides to become your handler. I don’t know why, but, it’s an okay way to start a game for ants. The controls are of the twin-stick variety, except you point in a direction then press another button to fire. You can also manually target, throw grenades, crouch, put on a trenchcoat, and… totally change what your character looks like for some reason. But hey, it’s cyberpunk, it’s tokyo, and you have a cat. It’s a hybrid of Syndicate and GTA 1, and, the influence shows. It’s a really well put together little game.
The graphics are tiny. I lost my character so many times. Bullets travel at different speeds, indicated by the color they are, I believe. It was kind of hard to figure out, but, dodging bullets wasn’t too much of an issue, the tiny graphics look great at all the things you can see, and the sound effects and music are pretty typical of a cyberpunk setting, though, this isn’t a bad thing. I really liked it. Vincente Espi really knows his music. I don’t mind the tiny tiny viewpoint, but man, maybe it’s because I’m in my 30s now, but I can’t keep track of that much stuff at once. This game is like if Smash TV was also 3 dimensional and you had to spin the camera to not lose your character behind walls and towers, while also being shot at in multiple angles and every bullet moving at slightly different speeds. It’s a lot visually to take in, and, I think the people who are really good at it need to just quit their normal jobs and go work for Air Traffic Control.
I think the idea behind the game is really something interesting. The developers built a game system and it feels like the story was just thrown in so there was a reason to do all of the things you do in the game. That being said, being able to just put on a coat for no reason is amazing and I suggest more games give me a button to put on a duster if for no reason other than style points. The game allows you to change your character’s look for electricity, or power, or something, but there are stations to refill that just around the city randomly, so, you can be anybody you want to be. The game’s location of Tokyo is true to genre, as William Gibson said, “Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk”, though, it’s very bright. I think it works better to have it bright because it makes it easier to see what’s going on, and with such simple visuals it’s better to make things bright so you can make them distinct. The addition of the ability to aim in a single area while you move your character is unique, and it’s very difficult to both move and aim, but that is part of the challenge of the whole game. There are plenty of situations where you’re fighting with large groups, but you aren’t bulletproof, a single bullet will kill you as easily as it does them. The stealth mechanics are simple, but fun, and when you die and it resets you at the last coffee machine you drank from, you have another opportunity, so, you’ll be learning from your mistakes often.
This game is difficult, purchasing ammo and weapons to use on your missions is cool, but I imagine if you like to blow through tons of ammo it might get pretty difficult to buy enough while trying to stay with top of the line weaponry. I’ve personally never ran out, but, I kill as many people with the katana as possible. There is a multiplayer component, but it feels like they just added an internet connection and let people run around a level killing each other, definitely nothing mission-like about it, but, it’s just the additional multiplayer death match that we’ve come to expect from games where the main selling point is the single player campaign.
As far as the game-to-story ratio, this game is almost wholly centered around gameplay, the story seems pretty thin and weird, but it’s definitely worth reading all of the pieces of dialogue. Otherwise, you’re just shooting at random people because a dot appears above their head, and that’s not cool.
Operating the motorcycle is just painful. I never could get the hang of it, at least, not enough to not get killed while shooting people while riding it, but, even that is fun. There’s nothing about this game that makes me think, “I wish they just didn’t add this to the game.”
Overall, it’s a pretty decent game, there’s nothing to really complain about. You can wait for a sale, or, if you really want to support these guys, go ahead and pick it up. It’s a good game, and it’s unique. Some missions are just downright difficult, so, be prepared for a bit of a challenge. I really enjoyed the stealth sections, but, the big combat scenes are just a bit too fast paced and chaotic for me personally. It’s definitely worth the money.
Disclosure: We received this game for free.
Developed by: SMAC Games
Published by: Mode 7
Tokyo 42 is coming to PS4 soon.