Neotokyo

I’ve been playing Neotokyo. It is basically Counter-Strike with a Ghost In The Shell skin, and in my books that’s a good thing.

There is just one game mode, Capture The Ghost, and it works very well. It’s capture the flag with a shared objective, being an android torso. Everyone can see where the Ghost is at all times and whether it’s unclaimed or in friendly or enemy hands. Whoever holds the Ghost can use it to see enemy positions. They can then use voice communication to relay the information to their team. This is an excellent mechanic and when you happen into a team where the Ghost is used properly, it really feels like a well-coordinated operation, even with total strangers.

In addition to seeing the Ghost’s location, everyone can see where their team mates are and both friendly and hostile retrieval points. All this information at everyone’s hands leads to the play being usually satisfyingly tactical. It feels very good to work in a team of over ten guys, sensing how a coordinated effort is going to win the day.

There are three classes, all with interesting abilities. The recon can see in the dark, get around quickly and use therm-optic camouflage to remain unseen. The assault class can see moving targets and has limited therm-optic camouflage to compensate for added armor and fragmentation grenades. My favourite class is the support, which can’t go around invisible, but can take a beating and see thermal images, penetrating the smoke he can lay to cover his approach.

When you do well (take out enemy operatives, survive the round, carry the Ghost to retrieval point), you gain experience points, which unlock better guns. There’s a good selection of those, as well.

The maps are a little hit and miss. Some are very atmospheric (nt_ghost_ctg, the android assembly line, is my favourite), but some are lacking in both gameplay and visuals. For the most part, this is very good stuff, though.

For a free mod there’s a nice amount of detail, like the way any sustained damage can lead to blood covering parts of your therm-optic camouflage. Bullets also penetrate more or less realistically.

Neotokyo is a cool take on old themes and gameplay, clad in very nice clothes.

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