It isn’t often that Dr Hamhock and I agree on things related to games. We have vastly differing tastes and while we can easily agree on things being great, it isn’t often that we both love a game’s look and feel, so imagine my amazement that our trip to EGX last year resulted in both of us loving the stylings of Tokyo 42.
Imagine Grand Theft Auto rendered in the world of Crystal Castles/Monument Valley/an Escher painting. Imagine Hitman in the world of Fez. Imagine Blade Runner, the game, but without Blade Runner. Imagine the best example of dystopian sci-fi conspiracy gaming/novels/films and then know that Tokyo 42 does it better.
A bold claim?
Perhaps, but at the end of the day it is always fantastic to see a game that manages to be instantly familiar, but also immediately unique. There is no hand-holding, it simply hits you with a conspiracy and you will likely be dead within the minute. This is not a design flaw, not at all, this is a living world populated with tiny people who react brilliantly to a person running around with a gun. It took me half an hour to work out how to aim my sniper rifle, for example, while crowds of people ran away from my rampage and my intended target was unaware that I was firing endless rounds of high-velocity ammunition at his building. The game had told me how to aim, in a manner of speaking, but I had ignored all that to run around like a madman with a gun.
Probably not the best way to avoid suspicion and imminent death, but that is the world of Tokyo 42.
In the interest of full disclosure I was provided with a review copy of the game by the developer, but as I say it was well and truly on my radar from the moment I leaned in to look at it at EGX, and having spent a good amount of time with the game it was clear that my interest was not folly. Tokyo 42 is a genuinely original title in a sea of mundane, and tedious re-treads. Indie gaming has now hit its stride in the new gen era and while some are not finding their audience thanks to the sheer amount of releases I am confident that the superior stylishness of Tokyo 42 will lure people in like an Angler Fish, or a man with peanut butter in his belly button.
The world of Tokyo 42 is open-world and stunning. Spinning the camera around reveals pathways and strategic advantages, as well as allowing the full beauty of the world to be shown. You end up acting as an assassin to try and uncover the conspiracy, which may seem a bit of backwards logic but soon enough the game opens out to be something truly original.
I played Tokyo 42 on the XB1 – as it is the machine I use the most – and I highly recommend that you grab it asap via this handy link! I’m not getting commission for this, but I do get a lovely warm feeling, a Brian Cox feeling, from knowing that I have recommended a bloody brilliant game.
I shall return to the world of Tokyo 42 for a full playthrough soon – I’ve been lost in House of Cards binging and work and it deserves my attention. Let me know what you think, and maybe we can do some multiplayer as a community soon.