Perspective is an interesting concept. Giving yourself a different viewpoint can really change some things especially when you’re a hired assassin in the future. It’s a bit skewed in that sense but applying that to how you choose your targets and especially how you deal with those targets. Tokyo 42 is taking that line of logic and applying it into its core design to create an interesting and dynamic world and a very interesting game.
Tokyo 42 markets itself as an open world shooter which is an apt description but I’d want to add the puzzle genre into that list because you have the world that you can move around in and do missions at your own pace but the puzzle kicks in when you are planning how you take out your target. You have the tools open to you at the gate on how to take out the target and how you approach the situation. Do you set up far away with a sniper rifle and take them out or do you go in for a gun fight and those may sound bog standard for a game based around assassination but having this isometric world that you manipulate adds that extra layer of complexity and planning to the game. That perspective can open up new paths or give new ideas on how to take on the mission. Games like Hotline Miami started the idea of failing until you get it right and kicked that into overdrive. This game takes that and slows it down just enough to make each fight interesting with thinking about how many different ways you can blow up a large group of enemies.
These missions string together the story of you being framed for the first actual murder in a long time. This is a big deal as in this version of the future there is a pill that stops people from dying. So murder is unheard of and the way you clear your name is by becoming a hitman…. Not the best string of logic when it comes to dealing with the situation but it’s done to track down the real killer and why they framed you. Because it’s the future you have access to a wide array of weapons but also some cool tech like a trench coat. Yes, there is a button to put on a trench coat just so you can look cooler and I love that as a visual touch that makes fights a tad more satisfying. The actual tech includes being able to change your identity on the fly to get around enemies that are already searching for you.
These methods plus with the weapons that can be dodged with the perspective movement makes firefights engaging and fun. There wasn’t really a dull moment in actual fights but movement around the world is sometimes clunky as the perspective skews when jumping. The developers have tried to counter this with the shadow under the player which is a good marker but is sometimes hard to see in do or die situations or when making quick movements. Shooting is done well but doesn’t really have much impact due to the soundtrack bleeding through in the audio mix. Some fiddling with the audio settings could bring it out better but these minor issues don’t really mask the unique design and technicality of the game.
Tokyo 42 in itself is one of those games that gives you a new perspective on how to tackle situations and more specifically how to whack every bad guy around while wearing a trench coat then turn into a nudist so that you walk away with no suspicious eyes on you. The bright and varied world brings you in really nice pixel design and an interesting setting carry this game along. It’s a shame that some of the missions become repetitive and the story isn’t that thick to carry me along enough to become truly invested in this world. The sights, sounds and mechanics get me in there but it’s the story that brings the taste home. Anyone who’s in for a fun shooter/puzzle game with interesting mechanics and a world that is pleasing to every eye then please give this game a go. If the story doesn’t bother and you can overlook some minor flaws then you’ll have a great time here. Don’t forget to press F to trench coat.