Steam Library: Tokyo 42

Tokyo 42 is impossible not to love from the prologue. You can’t come up with a better setup for a video game.

So, we are in the relatively near future, guess in which city. We are peacefully sitting at home, watching a 999K television, and suddenly it turns out that our main character has been falsely accused of murder. Cliché, yes, but it’s worth quickly escaping from the Japanese police, and the protagonist is immediately offered a truly ingenious way to restore their good name and get to the scoundrel who framed us.

In order to prove their innocence in the murder, we will become a hired assassin. Tokyo 42 is impossible not to love from the prologue.

Futuristic Tokyo in vivid detail

The first five minutes of the plot and running from slow but still deadly gunshots carried exactly one message – dear gamer, forget about all the burdening game nonsense. The plot drama, harsh realism, some lofty concept, all that happiness went down the drain. T42 has a stylish picture, future skyscrapers, nudist gangs, and a bunch of tasks to eliminate cheerful angular people.

Local affairs are done in two ways. The first is stealth puzzles. Despite the fact that the game looks like Syndicate on acid, our warrior in the stone field will be exactly one, and this warrior dies after the first injury. There will be a few more of our warriors. Fortunately, their vitality is about the same, so welcome to the ninja of the future. Katana included.

Tokyo 42 diligently performs the classics of stealth isometric tactics. We have a certain location where the guards are wandering back and forth, plus the main client waiting for his bullet. The location is cunningly filled with concrete blocks and other gimmicks so that a skilled player can hide behind them in time, then jump out in time and kill someone. Or just crawl past, whichever you prefer.

Exploring the Tokyo 42 landscape

Just a little ahead, I will say that only half of the game’s happiness lies in the hidden territory cleanup. Therefore, compared to hardcore representatives of the genre (like Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun) The formula for success has been simplified.

Firstly, the security of the future turned out to be a job popular among half-blind fools who ignore the corpses of their colleagues lying at their feet. However, here I would advise you to relax immediately. Any claims to realism were thrown out the window in the game’s first few seconds, and there are no real complaints about the behavior of the idiots from a gameplay perspective. It’s just the rules of T42. If you’re seen, you’re at the disco; if you’re not caught red-handed, you’re not a killer, so let’s keep playing.

Secondly, the operational spaces are not rich in conveniently hanging weights and other elements of lethal surprise over other people’s heads.

Thirdly, the missions themselves are much shorter. Which, as it turned out, is not necessarily a disadvantage. By abandoning detailed maps for each specific mission in favor of larger general game areas, T42 simultaneously got rid of the tactical entertainment “accessories”. Veterans will support me: sometimes, when you load another mission in “big” tactics, you sigh – why are there so many damn enemies wandering around, I’ll be playing you for three hours alone. Here, one task can be completed – taking into account failed attempts and unsuccessful maneuvers – in five to ten minutes. Took the order, got down to business, died thirty times, managed to do it, and happily moved on.

You don’t have time to fall into depression from endlessly crawling through an army of guards walking on each other’s heads. Besides, sometimes the game simply switches gears and turns into an arcade and bullet-hell. Also simplified, also fast, and also delivered in small doses.

A neon-lit cityscape in Tokyo 42

This second half of happiness allows you to completely disconnect your mind and simply enjoy the moment. Without stopping to give headshots and dodge bullets, of course. A crowd of bandits rushed onto the square and flooded your corner of the screen with deadly rectangles. You barely dodged and managed to take your turn. Countless projectiles flew straight into civilians, and the Tokyo anthill boiled even more. It would have been fine, but then a stray bullet found you. Game over. However, it’s no big deal, because the actual loading takes a second and a half.

By the way, there is a separate big plus for games about systematic clearing of an area. For example, in the aforementioned Shadow Tactics, everything was great except for the reloads. If you hit a difficult spot, know that for every five minutes of unsuccessful maneuvers, the game will take an additional minute from you for rewinding the film. Tokyo 42 doesn’t allow such leisure.

But the game client allows itself to lag. Lag for no apparent reason, in the style of the first Sacred. I mean, without any visible cause. Destiny 2, you see, on the same computer delivers shamelessly smooth graphics, while isometric indie shooters stutter if you move the camera away from the ground. Sloppiness, dear developers, sloppiness.

And you want to move the camera away. And not only because it’s more convenient to complete missions that way, but also because Tokyo 42 likes to delight gamers with purely decorative bonuses. Not only did the familiar cyberpunk city suddenly become bright, daytime, and overall uniquely positive, but it was also flooded with small details in the best traditions of pixel art. Discovering another visual anecdote can be even more pleasant than finding another treasure hidden on a secret platform.

Unraveling mysteries in a cyberpunk world

Somewhere T42 lacks depth in mechanics, somewhere the programmers fell short, somewhere the designers put together a not particularly interesting task, but the game briskly overcomes its shortcomings with excellent visual design, a lively and carefree yet true to cyberpunk cynicism atmosphere, and an engaging gameplay.

Looking for an arcade indie game? Tokyo 42 is an excellent choice.

Tokyo 42
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Action, Indie
Mode 7
SMAC Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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