Half-Life 2 Mod NeoTokyo Now Standalone On Steam

Japan best country.

Every dog has its day, but can the same be said of mods? For every celebrated success story there are twice as many polished, lovingly crafted amateur works that never found the audience they deserve. NeoTokyo is one such example: a Half-Life 2 mod set in a near future Tokyo inspired by Ghost In The Shell. It had lush, detailed maps, a soundtrack of “brooding cyberpunk electronica” (Spotify, Bandcamp) that one listener (Alice) called “redonc”, and combat mechanics that one player (me) called “tops guns.”

Five years after its original release, NeoTokyo is now available as a standalone install via Steam. It’s still free and mostly unchanged since its last major update in January 2013, but hopefully this brings a new audience to the game. Perhaps every mod does have its day. Trailer below.

If you’ve ever watched Ghost In The Shell – or a whole slew of related anime – then the concepts therein should be familiar. Two teams of cybernetically enhanced soldiers (they can turn invisible and stuffz) are fighting over a half-destroyed android torso (called a ghost). Both teams are trying to capture the ghost and return it to base. Players rank up based on their in-game success, unlocking new weapons – each one a familiar archetype like shotgun, submachinegun, etc. – by killing and capturing.

At the time of its initial release, I thought the above trailer seemed especially well edited for a mod. I watched it over and over, but only last year discovered who created it when I interviewed James McVinnie, the director of an in-progress Team Fortress 2 short called End of the Line.

NeoTokyo can be downloaded from Steam for free now. There’s no in-game tutorial, so check the straightforward manual while it downloads.

Thanks, Eurogamer.


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    Nice. But then is Black Mesa coming out on Steam?

  2. Shadowcat says:

    So this is a multi-player game, yes? (It helps if you say.)

    Is there a single-player component?

    • One Ton Otter says:

      No single player, but you can play with bots.
      I wouldn’t recommend it .

  3. One Ton Otter says:

    This is amazing news, downloading ASAP.
    A few words of warning to all neo-phytes:
    – You need a mic.
    – You don’t need to rush.
    – FF is ON.

    • slerbal says:

      I agree with all of the above. If you treat it as halfway between Counter Strike and SWAT 4 you will have a blast – you can play the game very tactically.

      My additional advice:
      – Invisibility is good but you are still visible when moving to those using motion-sensing vision mode and you give out an audible and visual blip of light and sound when you turn invisible, so do it around the corner, out of sight :)
      – Try the alternate vision modes: motion sensing for the Assault class is really cool.
      – The teams that win are those that work together best. It is totally possible to solo win the game, but so much easier and more fun when you work as a unit.

    • steviebops says:

      Bugger, I have no mic.

  4. Crane says:

    Dystopia was better. :-(

    Still, I’ll give it another try. I recall finding it a bit bland when I played it after the original release, but it was very pretty.

    • dE says:

      I remember the day it was released. People in Dystopia were bouncing with joy, “let’s meet in Neotokyo” they said “it’s gonna be great”. Next day, everyone was back playing Dystopia. Neotokyo wasn’t mentioned ever since (well probably somewhere but you get the idea).

      To me, while it wasn’t bland, It was just too close to the Counter-Strike Formula and I’d been burned out on that several years prior.

      • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

        Eh, there are still a lot of Dystopia veterans in NT right now. Half a dozen on my friends list last night, and I know I played it back when the mod was populated. NT doesn’t have the depth that Dys does, but it’s a lot prettier, and a lot easier for new players to pick up, which bodes well for its long-term survivability.

        • dE says:

          Of course there are people playing it now, release on Steam and all. But back when it was first released, it was the scenario as I have mentioned above. Keep in mind that Dystopia had many, many years since then and died many small deaths (Release Drama, the big Dramapatch, Cheaters in the League Drama, Puny Humans Foundation Drama etc) and experienced many smaller still rebirths (continued patch support, attempts to keep the league alive, shoutcast events, etc).
          As to your Veterans, I think we may be talking about another generation of Veterans (what a silly expression), because my friendslist of pre-release (pre-version 1) folks doesn’t show a whole lot of Neotokyo. Most of them migrated to Natural Selection 2 some time ago. Some did stick with the Devs and are now doing rounds in Blade Symphony. Neotokyo? Not so much.

  5. DarkLiberator says:

    I remember this game mainly for its amazing soundtrack and being invisible.

  6. kwyjibo says:

    Download the soundtrack, forget about the mod.

    link to edharrison.bandcamp.com

    • slerbal says:

      It is allowed to enjoy both! :)

      The soundtrack is one of my all time favourites and includes many tracks that are not in the Neotokyo mod.

    • caff says:

      Great soundtrack. I remember buying it a few years ago (but never played the game, strangely).

  7. Dale Winton says:

    Had a game of it there the now , seems nice enough. Killed two boys and rescued the ghost

  8. slerbal says:

    Amazing music that I bought when it first came out and the mod itself has some amazing levels and really cool game play. When it first came out I must have played in thousands of games and loved them all, and with the new influx of players it isa perfect time to try it out again. I highly recommend both :)

  9. rei says:

    The soundtrack has never left my memory card since it was released. Wonderful stuff. In fact just a couple days ago I checked to see if he has new stuff out, but no such luck.

    • cardboardtheory says:

      He’s got new stuff on his soundcloud, most notably the LDF OST as well as some experiments. Search up “0edit soundcloud”.

  10. Lacero says:

    I’m glad this is still going. Great game.

  11. grundus says:

    I tried it yesterday and wasn’t all that impressed. I had absolutely no expectations beyond the fact that some other RPSers had downloaded it and made a group, but what I found was neither arcade (which was what I was expected, knowing absolutely nothing going in) nor tactical; people lining corridors and waiting for others to come wandering in, so much dark that I couldn’t see a damn thing I was doing anyway and poor hit detection. I will try it with people I know (who have mics) but my initial impression is that there are better tactical shooters out there. Maybe not free ones, but still.

    As a GITS fan I do enjoy the aesthetics, though.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      It is definitely dark in places. I highly recommend making use of the alternate vision modes that every class gets- they are far more than just gimmicks.

  12. Williz says:

    Disregard Mod, Acquire soundtrack.
    I’ve also had the sound track on any Mp3 player I’ve owned since it came out.
    The mods not bad honestly but it didn’t live up to the hype I would say.

  13. mrwout says:

    Hmm I’m horribly confused, I’m pretty sure I played this as a UT2k4 mod, not a HL2 mod …

    • Fartango says:

      The Neotokyo Ut2k4 mod was released first, then they moved to developing a Source engine version. The Ut2k4 version has it’s own excellent soundtrack also by Ed Harrison. It’s been a long time since I played either version although I seem to recall the Ut2k4 version retaining some of the acrobatics of Unreal (wall jump dodging at least) which seems like a good fit for the Ghost in the Shell inspired gameplay.

  14. Radiant says:

    This looks COMPLETELY up my alley.


    It was 10 years ago.

    *cry wanking in the shower at old age*

  15. flashlight_eyes says:

    Anyone reading this, shut up. Shut the fuck up. You see that link up there to the soundtracks bandcamp? You click on that and you give this soundtrack a listen. This games soundtrack has far outlived the mod for better or for worse, but there is a reason for that. The soundtrack is breathtaking and imaginative, and manages to be one of my top 10 albums period, not just video game soundtracks. Why does a small mod that has no in game music have one of the best video game soundtracks? Noone else has any clue either, just sit back and enjoy being immersed in neotokyo goodness

    • toxic avenger says:

      Wow. I was ready to snark all over your comment, but man that was some awesome post-rock! I rarely enjoy video game soundtracks, let alone listen to them outside of the game, but hey, there’s a first for everything, right?