The trailer for (deep breath) Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: First Connection Online gave me that Syndicate feeling. Not the same Syndicate feeling that Satellite Reign gives me, alas, but rather the troubling memories of the 2012 FPS-capade. All of the details seem to match. A beloved cyberpunk entity translated into a first-person team-based shooter, in which various classes of modified humans use their tech to murderise one another while gathering points to upgrade the rocket launchers implanted in their knuckles. That said, if you can accept the fact that everyone is shooting everyone else all of the time rather than starring in a post-human Alpha Protocol, it doesn’t look entirely terrible.
Once the Inception flatulence and cyber-cleavage is out of the way, the video settles into a fairly predictable rhythm. Here’s a Support ability, here’s a headshot, here’s what looks very much like a bit of PvE. As many comments have already pointed out elsewhere, it looks quite a bit like Blacklight with the addition of the license that the earlier free-to-play effort craved.
There are some neat touches, particularly the use of the Laughing Man logo as a censor bar, but nothing about the video suggests GitS: SAC: FCO will stand out from the free-to-play shooter crowd. Except for the license, of course. And it’s not as if this Ghost in the Shell game precludes the creation of an RPG further down the line – it is what it is and maybe if I’m going to spend my time shooting at strangers online, there’s something to be said for doing so in the company of familiar trappings.
Try telling me that when the Deus Ex multiplayer FPS spin-off comes out in 2019 though.
There’s no guarantee that this particular ghost will make its way to the West. Development duties are in the hands of Neople, a subsidiary of South Korean company Nexon. A press release had previously stated that the game would be released worldwide this year but things have been quiet since then. Nothing has been confirmed either way since the release of the trailer – which is the game’s first proper public appearance – but the license may be well known enough to make the trip across the digital oceans worthwhile.