Tokyo 42 trailer shows different combat approaches

Occasionally I see some concept art for a game’s urban environment and get excited by its dramatic architecture and vibrant colours. Inevitably I see an actual screenshot for the game shortly thereafter and am immediately disappointed by the failure to translate that concept art into the actual game. I have no idea whether Tokyo 42 [official site] ever had concept art, but if it did I wonder if it was drab and plain and boring. Maybe that would explain why the game’s implementation of a city has ended up so vibrant and creatively designed.

There’s a new trailer for the isometric shooter below which walks and talks through the different ways you can approach the game’s combat.

The trailer shows two primary modes of approach: stealth and all-out attack. In the former you can sneak a bit, use melee attacks to quietly dispatch foes, and change your appearance in order to lose any heat you attract by accident. In the latter you can use your arsenal of machineguns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles and grenades to simply blow apart your enemies, causing the milling population of harmless NPCs to flee. You can mix and match approaches and in either case you’ll have to think about positioning and sight lines if you’re going to survive for long.

It looks… OK. As interesting as the art style is, I’ve yet to see anything as imaginative or satisfying in terms of what you can do. The perspective puts you at such a large remove from the action that the weaponry seems to lack impact, and while the same perspective gives you a view of a large area and a lot of crowds, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of ways to manipulate the environment or those crowds towards interesting outcomes. Compare and contrast with Heat Signature, which is similarly about the murder of tiny men but gives you options such as teleportation, slow motion, destructible ships and smashable windows that suck everything into the vacuum of space.

Tokyo 42 is due for release this year, is being developed by SMAC Games and published by Frozen Synapse developer Mode 7, and may yet prove to be more interesting or satisfying than it appears. These are just my feelings based on the trailers I’ve seen. And either way: look at that art!


  1. TheMightyEthan says:

    It’s so pretty, I can’t not want it.

  2. godunow says:

    Am I the only one this gameplay gave motion sickness?

    • emotionengine says:

      It’s awfully pretty and the concept looks promising. I hope there is an option to turn off that weird DOF effect or whatever it is that blurs the edges of the screen periodically. I found that rather distracting.

      EDIT: Wasn’t meant to be a reply to godunow specifically, but oh well.

    • slerbal says:

      I got a hint of nausea too. Hopefully when you are in control it is better. Pretty game though, and cos it is Mode7 I’ll definitely consider it :)

  3. Napalm Sushi says:

    You’re not alone with those feelings. That setting should enable all kinds of nauseatingly cheesy lateral tactics and it’s really disappointing how safe they seem to be playing it (especially compared to Heat Signature, which I was unaware of 10 minutes ago, so thanks for that).

  4. Chitzkoi says:

    The official website says it’ll have “open-world single player and competitive multiplayer”… it’ll be interesting to see how they execute that.

  5. Diziet Sma says:

    Definitely looks interesting, though is it just me or are those guards exceptionally sleepy? I think they should lower their diazepam dose.

  6. Mr.Snowy says:

    I was really keen on this but now am less sure. I think it is the slo-mo bullets that are putting me off. Miniguns should not be about firing sluggish jellyfish about the screen!

    I also dislike the instant prescience of every enemy on the map, it gives me shuddering flashbacks to the execrable Far Cry 2.

    Ah well, will continue to follow it, but am a little disappointed at how it stands.

  7. Bombuzal says:

    Excited for this game – actually reminds me of Ant Attack on the Spectrum.