Have You Played... NeoTokyo?
A stylish cyberpunk FPS
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Given my recent gushing over news that the composer for NeoTokyo [official site] is providing tunes for the new Deus Ex's new mode, I suppose now's a good time to ask: do you know what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks I'm going on about?
NeoTokyo is a Source mod, first released in 2009. It's a multiplayer tactical FPS (leaning and all) with such beautiful cyberpunky, Ghost in the Shell-ish style and the finest dang soundtrack and... it does not live up those. But oh, what if!
NeoTokyo sees The Man and Rebels With A Cause duking it out across a gorgeous city of neon lights, towering buildings, and the occasional warbot factory. It's so so so cyberpunk anime, from the setting to guns and down to Tachikoma-looking bots lurking on rooftops in some places. And that soundtrack...!
Anyway, anyway. Selecting a light, medium, or heavy class, pick an appropriate gun then run off to shoot the other team. I tended to roll with the medium class, plodding around a bit but still able to cloak. Yes, of course some classes can cloak. Yes, of course other classes can still easily spot them, thanks to a rock-paper-scissors-ish arrangement of different vision enhancements across classes (light amplification, thermal vision, and motion detection). Along with your regular team deathmatch mode, it has a one-flag CTF doodad with both teams trying to control a 'ghost' - an android's torso which relays enemy positions to its holder. It's all very cool, and I didn't play it for long.
For all its loveliness, it still another Counter-Strike-ish mod. It's competently CS-ish, sure, but I'm not much of a CS fan and its additions tended to confuse rather than enhance the experience.
I had back luck with players, certainly. Few people communicated well, and very few used microphones (fewer players even had mics back then, to be fair). I suspect it may be a wholly different game on a coordinated, balanced, and communicative team. Warning of cloaked players, calling out technotorso targets, not blundering into friendly fire... I'm sure it could be very different. I'm sorry I never got to see that.
You can download NeoTokyo as a standalone game for free through Steam. A few people seem to be playing still. Maybe I'll give it another go. Maybe you will too?