Tokyo 42 definitely has style, and it has it in spades. It’s an isometric stealth shooter that takes you across the futuristic Tokyo, as you try to clear your name of a murder you did not commit. There are hints of inspiration from the presentation in older GTA games, and the game is littered with modern pop culture references. While all of this definitely gives way to a unique look, the game stumbles when it comes to feeling just right.
You play as an average Joe framed for murder. The opening scenes of the game sets up its cyberpunk future, where the government has eyes inside your very home. After a short escape sequence, you are contacted by an unknown organization offering help in return for your services. In typical video games fashion, those services mean assassination, and you never say no to that. The setup for the game is absolutely fantastic. The world around you is vibrant and colorful, and definitely interesting. The building, rooftops and the environs are squeaky clean as you would expect from a future Tokyo, and the denizens are going about their work.
However, you’re here to track and kill, and the missions provided to you are wacky and filled with references. There’s even a hotel Nakatomi Plaza, that Die Hard fans will recognize. While the isometric presentation is great to showcase the city, the gameplay does not always work in the game’s favor. You can die in one hit, and that mean having to move constantly once enemies are hunting you. However, it’s not always easy to aim and fire, since the target reticle often feels misleading. This isn’t much of a problem while exploring or while in stealth, but since a big part of the game is the combat, there would be many occasions when I would simply be stuck wondering why I am unable to land shots even while seemingly aiming in the right direction.
There’s a fair variety for weapons at your disposal, from pistols to sniper rifles to grenades. And when everything works, it feels fantastic. It’s a shame that many times it does not work. This get even more tiresome towards the end when even more enemies are on you, along with bosses. Maybe it’s the camera perspective, but I never felt like I was reliably landing shots.
Despite the issues, Toky 42 is a unique game with a stunning aesthetic, and I really do want to like the game way more than I did. I am not sure of the issues with the game are something the developers can fix with a patch, but I really do hope to see more from them. The setting, the plot, the style is undeniable good. Too bad that the gameplay does not hold up as well.