This summer, I’ve been too busy chipping away at my backlog to notice any quakes in the game-sphere, slowly overcoming months of pent-up anxiety and habitual overeating. Who has time to notice every release? Not this guy. There’re bigger fish to fry, like finally deciding which companion in Dragon Age: Origins I should molest with a barrage of sex-gifts — something I’ve been meaning to tackle since 2009.
It’s strange, then, that the reemergence of a 10 year old game’s mod can slither its way onto my radar. NEOTOKYO, a multiplayer FPS that never really found its footing, is possibly the best Half Life 2 mod featuring the Japanese military. And it’s now a standalone title available on Steam for less than the price of taking a deep breath, scoping a stranger, and shooting them in the face. Which is, quite enjoyably, free.
Originally released in 2009, NEOTOKYO has more in common with Counter Strike than Half Life 2, requiring a much slower, more strategic approach to combat. According to commenters on Steam, the game “rewards positioning, teamwork and timing,” and has “an atmosphere that is clearly inspired by Ghost in the Shell.”
Short of exploring the backseat of a Chevy Vega with a questionable friend-for-hire, there’s no better way to boost your self-esteem than to senselessly murder some friends. And with gorgeous visuals, cerebral gameplay and the most affordable price point possible, there’s no reason not to give it a shot. Get it, shot? You know, because it’s a shooter.