The Best Part Of The Ghost In The Shell Shooter So Far Is The Tutorial

The Best Part Of The Ghost In The Shell Shooter So Far Is The Tutorial

The technically free-to-play online multiplayer-only Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex shooter that Luke Plunkett was so bummed about went live on Steam Early Access yesterday. So far learning to play is much more entertaining than actually playing.

I say technically free-to-play because in order to play the early access version of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault on has to spend at least $US4.99 ($7) on an early access pack. That should cheer folks bummed about this being a free-to-play title right up. Do not worry, you actually have to pay money! Phew, dodged that bullet.

It’s an odd choice of genre for such a character-driven show. Third-person shooter would have worked just fine. Maybe a platformer with shooting elements. An online multiplayer-only shooter? Hrm.

Jung Eik Choi of developer Neople explains the decision thusly:

With such a wealth of great content covered in Stand Alone Complex, picking a genre was no easy feat. However, while watching the series we were particularly excited by Episode 24 of Season One, in which the wrongfully accused team at Section 9 are tested to their limits, forced to take on an opposing Special Ops team in order to clear their names. This episode really made us imagine what it would be like to fight together as a perfectly synchronised team like Section 9, which helped us decide to bring that fantasy to life in a tactical team-based shooter.

The Best Part Of The Ghost In The Shell Shooter So Far Is The Tutorial

And so players get to unlock and play as their favourite Ghost in the Shell: SAC characters, including Kusanagi and those other ones. Each character has a special power they can charge up in a fight, like invisibility or ARM MISSILES. That was in all-caps on purpose, because ARM MISSILES. Not only do they get these skills, but other players on their team in close proximity can sync up and use the skills for themselves, which should a savvy team should be able to use to great advantage.

But enough about boring old shooting. Let’s play the tutorial, presented here without voiceover.

It’s a lot of fun, even though I managed to screw up the last bit. Crouching, jumping, shooting, hacking — it’s all very nice. I left the tutorial with visions of exciting first-person shooting possibilities dancing in my head.

The actual shooting people, while definitely Ghost in the Shell-flavored, doesn’t quite live up to that promising opening. Mouse aiming feels restricted, the hit registration feels off — though obviously the red team in the video below seems to have gotten the hang of it — and despite the character voices and player models the whole affair feels like the series without the passion. That is, generic cyberpunk.

The Best Part Of The Ghost In The Shell Shooter So Far Is The Tutorial

And then there’s the whole free-to-play microtransaction thing, which will put some people off simply by existing. There are weapons and mods for sale that would definitely give a player an advantage, and while most of the non-cosmetic items can be earned eventually, putting money down will certainly give players of the spending-variety an early advantage.

The Best Part Of The Ghost In The Shell Shooter So Far Is The Tutorial

It’s still Early Access, of course, and players are providing feedback to the developers left and right. If Neople listens there’s a chance that the gameplay will rise up to meet the promise.

And if not, we’ll always have that stellar tutorial.


  • Anyone remember that game Oni? What I’d give to have another Oni instead of yet another multiplayer shooter.

    • Was that the one you went around in the Tachikoma(I think thats what the blue spider tanks were called)? If so that was the last time I enjoyed GiTS and damn it was an enjoyable time.

      • Naw, Oni was a 3rd person brawler/shooter where you killed loads of dudes and dodged lasers as a purple-haired anime lady.

      • Nah not sure what game you’re thinking off. Sounds like an actual GiTS game whereas Oni was just heavily inspired by GiTS.

        • There was a PS1 Ghost in the Shell game where you were a Tachikoma. Funnily enough though, there was a PS2 game, GiTS: Stand Alone Complex which was like what you want.

          • Yeah, that was surprisingly good! I had a heap-o trouble working out Major Kusanagi’s jumping puzzles, though!

    • I remember Oni. I really regret selling my PC copy (remember where there was a second hand market for PC games?) I still have it on PS2, but the framerate’s nasty.

      Lovely, unique, underrated game. My favorite Bungie game. Still hoping for a GoG release.

      • I second a GOG rerelease at some point – it was fluid, the story kicked arse and there was an emphasis on conserving ammo rather than going in all guns blazing. One thing that would need to be addressed would be the game’s inability to run in Vista/Win 7 up due to DirectX issues…

    • Yeah, I remember Oni. I really enjoyed it. It was way more fun than I was expecting, the melee system was quite fun too. Was kinda like Tekken.

      It’s typical these days though sadly. For eg I love MechCommander 2, MissionForce: Cyberstorm style games.. but the only modern mech games are like Hawken, TitanFall, Mechwarrior Online. I’m hopefull for the new Battletech game though.

      Then I see a new GiTS game and yay.. oh, fps with no storyline, no single player, no co-op.. typical!

  • Bought it, its fun, with local server, but one thing I noticed as soon as I created an account my inbox was suddenly flooded with all this spam out of no where … and it all started from roughly the time I registered my email

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