Price: Free to Play
What is it?
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex First Assault Online (henceforth referred to as First Assault, because who has time to type all that out) is an online FPS similar to counterstrike if it were given a leveling/weapon progression system similar to PlanetSide or Call of Duty.
Does it work?
Yes. And surprisingly well. The servers seemed stable, the hit detection never seemed bogus or faulty, and I had no issues with glitches or bugs. Different characters have different abilities, and none seemed overpowered, and I didn’t encounter any game breaking guns or grenade bounce glitches.
Could I play it for an hour?
Yes. I currently have 109 minutes clocked according to Steam, but a decent portion of that was spent browsing the armory, looking at different weapons and upgrades.
I really, really like tricking out my guns.
Am I happy I have it now that I’ve played it?
Yes. I am actually considering trying to keep playing it into the future, despite the number of games I’m trying to keep up with as is.
First of all, let me say this, I walked into the game with very low expectations. Despite its revered status, Stand Alone Complex is an old anime, running from 2002 to 2005. Bringing it back as a free to play FPS seemed to me, on the surface, to be a cheap marketing ploy for the upcoming movie. I was floored by just how much it rose above my expectations. While not a triple A title, this game is solid, exciting, responsive, and genuinely respectful of the source material.
Each class/character is based on a character from the original show with a signature move roughly based around their character’s abilities. Only one of them is available at the start, so you get the double draw of either working to unlock a favorite character or working to unlock a signature ability that you want to try.. Every character is introduced by a montage from the show showcasing their badassery. Every time you level up, you receive in game currency used to unlock weapon attachments, and slowly unlock new weapons and other gear over numerous levels.
The game allows you to enter a private shooting range where you can try out new weapons and various attachments to find what you want to save for. I found this preferable to the shared, open air shooting range from Planetside, in a private space you know how much damage is coming from your weapons, as opposed to the poor aim of your neighbor. Outside the shooting range, I played on at least five different maps, each of which was intriguing enough to warrant repetition, but simple enough to grasp quickly.
He’s gonna peak any second, I know it…
While in some ways simplistic, First Assault is just plain fun. If anyone is in need of a different shooter from the usual, First Assault is well worth a shot.