As a huge fan of the movies/series and of the FPS genre, I’ve been waiting for Ghost in the Shell: First Assault – Standalone Complex to come out ever since I heard it was being made, so when I saw the free weekend, I took the opportunity to play a few rounds of Team Deathmatch.

These were literally my first four matches. I’m playing with Kusanagi Motoko (of course), mostly with the default assault rifle and SMG. There is a brief moment where I pick up the sniper rifle, but quickly abandon it for my run-and-gun comfort zone. There are four maps in the video, which I think are PSS9, Urban City, Downtown Dejima, and Dubbing Site. I’m really not certain but will update this post when I am.

So far, even this early into the game, the gunplay feels smooth, the combat is very satisfying, and the maps are intuitive and well-designed. Skills feel interesting and worthwhile; the first time that I see an enemy hiding behind one of those nifty invisible barriers, at least half of my hesitation is all wow factor (and I promptly die). The “pop” sound that enemies make on the killing blow, a careful mixture of squishy and cyborg parts blowing apart, is positively delightful. Playing the English version of the game, the voice-acting is the same as from the films and series, and there is even footage from what I assume is Standalone Complex in some of the game menus. Nice!

I’m definitely sold already, and will be buying into the Early Access while it’s 50% off (sale ends May 3). The game will be free to play when it releases, so hopefully (crossing my fingers here) Nexon will handle in-game purchases with care. Based on their treatment of store mechanics in Dirty Bomb, the game shouldn’t be P2W, but what you actually wind up buying may be a little underwhelming.