Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, FPS
Developer: Neople
Publisher: Nexon
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online – Preview

Good: Ghost in the Shell, Hardly any signs it's still an Early Access title
Bad: More 'story' content would be nice
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

In 1989 Ghost in the Shell saw the light, at least in the form of a manga, and while it wasn’t heavily introduced in the western world just yet, it was gaining popularity by the day. When in 1995 the first anime feature film was released, it also reached every nook and cranny of the world, gaining a cult status, just like other popular anime movies at that time, for example Akira. While it took almost nine years before a new movie was released, the entire Ghost in the Shell franchise was very much alive, especially with even more sequels in the making, as well as several games that were released over the years, mainly on Sony’s consoles. Today we have the chance to present you with the first ever PC game that revolves around Ghost in the Shell, albeit around the ‘Stand Alone Complex’ series that spawned from the original title.

Ghost in the Shell Stand Along Complex First Assault Online

While one would expect some story related content that revolves around the Ghost in the Shell universe, there isn’t much to see except for the overall sterile representation of the operatives and their unique abilities that lean towards the original characters. That being said, the tutorial missions tell you a bit more about the game, as well as a few small anime mini-clips in the waiting rooms, which add a bit of the GITS feeling, that is otherwise missing from this game.

The game itself has very sterile looking graphics, which indicate a futuristic look that is great considering the source material. You’ll find yourself in-between rather tight looking buildings, surrounded by operatives that are based on actual characters from the anime, and are voiced by the original cast as well. The latter proves to be a great asset for the game, especially when it comes to dragging you deeper into a universe based on an immensely popular anime, with still more movies in the pipelines.

Even though the Ghost in the Shell movies are all about impressive gun battles, nifty hand to hand combat scenes and an otherwise elaborate plot, First Assault Online is a rather generic shooter at its base, but it adds a lot of quirks in order to make the game rather original. Nonetheless, shooting is pretty much all you’ll do, but you’ll be able to choose from different operatives, as well as skills and weapons, which will all have to be unlocked in due time.

Ghost in the Shell Stand Along Complex First Assault Online 1

At the moment the game has three modes, but seeing Terminal Conquest and Demolition are pretty much deserted, Team Deathmatch is the way to go. Nonetheless, all modes prove to be pretty straightforward and you’ll simply have to shoot your opponents, with or without extra objectives. The controls themselves also prove to be rather simple, as you’ll only have the typical controls, and an extra skill button and that’s pretty much it. While the number of maps currently available might not be that many, there is still enough action to be found.

The operatives themselves also prove to be nearly identical, except for their unique skill, which varies between placing a turret, camouflage, a healing gel and so on. That being said, it seems that certain skills have a bigger advantage than others, as things like the turret one of the operatives can place is extremely useless, as it almost never triggers or fires at your opponents. It hardly ever detects your foes and dies in a matter of hits, rendering it the most useless aid in the game. Things like camo and the healing gel prove to be more effective, especially in the heat of battle or when trying to escape.

You’ll notice immediately that unlocking items will prove to be rather difficult, as money doesn’t fall from the trees. Nonetheless, this creates a certain goal, as you’ll have to play plenty of matches in order to start unlocking the gear that suits you the most. That being said, the game also has a system where you can use actual money to purchase items, but as it stands now, it’s mostly cosmetic upgrades and truth be told, we hope it remains this way even when the game is fully completed.

Ghost in the Shell Stand Along Complex First Assault Online 2

First Assault Online rewards its players by playing matches and logging in on a daily basis, as you’ll get temporary rewards you can equip on your operatives or use in the store, in order to unlock new gear. These rewards also make it quite fun to keep playing and collecting them, making sure you can equip several of these on days you’ll have longer gaming session, granting you the most use of your extras.


As the game stands now, it hardly feels as if Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online is an early access title as it feels like a game that is well beyond its beta status. This shooter has all the capacities of becoming a big thing in the competitive world, as it has plenty of content, customization options and a certain sense of realism, even with the unrealistic anime coating. If you’re looking to step up your game and find yourself a new shooter, this one might amaze you, even in its current, non-finished state.

Ghost in the Shell Stand Along Complex First Assault Online 3

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Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online - Preview, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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