Tokyo 42

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Tokyo 42 Game Poster Image
Visually striking violent action stuck with poor controls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No positive messages. As you become more proficient at assassinating people, you get bigger rewards.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models.

Ease of Play

Targeting controls are awkward, character controls can sometimes lead to accidental deaths, restarts.

Violence

Blood shown as assassination targets are taken out in variety of ways: pistol, katana, grenade, sniper rifle, etc. Violence is low-key, no gore. 

Sex

Suggestive themes, such as a gang of nudists (aptly named the Skins).

Language

Light occasional innuendo, sophomoric humor.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters seen smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tokyo 42 is a downloadable action game. Gameplay is about murdering people with no rhyme or reason given for the selection of targets. While there's a focus on stealth for approaching targets, once that cover is blown, the game quickly turns into a run-and-gun battle through the streets and rooftops of the city. That said, while blood is shown, there's no gore, and the visual style of the game limits the impact of the violence. There are suggestive themes, like a gang of nudists called the Skins, and characters may be seen smoking, but the pixelated imagery diminishes the impact.

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What's it about?

TOKYO 42 is driven by a suspicious storyline: there's been a murder, and you're the prime suspect. An acquaintance of dubious origins suggests that the best way to find out who really committed the murder is to become a top-level assassin to get close enough to crime syndicates to reveal who the real killer is before the police capture you. Along the way, you'll be given targets to take out in a variety of ways. If your cover is blown, the police will swarm you, and occasionally, another hit man will be given a contract with your name on it. The game features an open-world single-player mode and a single multiplayer mode (other modes are planned). 

Is it any good?

While the world of this action game is imaginative and eye-catching, the controls can be frustrating. Tokyo 42 hits the ground running and rarely slows down -- except when a respawn is necessary due to missing a jump, being discovered by police, or being taken out by another assassin. Of course, you can simply sit and watch the world go by, but there's no fun in that. It's precisely the quick pacing of the game that creates its allure, with action that seems to flow and chase the central character through the environments of high-rise buildings begging for a little parkour action. The camera swivels to give a better view of the city and to help players avoid trying to run diagonally, but this can lead to disaster on stairwells. But where the game really falls downs is the occasional blurring of the screen. There really doesn't seem to be a reason why the screen suddenly goes blurry, but it just does, even on the highest PC video settings. And the targeting system creates a set of problems that can be downright frustrating. Enemies can come at you from all angles, and the game's controls feel clumsy when you're trying to adjust and shoot to save your proverbial bacon. Finding yourself in a bind where you can be dead in seconds before getting your bearings in a level is a no-fun situation. 

The world is imaginative with just the right touches of anime (for instance, there are giant cat heads with no discernable purpose other than to create a visual treat). Of course, the randomness of the open world creates intrigue that keeps players on their toes. Make no mistake, you'll have to pre-plan your moves, and flying by the seat of your pants is a quick way to trigger the nearest respawn point. That makes saving your progress early and often worth it to decrease your frustration. Overall, if you can deal with the control issues, you may have an entertaining experience -- just expect that the adventure will be a bit rough around the edges.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in this game acceptable because it's clearly unrealistic, or are the actions in the game a bit too far?

  • Discuss the future. What do you think the world will look like in 10, 20, or 30 years? Since this game takes place in the future, do you think things will be better or worse?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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