Indie developer, Electronic Visual Elements, has released a demo of their shooter, “Mob Ties Tokyo” which casts the player as a hitman helping his boss, Takuma Ishikawa, go legit. Unfortunately, it seems that the dirty underside of Tokyo isn’t quite ready to let him go and have gone to great lengths to remind him of his obligations…i.e. moving in on his territory and using them to continue plying their trade despite his decision to leave it all behind. The only solution? To wipe them out.
E.V.E. and its first game are actually the product of Chance Miller and Jillian Fontaine, two Hollywood alums that have turned their experience into creating a game as their next big thing. It a wholly owned IP and is being sold as a downloadable game via the web in two flavors: a rated “T” version at $14.95 with the usual blood and gore, and a rated “M” version at $19.95 that is supposed to show a little skin along with the blood and gore via Paypal.
I’m all for independent development and watching what comes out from their secret workshops is always exciting…but not everything independent is necessarily great. The game hearkens back to the nineties…the very early nineties…with its gameplay and the visual aesthetic which graphic obsessed players in today’s market have left behind almost twenty years ago. As an FPS, it’s under additional pressure to distinguish itself from the vast number of those already out there, past and present, commercial or freeware. The voice acting doesn’t sound awful, the concept is neat, I’m not a graphics whore (Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection has a home on my 360 and my classic consoles are still hooked up to my flat TV), but everything else such as the gameplay have serious issues that should have been addressed…not the least of which is the AI which can often be found doing nothing, or the the fact that enemies can be punched with brass knuckles and continue to get up as if they were made of titanium.
It certainly earns points for the hard work that the two have put into it as well as getting the word out, but it also doesn’t seem as if they had done their homework on what is going on in gaming today especially from the modding community with its budding crop of future talent, or have seen what has been coming out from events such as the Independent Games Festival. Then there are the re-released, DRM free classics at bargain basement prices available at Good Old Games which will also entice players looking to get into older titles that they may have missed out on. Mob Ties isn’t exactly priced at a bargain considering what a quick price check on Steam or Gametap can get you at the same rate.
I understand that one of the reasons that E.V.E. went in this direction was to get their concept out into the wild, but perhaps they should have started with something a little less ambitious. Perhaps release a free mod that does the same thing, but based off off Source or UE3? Modders have gotten their foot in the door by doing this, or at the very least, have opened the door to a much larger audience with their choice of engine/toolset.
You can download the demo for yourself and check it out, or take a look at some of the screens below.
As for me, I’ll have to give this one a pass.