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Action/Third-person 3D Action
TEEN, Animated Violence
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Based on the cyberpunk manga and anime by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell places you in the lithe cyborg body of Major Motoko Kusanagi, piloting a Fuchikoma assault vehicle as a member of the public security bureau Section 9. A covert assault organization under the government's wing, Section 9 is designed to eliminate crime and its causes, so when a group of terrorists launch an attack killing nearly a hundred people in the process, you're out with your teammates in full force.
This terrorist group dubbing themselves the Human Liberation Movement is bent on the destruction of cyborgs and since you're one of them, you don't take this conflict lightly. After hearing of this group claiming responsibility for the bombing of the cyborg body developer Mega-Tech Body Corps, you strap into your Fuchikoma and head out into the first of twelve top-secret missions.
In this, as well as every other mission, you'll be given an assignment to complete ranging from destroying a pack of tarantula-like Arakone mechs possessing the access codes you require, then entering a warehouse and turning an Espadon mech fifteen times your size into scrap metal, to simply shutting down a series of power reactors the old fashioned way: blowing them up.
The 3D polygonal mission environments range from sprawling, expansive outdoor areas through wharfs, cities and speedways, to claustrophobic ventilation system air ducts and a murky, mine-laden sewer mission aptly codenamed Black Water. Black Water and many other missions ranging from The Encounter in the Darkness, to an Invisible Shadow pit you against large, mechanoid foes, with powerful weaponry and an insectoid theme — as does every mech in the title; character designs came from Masamune Shirow directly, who chose to utilize insects as the base design for each mech.
Aside from these ground-based levels, some missions also require you to speed along the sea on a hydrofoil in pursuit of foes, while another has you chasing after Human Liberation Front members on a speedway, in an attempt to destroy them before they reach the city, both missions placing you under a time limit.
If all the foes encountered in these missions sound like a lot to go up against — they are. However, your own Fuchikoma isn't exactly just a modified station wagon, this baby's capable of all-terrain movement allowing it to cling to walls, climb up structures and jump at great heights, while also being able to strafe left or right and dash forward at high speeds.
In terms of offensive capabilities, your Fuchikoma's also no lightweight; dual Balkan Semi-Automatic Rifles allow you to spray your foes with a hail of bullets, T1 Lock-On Missiles allow you to send your foes out in a fiery blaze at an angle or around corners, while a B-Type Heavy Grenade Launcher can carry up to three very nasty grenades that send out a shockwave of explosive energy, wiping out lesser foes instantly.
And all of this is packed into HVS-resistant armor, allowing it to take a lickin' and keep on tickin', which you can view from a third- or first-person perspective, depending on your preference, while a handy radar allows you to see all of the targets and enemies in a certain mission and their proximity to your Fuchikoma. In addition, Power Packs may be found in levels to replenish your shield's energy, as may extra grenades if you find your supply running low.
Should you find yourself being blown up on a regular basis or repeatedly dashing your Fuchikoma off a ledge, a timed training mode with six areas to complete containing enemies and targets you must destroy is included, allowing you to hone your skills, then view an animated sequence based on your performance.
Including the training mission's animated clips, Ghost in the Shell features nearly ten minutes of new animation from the creators of the Japanese anime, including a lengthy intro sequence and between-level cut-scenes. Luckily, every sequence in the game may be viewed through the options menu as they're unlocked, so you don't need to keep getting a near perfect score in the training sequence to watch a ten second clip of Kusanagi sporting a tiny pair of shorts.
Each mission, in addition to the introduction sequence, is backed by an ambient, progressive techno beat made to fit the atmosphere of each. Control configurations allow you to customize the controls to your liking in one of four setups, while saving your progress requires one to three blocks of memory card space. ~ Geoffrey Douglas Smith, All Game Guide