After gaining access to the Closed Beta for this game, and playing roughly for an hour and a half I thought I should give my early impressions of the game.
First of all, let me get this out of the way, this is made by Nexon games, a company that develops games in the free-to-play model, so there are bound to be a fair amount of items in the in-game shop. I do not know what is in the shop currently (or if there is one in the closed beta, I shall check on that the next time I play) That being said I cannot comment whether the shop is pay to win, or if it is purely cosmetic.
While I have played and enjoyed my fair share of free-to-play games (Warframe to name an example) I have found myself hard pressed to find a majority of them playable in the long-term. Whether that is due to the pay-to-win mentality, lack of content on a consistent basis, or lackluster community, most games with this business model fail to impress me more often than not. But this game might, just possibly, be the second game on an already short list of free-to-play games I play occasionally.
Of course it can be said that they tugged at my fanboy strings using this particular IP. It is of course a valid argument, one way or the other, and while at first it appears as nothing other than a shallow one dimensional cash grab to get those GITS fans to try their game (which worked, at least for now in my case) there seems to be something (hopefully) much more substantial in the game itself.
Getting to the brass tacks of the topic, there are quite a few things that even at this stage are impressing me. Most prominent and appreciated, is the attention to detail that is given to this franchise. This appears (at least on the surface so far) to be a respectful representation of the world that encompasses Ghost in the Shell. This includes the character appearances of Section 9; containing Aramaki, Motoko, Batou, Togusa, and the rest of their team, along with all of their voice actors from the English dub. (at least Aramaki, Motoko, and Batou from what I can remember, and the characters I have heard so far) This attention to detail seems to have bled into the rest of the game, with the weapons, environments, ambient sounds, and music. While I am not sure in the exact composer of the music, if it is not Yoko Kanno it is impressively similar in tone and sound.
Of course this game can not be judged too harshly at this point in time due to it being a closed beta, and a server test to boot, I can say that it is not perfect. (though what game really is 'perfect'?) Most of the issues might not be true issues due to the fact that the mouse I currently have is not meant in the least for playing any FPS. And the other issues that are not of my doing can and most likely are on their way to being remedied, such as server stutter, and occasionally wonky hit detection when shooting at an enemy.
With that I will say, I am tentatively anticipating the full release of this game, I will play this beta until it ends on the 4th, and will give a second opinion on the state of the game if anything drastically changes. Though honestly as long as this game does not give this IP a bad reputation, I will consider it a good addition to the series, and hopefully with the people behind the series working along with Nexon to make this game, we should (hopefully) have less to worry about when it comes to a full release.