Playing “Ghost In The Shell” – Infinity The Game
As the movie of Ghost In The Shell recently hit the theaters, it seemed right time to review Infinity in perspective of the cult anime. This article will not only make you enjoy reading the similarities, but also allows you to introduce Infinity to anime enthusiasts with ease.
Enjoy the article & greetings from Turkey
Cibili from Karargah Wargaming Club
Masamune Shirow’s manga and anime series takes place in a cyberpunk version of Earth in the near future. The world of Ghost in the Shell features significant advances in technology, the most significant of which is the cyberbrain, a mechanical casing for the human brain that allows mental interface with the Internet and other networks. Now lets take a glance at several characteristics of the anime and see how the Infinity gameplay bears these features.
1. Thermo Optical Camouflage / Thermo Optic Suit
Just like in Ghost In Shell anime, camouflage plays a significant tool in Infinity in order to conceal model’s position and enables it to move stealthily. Camouflage skills or equipments provide a great advantage for advancing to enemy in minimum damage, accomplishing objective missions in safe or lay unexpected ambushes.
These may vary from simples urban camouflaged uniforms (which cloak troopers’ presence, becoming a harder target to lead) even to advanced Thermo-Optical cloaking devices which bend light around the wearer, making them all but invisible even to heat sensors.
There are several levels of Camouflage and Hiding in the game;
- Low level: Any balistic attacks against the model suffer certain penalties to the relevant attribute as the model itself is still visible in table.
- Medium level: Marker or template is used instead of model itself until it is successfully discovered. Even the model is discovered, it causes certain penalties.
- High level: Neither marker nor model itself is deployed on table. Location of the model is snapshot with camera or written down and not revealed until the owner player wishes so.
2. Cyber Network, Synthetic Forms, Cyberbrains, Brain Hacking
As it can be remembered in several series of Ghost In The Shell, Major, Puppet Master or other various characters could transfer their Ghosts (consciousness) between cybernetic bodies. Besides, the world has become interconnected by a vast electronic network that permeates every aspect of life, where people’s cyberbrains are connected to this network. Meanwhile hackers were able to take over people’s cyberbrains and replace false memories.
Similarly, the cyberspace called Maya is the data network of the whole Human Sphere in Infinity universe. Maya is the greatest source of both knowledge and entertainment. Human society is so much dependent upon technology for their daily lives that people stay connected to Maya continously. Posthumans are entities living in cyberspace who can download themselves into artificial bodies to act on a physical level. Cubes are widespread implants inserted in the cranium, so that they can store their wearer’s memories. When the wearer dies, the cube can be re-implanted into a Lhost, a clone-like biosynthetic body.
In game terms, a Posthuman unit is deployed on table with multiple proxy models. Owner player may use any of them in each order. In a manner of speaking, Posthuman unit moves between artificial bodies. Additionally the models equipped with Cube are easier to heal during the battle and easier to revive after the game.
3. New Generation Tanks
Who can forget the final battle scene between Major Kusanagi and the spider tank in original 1995 anime movie? Anxious to retrieve the Puppet Master’s ghost, Kusanagi engaged the tank without backup and wasnearly killed. Her partner Batou arrived in time to save her, and shot down the tank with missile launcher.
The notable features of modern wars in Infinity universe are speed and offense. The method of the strategic warfare has shifted from border conflicts to regional deployments. The terrifying war machines were keystone of the 21st century, standing for durability and strength, but lack of immobility. The modern superpowers with scattered territories can not afford to deploy costly armored force in every region. Sending heavy and well armored corps to battlegrounds in time is also not an eligible choice. This lead to research of more mobile and light weighted but durable and offensive war machines. That way Tactical Armored Gears known as TAGs were designed.
There are different types or classes of TAGs such as they can be piloted on-board or via remote control. Even they can be in various shapes like humanoid, arachnid or bird-like, they all have all-terrain maneuverability and mobility. TAGs are supported by high technologic hardware and software, which makes them perfect preys for hackers.
4. Wizards of the Cyber Age – Hackers
In the series “super-class-A hackers”, like Major, were able to take over people’s cyberbrains, to the extent that they can alter memories or “steal eyes”, altering the victim’s sensory input. “Ghost hacking” were a criminal technique wherein the victim’s entire memory is replaced with false memories. which used in the series by the “Puppet Master” in the first Ghost in the Shell film. Additionally, hacking security networks, taking control of think-tanks and AIs were occured frequently in prequels.
As stated above, in a world where everyone is connected to Maya network, most of the troops equipped with cubes, all the Tactical Armored Gears and war machines are implemented with advanced technology, the armies are vulnerable to hacking cyber-attacks.
In game-terms, hackers are not able attack enemy TAGs, heavy infantry, war machines, but also can support and defend their TAGs, heavy infantry, war machines against cyber attacks. They can prevent airborne deployment by manipulating the coordinates, reinforce war machines’ abilities, jam enemy equipment, spot hidden enemy presence. Cyber warfare is very common among the hackers. According to their trainings, expertise or equipment, they are divided into various classes.
- > Standardized Hacking (standard version of hacking, multipurpose and versatile),
- > Cyber Attack Hacking (focused on assaulting TAGs, HI infantry, warmachines & hackers),
- > Cyber Defense Hacking (focused on defending TAGS and HI infantry against hacking),
- > Tech Support (enhances the hacking and operative maneuverability of the troops),
- > Anti-Hacking (offensive version specialized perform cyberattacks against other Hackers).
5. Supportive AI & Robotics
We witness AI and robots in Ghost in the Shell anime as both security units and service providers in public life. In Infinity game similar role is played by Remotes (known as REMs) which have various shapes and responsibilities. Some of them are operated by remotes, where others are controlled completely by its AI. In game, their support to other troops is crucial such as; medical, repairs, radar scan, minesweeping, amplifying hacking network, smart guide missile systems, technical support.
6. Black Op Teams Consisted of Various Specialists
Even thought protagonist of the Ghost in the Shell is Major Motoko Kusanagi, in prequels she has a team consisted of 6 members, each specialized in various fields. Recruited from the Rangers Batou is the best melee and firearms fighter, Ex-detective Togusa is the lead investigator, Ishikawa is the information warfare and technology specialist, Tactical sniper Saito who can handle any automatic firearm with deadly accuracy, explosive weapons and bomb disposal specialist Borma, and finally Paz is the “jack-of-all-trades” who has network in Yakuza.
- In infinity, players have to choose their troops and specialist wisely according to the nature of the missions. Some missions may need specific specialists, and some missions require combination and coordinated assistance of several troops. Without the required field specialist, massive firepower will mean only failure in terms of the game in specific missions.
- Some of the missions and the specialist are;
- ⦁ To hack terminals or to data scan enemy information by Hackers,
- ⦁ To sabotage specific buildings and targets by troops with explosives,
- ⦁ To rescue cryo-pods or to apply experimental drugs by Doctors,
- ⦁ To designate antennas or to apply test runs on war machines by Engineers,
- ⦁ To espionage enemy troops or to pinpoint VIPs by Forward Observers,
- ⦁ To salvage prototype equipment from armory by Specialist Operatives.
- ⦁ To dominate objective battle zones by TAGs, etc.
7. Cybernetic Implants
Ghost in the Shell takes place on the cusp of the mid-21st century, where advance technology provides people opportunity to possess partly cybernetic implants or entirely prosthetic bodies like Batou. In this way, some parts can be exchanged or replaced when damaged. This implants also grants superhuman speed, endurance, strength and technology.
Similarly in the universe of Infinity, some troops have been implemented with cybernetic implants or have been a full-body of cyberization. In game-terms, these provide extra bonuses for jumping, climbing, dodging or sometimes news skills such as; extending the range of target or 360 degree vision. Additionally, some models may endure pain and maintain consciousness against fatal wounds till the end of the turn or even the game ends.
8. Major Kusanagi
If everything written here didn’t convince you the similarities between Ghost in the Shell and Infinity the Game, then we know someone who will. Cassandra Kusanagi is insensitive, cold-blooded murderer in order to prevent terrorist cyber-attacks and infiltration of the Aleph (AI) intruders. Does she remind you of someone?
I hope you enjoyed the article, now share with your friends 🙂
Cibili from Karargah Wargaming Club