Ghostrunner from developers One More Level, 3D Realms and Slipgate Ironworks and publisher All in! Games and 505 Games is an incredible game. If you are a fan of fast paced, action driven games that reward you for absolute precision, Ghostrunner will scratch that itch in no time.
Players will take on the role of “Ghostrunner”. Or rather, a Ghostrunner. Yes, there are multiple but the one you play as is different. After being brutally defeated and thrown from the top of Dharma Tower, your Ghostrunner is repaired by a bunch of rebels and re-activated. This is where the story takes a turn for the really interesting.
Playing as the newly repaired Ghostrunner, you’ll be brought up to speed as to what’s going on in the game world by an artificial intelligence. After the first few levels, you’ll free the artificial intelligence from a digital prison of sorts and things escalate and turn Ghostrunner into an absolutely amazing video game.
Gameplay in Ghostrunner starts off fairly simple. You’ll be able to run, jump and slice. As you progress through the game’s world and levels, you’ll slowly unlock new abilities which can truly make you unstoppable. This level of progression is incredibly rewarding when coupled with the game’s actual gameplay.
In the first few areas of the game, players will simply just be running, jumping, sliding and dodging enemies who can’t really aim well. Slowly but surely, the difficulty ramps up. Soon enough you’ll be fighting a new type of enemy who has a rapid fire weapon. Later on, enemies will be shielded by floating shield generators. The difficulty curve increases as you get further into the game but it does so at a gradual pace.
Getting through the levels in Ghostrunner is no easy feat. You will die. Repeatedly. Over and over and over. If you dislike games that require skill to progress, you may dislike Ghostrunner. However, if you push on, learn from your mistakes and eventually do get through a stage, the sense of victory is so rewarding. It feels great to get past a particular tough section of a level. This is what keeps you coming back for more. Speedrunners will definitely enjoy this title since at the end of a level, you’ll have your time recorded and there are leaderboards. This also adds to the game’s longevity and replayablity.
The checkpoint system implemented in the game works great too. As soon as you die, you will instantly respawn back at a checkpoint a set distance away from where you died. There’s no loading screens, just an instant respawn. Given the fact that you will fall to your death or be shot quite often, the instant respawn is great. In Ghostrunner, one hit kills you and your enemies. Dodging is absolutely essential. Thankfully, you’ll have the ability to slow down time with your enhanced reflexes as a Ghostrunner and can dodge projectiles using this skill.
Later on in the game, you’ll unlock a circuit board upgrade system. By slotting in upgrade blocks, you can upgrade yourself with some perks which are indispensable to victory in the game. Perks such as being able to dash twice or highlight enemies for more visibility are among the list and these are quite useful in levels. The gameplay itself in Ghostrunner is split up into short bursts. Levels are just the right length and there’s plenty of levels on offer in the game. If you aren’t that skilled at platforming or jumping, it might take some getting used to the intense speed of the game but after some time getting to grips with the game, you’ll be running around, jumping and defeating enemies like a stylish katana wielding beast in no time flat.
Ghostrunner is graphically breathtaking. The developers have mastered level design and artistic design with everything in the game from Dharma Tower’s floors, walls and platforms being ridiculously good looking. There’s also specific segments of the game that venture into spoiler territory if mentioned, that is flat out gorgeous. The effects and everything about Ghostrunner oozes a certain style with great substance to back it up. This game has nailed its aesthetic. Oh and you can also customize your blade with sword skins that are found within levels. It’s great!
The soundtrack used in Ghostrunner is also amazing with plenty of synth tracks worthy of a futuristic slasher platformer. The voice acting is also on par with your Ghostrunner and the artificial intelligence he interacts with being voiced really well. Character voice acting is therefore believable and authentic.
Overall, Ghostrunner is easily one of 2020’s best platforming action games. If you’ve played titles with wall running, platforming, and one-shot-one-kill mechanics (SUPERHOT), you’ll most likely love Ghostrunner. This is a definite must-buy title and comes highly recommended from us.
Ghostrunner, the first-person cyberpunk parkour action game from publishers 505 Games and All in! Games and developers One More Level, 3D Realms, and Slipgate Ironworks launches today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam, the Epic Games Store, and GOG. The Nintendo Switch version launches November 2020.
This review is based on the PC version of the game which can be purchased here for £24.99, currently, there is a limited-time launch discount bringing the game down to £19.99.
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