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Ghostrunner – Review

Time for you to break out the neon lights and strap in for a fast-paced, intense ride that will test your steel and cunning with the release of ‘Ghostrunner’. Developed by One More Level working with 3D Realms and Slipgate Ironworks, along with publishers 505 Games and All in! Games, Ghostrunner helps quell our thirst for some rich cyberpunk action.

This FPS hack and slash, action game set in a dystopian cyberpunk future, requires you to traverse this world by running, slashing, and swinging across this maze of a city to exact revenge and topple the dictatorship of ‘The Keymaster’. All the while with the help from a ragtag team of allies. Adam, a form of A.I. that resides in your head, helps guide the experience and wanting revenge for his death and a member of the resistance named Zoe Avila, you team up to bring down this cycle of oppression. While it seems like an impressive tale, it definitely takes a back seat to the actual gameplay.

If you have ever played the game Mirror’s Edge, this is right up your alley, with its flowing movements, challenging gameplay, and unforgiving level design. You can’t help but try again and again to get to the next checkpoint, as this game does not hold back in the challenging department with that risk vs reward type gameplay and the one-hit-kill aspect, especially in the early stages. Redoing an area from the start is very common, but the autosaves come close together so having to restart back won’t be an issue.

The game does also offer many ways to help you on your journey, such as a bullet time mechanic. This is an essential mechanic to the gameplay, and without it, the game would have been lacking and more frustrating at times, especially with the one-hit kill to your character. Abilities can be unlocked, such as the Blink ability that allows you to strike multiple opponents quickly and even strike past enemy attacks, if done right.

Also, other than abilities, the game has an upgrade system that reminds me of Tetris, so a minigame within a game, of sorts. But it allows you to customize your preference for how you play so if you want to have the ability to deflect projectiles with your sword or focus more on your abilities such as blink you can upgrade its range or area effect.

Going into the world of Ghostrunner, the game’s environments are separated between stages. Some are taking place in the real world and others, taking place in Cyberspace, solving puzzles, and navigating the landscape much like you would in real-world environments. Those stages in the cyber realm are a nice pace compared to the more life-threatening settings that are presented to you in the real world.

Along with its change in the scenery, it is fair to say that the world’s creative environments consistently challenged my nerves and skills. I can’t help but invest in just five more minutes of gameplay until I want to punch my screen or my hands cramp up trying to pull off some insane feats that only a cyber-ninja can perform. I would like to say; I do recommend using a controller, even with a keyboard and mouse the game feels more right at home with a controller. Especially, when the game starts implementing more abilities and fast reflexes sometimes are more fluid this way.

In stark contrast with the brutality of gameplay, this game is quite graphically beautiful. It even feels like something that will make your eyes bleed with some moments just being like an interactive tech demo. To top it off, the music brings moments to the next level, composed by Daniel Deluxe with the track ‘Infiltrator’ being my definite favorite to set that ambient futuristic mood.

Overall, Ghostrunner with its first-person cyberpunk hack and slash gameplay brings a hardcore aspect to its fast-paced game mechanics. When in full swing, it feels like you are running a marathon during a dance rave and everyone is out to kill you. In saying that, when everything just flows in the right direction you just can’t help but marvel at what this cyber ninja can do. The story is relevant, but it takes a backseat to the game’s overall gameplay and graphical splendor.

The Good

  • Cyberpunk world
  • Intense gameplay
  • Cool customisation And abilities
  • Detailed world Environments
  • Kicking Music

The Bad

  • Sometimes a little too hardcore gameplay
  • Weaker plot
Simon Hayward

Written by: Simon Hayward


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