Hyped Pixel Reviewer and bad writer, came across this project due to passion for hardware and software in general, I've been an enthusiast since the year 2000 wondering where we go next.
Grab your seatbelt, this is gonna be a fast one!
Welcome to the Ghostrunner review! Ghostrunner is an Indie game developed by several studios like One More Realm, 3D Realms and Slipgate Ironworks. It was published on the 27th of October 2020 by 505 Games and All in! Games.It has unique visuals like neon, futuristic and cyberpunk world visual styles to it. Ghostrunner plays as if there are many genres of games combined.
For starters, it’s a game set in the first person but there is no shooting, you’ll only slash your enemies with your katana. It has a lot of action, its a hardcore platform game with puzzles in the mix, and it’s a fast-paced game. After the trailer was released back in 2019, there was a bit of hype for this game.
People were hungry for Cyberpunk style games and this trailer delivered it with one intriguing narration and cool music. I wanted this game not only for this type of utopia setting, but more from the trailer’s fast paced parkour action going on and slashing enemies from above with a katana, that was pretty cool.
What happened in this cyberpunk utopia? Well, humanity got in trouble through an Apocalypse-type event that almost caused its extinction called Burst.
Not much is known about this event. You wake up after you are kicked out of the tower where humanity is residing and you realize you suffer from amnesia, afterward you start listening to a voice named The Architect, who is now just one AI. It will guide you in this adventure and fill you in on some details like: You are a Ghostrunner, there was a change in management of the tower and this led to you being kicked out, you’re a cybernetically enhanced being,and that you need to bring order to this utopia by changing its management again. Later, you also get one name, Jack, due to one character that I will not spoil for you, but I’ll tell you this part is pretty funny.
The story tries hard to achieve a goal but it’s easy to predict and finds itself in a tight stop. The way the game tries to let you discover the story doesn’t work properly, the game is very fast-paced and will make you concentrate hard on your actions with some very fast decision making, plus it sometimes tries and fails to explain itself in the middle of the action and as a result, you will miss some of its lore, due to your attention being elsewhere. But there are moments for you to catch a breath and hear some parts of the story.
I would prefer to get a bit of a challenge sooner in the early to mid-stages of the game.
There are not many cutscenes in this game. The story is given to you through conversations transmitted to you. The thing is, if you try to stop and listen, it’s very counterintuitive from a game that screams “run fast and kill”. The game is not that big, it takes just a few hours to complete, even if you’re not that good at it. It might just take around ten hours, but if you get the hang of it you can beat it in way less.
Speaking of gameplay, it’s played like a fast-paced action puzzle game where you slide, jump, climb and assassinate your opponents in a variety of ways, but mainly with your Katana in them. It spices things up with some puzzle solving and some new opponents that make the game a bit more of a challenge, but they only show up later in the game, which is a shame.
The puzzles and level design are not that complex, but some require a lot of trial and error. You’re going to die a lot on this game in your first sitting, but once you get the hang of it and understand the game flow you’ll start to see a pattern in the gameplay and some things become pretty obvious.
They can kill you in a second if you don’t know what you’re doing and there is a good enough variety to them. There are enemies that will make you wait for a specifically timed parry to kill them, some explode to make you run away from them, there are even some that will make you run from platform to platform and wait for a good opportunity to kill them. These can all show up on the same level at the same time in later stages of the game, but the game never feels like it’s impossible to beat and gives you several different ways to approach their doom.
Collectables and skills are present in this game. You have several collectibles spread throughout the game if you’re into it, although this is not an open-world game. You can go back and replay a specific level once you beat it. As for the skills, you’ll get skills through the levels, but you can pick up improvements on each level scattered and hidden throughout the maps, which are modules you’ll need to arrange and fit into your circuit board.
The skills given to you range from a blink that can later be upgraded to two or make you invulnerable to damage temporarily, projecting one slash to the distance as a long-ranged attack, and even mind control, also with its set of upgrades. So you have several diverse ways to approach one specific situation, just pick what you like most with the upgrades you prefer and have fun.
The enemies are pretty good and it’s what makes this challenging.
The game runs on Unreal Engine 4, and it’s available to every platform except Android. I tested it on the PC version on steam, with modest hardware, an i5 8400 CPU and r9 390 GPU. Nothing very powerful and I ran the game at almost full settings, 1080p 60 fps with no problem. The minimal specs are the following: Intel i5 2500k or AMD Phenom II X4 965 CPU, Nvidia GTX 1050 2GB or Radeon RX 550 4GB GPU. This will give you 60 fps low settings 720p, according to the developer.
The visuals of this game are pretty good. It looks triple-A and it plays very well. I only had frame drops on the last stage of the game, where there are several effects coming at you and variable distant settings. The Art and music are both very well made, the cybernetic look nails the setting made for it, the music is good, creating a fast-paced tension and enemies have a distinctive sound to them, so you can easily identify them without seeing them and adjust your strategy for that level.
It’s like eating the last pizza slice you want more but there is none left
The game is good but short. It’s like eating the last pizza slice and you want more but there is none left. Some levels are pretty linear and simple, “dodge this, kill 3 enemies and the door opens”, repeat in the next section. For some people this might seem repetitive and it kind of is. The levels are distinct but all look basically the same, but that’s because of the setting, being inside a tower and all but to be fair, it looks like there are several cities inside the tower and the player conscience levels look stunningly different from the rest of the game, which helps with the variety.
The conscience levels are a blessing and a curse, they serve several purposes like tutorials for skills, give the player more challenging puzzles and platforming, a calm storytelling for the player and just add a different look to the game. I enjoyed the very different looks of these levels and the story it’s given on them without the presence of enemies. Most of the time I could catch a breath in these and soak in the story, but at the same time the game’s addictive fast pace is sacrificed here to achieve this.
Overall, the game is addictive. You’ll want to play the levels as fast and deathless as you can to improve your best level chart. The game never felt unfair or impossible to beat, when I died I knew I could beat it and that it was my fault when I failed, not the game or some bug/glitch. The fast and hard level game design is addicting and I felt most of the skills were useful, not just for show. I do feel that the game is short, I wish there were more levels and more platform variation at some points in the game.
If you’re into fast-paced trial and error games you’ll definitely like this one.
- Addictive gameplay
- Hard Enemies Latter in The Game
- Art Design
- Different Approach to Skill Tree Sistem
- Short game
- Conventional Plot
- Many Linear Looking Levels
- Story Telling Cold be improved