While in Cyberpunk 2077 you often have to empty several magazines into enemies and endure a huge number of direct hits yourself, in Ghostrunner it’s just the opposite. The vast majority of enemies fall after you cut them in half with a single katana cut, and you can’t stand a single hit even from the most basic pistol.
This clearly defined, ruthless but fair combat system gives rise to one of the most challenging games we have ever encountered. He can be damn frustrating, but no less rewarding. When, after many, many (and many) failed attempts, you finally manage to break through a group of just six enemies, you will be overwhelmed by a wave of euphoria. And an even bigger wave of adrenaline is finally starting to calm down.
With the wind about the race
But most of the time, Ghostrunner won’t let you cool down, and the main motto of the game is an incredible pace. You are constantly on the move. You have to be constantly on the move, as the enemies went to the best shooting school. When you stop for even a second, you look death in the eye.
Your best friend will not be a katana, but a lightning-fast dodge with a short-term slowdown of time, as the fight itself is not really a challenge. You just slash with a sword and it’s after the trouble, you don’t even have to aim properly. But getting to him is different. You must learn to read the environment, use every wall you can run, search for ingeniously hidden energy balls to protect connected enemies from instant death, and run through one such room without a single hesitation.
Rather than anything else, it is actually such a riddle. Enemies hold their positions, so you just have to figure out how to get them on the grasshopper. You need to find out who poses the biggest threat in a given location, and it must be eliminated first, you need to find the ideal path to it and the parkour route that follows it through the remaining halving bodies.
Whoever makes a mistake does not win
The game has checkpoints at every turn, but so that you are never deprived of the challenge. Until you manage to clear a few platforms from all enemies in one go, you will clean them again and again from the beginning.
Sometimes you will simply be unlucky, other times you will be well aware of your own mistake. After a few unsuccessful attempts, you will try a different approach, you will not run along the walls, but you will slip under the pipeline and find that this path will suit you much more. And you suddenly put the level with a finger in your nose. Or take a break from the game, cool down and when you return with a clear head, it will suddenly be a trumpet.
But even if you keep dying and the level of frustration increases, you will keep trying. Death occurs in a few seconds and loading is virtually instantaneous, so Ghostrunner really can’t lose pace. This is also helped by the famous rhythmic soundtrack capable of pumping blood in the veins on its own.
There are also passages during which the game slows down. He can pull such moments out of the experience and you think that they didn’t have to be there at all. For example, it is an ordinary platforming, where you just have to jump a few floors through a futuristic tower and avoid all sorts of electrifying pulses. The environment itself can often be very confusing, and there’s nothing worse than wondering where to go in such a fast-paced, frenetic game.
From time to time, you are even completely ecstatic and thrown into a bizarre simulation to teach you how to control a newly acquired ability. But even these spaces are mainly about boring platforming and confusing search for a way. Sometimes you will really welcome them to calm your pounding hearts after a previous constellation of tense combat situations, but you will definitely not remember them with as much enthusiasm as the rest of the game.
By the way, it perfectly delivers the supply of new. The initial ordinary shooters will later be joined by machine gunners, robots throwing lasers, ninjas, whose attacks you must first parade, and many others, so you really can’t say that you will be bored in a short footage.
You yourself are gradually improving. You will learn to deflect enemy bullets, which will actually give you a ranged attack. To solve some puzzles, you will use a time slowdown and a trampoline or you will sweep away your enemies with a pressure wave. At the same time, you will improve your passive skills with a smart system, where each improvement takes the form of tetris pieces and it is up to your imagination how many such chips you can stack in a limited space of inventory.
The whole game is constantly graduating with the support of a fairly solid story, in which you learn almost exclusively through the radio about yourself, about the ghostrunners, about the world and its ruler. The story can surprise you, and although it is not the main thing here, it provides a pleasant backdrop, an interesting accompaniment, so that you do not feel completely alone when running and slicing. English dubbing is also a delight for the ears.
Ghostrunner looks famous for all this. Although most of the time you are in the gray technical rooms of the gigantic tower, there are neon signs and other colored areas, while you will also visit places reminiscent of real cities. Everything is sharp and imaginative, even if you sometimes wonder for whom all those billboards are intended in the middle of nowhere, where an ordinary mortal without cyber abilities has no chance to get.
A fair challenge for the hardy
The game is not long at all, and if you succeed, you will reach its end in units of hours. The search for collectibles encourages you to play repeatedly, but leave it on the first pass so that you don’t lose pace unnecessarily. In addition, it is a perfect game for all speedrunners who are not afraid of really big challenges.
The Ghostrunner is simply an incredible ride. An incredibly demanding platformer, which is also fair. If you find it difficult, do not look for a slight difficulty. Either you accept its difficulty and get the most out of it, or you will suffer for a disproportionately long time when you finally give it up. However, if you persevere, you will be rewarded with an electrifying, adrenaline-fueled experience.