✔️A combination of established franchises rolled into one. ✔️Seamless and stylish, its approach is of rapid pacing not just in gameplay but in overall presentation. ✔️An epic introduction to what may very well be a success story, turned franchise.
❌Goddamn, it’s hard.
OS: Windows 10 64-bit CPU Processor: Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-Core (32 CPUs) 3.8GHz Memory: 32 GB RAM DDR4 Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super DirectX: Version 12 Storage: 22 GB
There’s no doubt about it. Ghostrunner delivers the ultimate parkour-action experience, borrowing facets from DICE’s leading runner, Mirror’s Edge and Devolver Digital’s Shadow Warrior, while amalgamating aesthetics from Hotline Miami and a splash of Blade Runner. It’s as stunning as anything released this year, and seamless in its stylish approach. Sure it’s not the only Polish Cyberlife release to hit shelves this year, but it may be the most memorable for its display of dynamic scenery from a first person perspective. It will be hard not to compare both CyberPunk 2077 and Ghostrunner when the generation closes this year, but there’s not doubt this title will leave people talking.
As someone who absolutely adores the Mirror’s Edge franchise, this title was right up my alley. Its expeditious pacing, and streamlined gameplay made for a rapidly paced roundtrip through its gorgeous metropolis. Leaping obstacles while scuffing skyscrapers is a death defying thrill that can safely be accomplished within the world of gaming. I, an absolute batophobe, would never be caught dead in a multiple story high skyscraper, gazing at a glorious city landscape. I leave that to the daredevil’s of this world. However, to virtually experience this wonder is simply astonishing, especially throughout the colourful conurbation of Dharma Tower. The desolate, almost familiar sightings of an isolated population overrun by an evil militia, displays a bleak outlook on Earth’s future.
Live by the sword…
Trailblazing through the dystopian outlook of this futuristic wonder, Ghostrunner tells the tale of a known army that kept order throughout Dharma, known by the titular character’s own title, Ghostrunners. The vigilante group was abruptly disbanded due to a cataclysmic event, which resulted in the capital being overruled by a menacing militia led by its ruler, the Keymaster. The aim of the game is to roam through the neon cityscape, and ascend the Frankenstein structure that had been rebuilt by Climbers, in hopes of defeating the evil overlord. Portraying our blade bludgeoning anti-hero, you sprint, skip and slide through the turbulent trials that are scattered in Dharma’s broad landscape. One-kill wonders are made for punctuality, and that’s absolutely what is imperative to Ghostrunner’s overall nature.
The title depends on you to go with the flow, and rapid make your experience a cakewalk, rather than slowly trekking and deciphering. It’s gratuitous nature leads to a complimentary portion of spontaneous action. There’s a challenge around every corner, with enemies easily blasting our hero away with one kill. However, Ghostrunner themselves have the almighty ability to obliterate and annihilate with a simple swing of their blade. The gratifying sensation of defeating an evil doer, by butchering them into chunks, delivers a sensational satisfaction. The mindless pacing of this rapid race through this boasting belfry of glaring manors are accompanied by a systematic approach in dominating the campaign.
There is disparity between its influence and what separates it from essentially being a Mirror’s Edge copycat. For one, the ability to engage with enemies without a convoluted fight sequence that more or less bottlenecked the parkour title’s uninterrupted flow, Ghostrunner’s harmonious deluge delivers ebbs and flows for promised consistency, all while making time for tactical adjustments in offense. Holding down the left trigger button allows the player to cautiously drift towards an encounter, just before decisively dicing through a flurry of opponents. Smooth transitions across each enclave will feel rewarding, while sporadic encounters will force you to rethink strategies with each death. And yes, you will die a lot. Monotony does tend to set in after a few attempts in some areas, but it’s all about learning how to utilise your character’s repertoire.
Infrequent visits to the Cybervoid allows the Ghostrunner to learn a multitude of abilities on offer. The virtual training ground enhances your skillset, while doubling down on the title’s flexibility. Gauging the how-to’s and when-to’s are all in a matter of timing; this all attributes to learning special attacks while keeping a close eye on your stamina that can be easily replenished with each strike. An innovative and integral mechanic introduced, mimics a a game of Tetris that helps elevate your experience with boosts in your performance. Love the aesthetic, and love the throwback. Reminds me of Watch Dogs 2, and how solving similar puzzles helped our protagonist obtain certain skills for campaign progression.
Let’s talk visuals. The game is absolutely stunning. Having only upgraded my PC with an NVIDIA RTX2060 Super, I was able to experience its astounding display of extraordinary design. Raytracing elevates the aesthetic beyond anything imaginable with spectacular lighting, and real-time reflections making for a defining outlook in the future of gaming. Having the ability to play Ghostrunner in 4K was breathtaking. Marvelling in every distinct detail left me impressed; the attention to detail proves that the title was undoubtedly crafted with love. From the onset, you’re confronted with an imposing, dreary direction that carries heavy nuance of what exactly your adventure entails. Ghostrunner is not shy in demonstrating its overture, that accompanies its sleek architecture.
Load times are non-existent, and is conceptually remarkable given the insane depth in arrangement and construction throughout every level. I would have thought with the amount of detail gone into the title that we would expect a buffer between each interaction, however Ghostrunner can attest to its instantaneous flow right throughout its campaign. An incredible model for a title that solely depends on its seamless performance. Having a basic understanding of how to essentially guide Ghostrunner through the cityscape, leaping off hazardous scaffolding, wall-running along abandoned billboards and landing that sweet slice makes for a bloody ferocious, yet enticing feat.
The EDM/Synth beats are curated by Danish composer Daniel Deluxe. The bass and rapid tempo accentuates the welcoming neon-city retrowave aesthetic that the title envelopes. Making haste while ascending each towering structure, the tone delivered in each track elevates urgency and the need to dominate within the environment. It’s a creative match made in cybernetic heaven. A palpable realisation floods your every sense after given direction from the title’s narrator, right before the score strikes its first note. It would be hard to argue that Ghostrunner has one of the best gaming soundtracks ever. I’ve already listened to it a few times. It’s short but the impact it leaves is most certainly memorable.
Ghostrunner is essential gaming in 2020. The combination of inspiring franchises that paved the way for potential series, just like this. There’s no doubt that One More Level have a hit on their hands, and the potential of their own franchise series, that may very well be a raging success. Ghostrunner will carry us through to our next generation, with the implication that even the simplest gameplay loop can deliver an action packed experience. A combination of solid parkour traversing, incredible detail and design with seamless and stylish offense that is fused with an incredibly futuristic overture makes for one of the best gaming experiences, this year.
Ghostrunner - 505 Games
Ghostrunner is an upcoming cyberpunk action video game developed by Polish development studio One More Level and co-published by All in!