LifeisXbox’s ‘Ghostrunner’ review | The cyberpunk theme is in fashion, and we will all agree that more parkour games are needed. Ghostrunner has come to cover both fields, and in a more than competent way. We are facing a game that prioritizes action, but in which the platform is still a great asset. We must run the entire way, and try to be ghosts during the process, eliminating the enemies of humanity. The developer One More Level has wanted to mix a few of good concepts in Ghostrunner, a game as frantic as it is challenging that will delight speedrunners.
ℹ️ | We played Ghostrunner for about 20 Hours on Xbox Series X. This game is also available on PlayStation – PC – Nintendo Switch.
What we liked!
- An android designed to kill | Ghostrunner is a high-speed action FPS in which we will play a cybernetically modified assassin. Our protagonist belongs to the Ghostrunners, the rebel force of the Dharma tower city. Armed with a katana, we will have to advance and ascend more and more through levels full of ramps, walls, jumps, traps and enemies.
- A very frenzied game | Most of the areas are arranged as a kind of puzzles that will consist of killing all our enemies with a clean sword to overcome them. To do this, we will have to run along the walls, slide, or make use of a useful hook that will be provided to us at the beginning of the adventure. But without a doubt, what honors this game is the possibility of using the so-called “bullet time”. This mechanic allows us to make everything go slower for a few seconds so we can dodge the shots and attacks of the bad guys in the air by moving and repositioning ourselves to one side or the other. On the ground, it will serve as a dash to dodge or to reach further areas during a jump.
- Live, die, repeat | In a game, in which we are a cybernetic shinobi that slows down time, the most normal thing is that we throw ourselves at our victims necks like prey dogs. But the physical body of a Ghostrunner is vulnerable and a single shot will kill us. Fortunately, we can repeat the level as many times as we want in thousandths of seconds after pressing a simple button. This is another of the great aspects that the work of One More Level boasts. Like games like Hotline Miami, Katana Zero, or SuperHOT, dying means trying one more time with greater motivation. This mechanic forces us to better plan our murders looking for new ways. In addition, since the restart is so immediate, we will itch to get it out and overcome the level once and for all.
- A level of difficulty according to the title | This game may be difficult for some, and you are right. At a certain point, Ghostrunner becomes really challenging and if, for example, in the first three zones I die a maximum of 5 times with a time of 4 minutes, in the next two, I can still go to 14 deaths as a time of 15- 20 minutes. Fortunately, the title has accessibility options to make things a bit easier for us and avoid getting frustrated.
- An unconventional skill tree | The One More Level title doesn’t have a conventional skill tree but we can equip different improvements to our cyborg to make it much more lethal and faster. The funny thing is in the way to administer them. Through a menu called “calibration panel” we will access a metagame in which we will place the advantages as Tetris pieces. At first, three-quarters of the grid where we can fit them will be blocked. In addition, there will be four nodes or holes on which we will not be able to put anything. Each piece has a different shape and occupies a different number of holes in the grid. They all have a different function such as seeing the outline of the enemies more clearly or having a second impulse. The key to having a greater tactical advantage in combat will be to be able to place the greatest number of pieces within the available space. On stage, from time to time, we will also find power-ups that will give us spectacular powers for a short period of time.
- A beautiful artistic style | Artistically, Ghostrunner sports a beautiful style that is sustained by a forceful and dystopian cyberpunk aesthetic. In front of us, immense stages filled with turbines, giant fans to reach higher, cranes or hanging panels to make wall runs will unfold. Although at first they will be very similar, as we move forward they will change. In the midst of the perpetual darkness caused by the monumental metal structures, we will find neon signs in every corner and garish advertisements of megacorporation’s that care little about their fellow citizens.
- A soundtrack that accompanies at all times | One More Level has counted for the realization of it’s soundtrack with Daniel Alexanrovich, professionally known as Daniel Deluxe. This young artist is quite famous in the world of electronic music and retrowave, having been part of some promotional campaigns with considerable success on an international scale. In Ghostrunner, he does a job that reaches a very good level, with a BSO that accompanies us at every moment, counting on several moments that will give us a good dose of adrenaline.
- A game that brings out the maximum potential of the next-gen | I have been able to write this review from the improved version of Ghostrunner for Xbox Series X and the result could not have left me more satisfied. This version (which can be obtained for free through an update if you have a copy of the game) allows us to choose between 2 display modes. The first will give priority to the frames and will allow us to play at 4K and 120 FPS. The second will prioritize the graphics with the ray tracing mode allowing us to enjoy better lighting effects and more realistic reflections.
- The story of a divergent cyborg | As I said at the beginning of the review, Ghostrunner puts us in the shoes of an elite agent of Mara, the governor of the Dharma tower city. This infrastructure houses the remains of a humanity that has been forced to live far from a devastated land surface after a long-forgotten cataclysm. One day, Mara fights a coup and ends up betraying El Arquitecto, the AI that is the architect of the city. The honor of our protagonist will turn him into a divergent and he will end up revealing himself and directly facing the tyrant. Surely you are wondering why I have left the narrative part for so late and is that because the story of Ghostrunner goes very unnoticed. It’s not because it’s bad, far from it. It’s actually quite interesting and has a few twists and turns. The problem is that within a game as arcade as this, where the action is continuous and there are hardly any moments of rest, it’s difficult to follow a plot and characters speak only a few times during combat.
What we disliked
- I found only one problem | Something that I didn’t like is the lack of save points. The game has many checkpoints, but no save points. This means that if you have to remove it for whatever reason, you have to start the level from scratch. The levels are quite long, and depending on our ability, they can last between half and an hour. If you want to play something else or if you want to close the game to do other things, this implies losing all level progress. A somewhat strange decision.
How long to beat the story | 6 – 8 Hours.
How long to achieve 1000G | 12-15 Hours.
Similar with | Mirror’s Edge & Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.
LifeisXbox.eu is the largest Belgian Xbox centered website, your reading time is greatly appreciated! Please consider sharing this review with your friends on social media, that means a lot for us! If you are Dutch-speaking also consider joining our Dutch exclusive Facebook group Xbox Gamers Belgium. Feel free to use quotes for PR purposes.
Founder | Editor-in-chief | Social Media Manager
Gaming is a passion and I wanted to share my Xbox enthusiasm. That’s why I started LifeisXbox, to make sure gamers all around the world know what games they should buy or avoid. I would like to thank you for visiting my website. Your support is very welcome and I hope you stick around!