When the first Ghostrunner hit the gaming scene it delivered frenetic, parkour-filled, first-person action that really got the adrenaline rushing through your veins. For those who endured the difficult nature, the thrill of succeeding made it all worthwhile. Now though, they’re awaiting the arrival of Ghostrunner 2, which hopes to be bigger and better with new ideas incorporated.
If you’re wondering what to expect from Ghostrunner 2, then you’re in luck as I have been fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with this hardcore slasher. And it’s good news because initial signs are promising and rather exciting, but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Ghostrunner 2 is set a year after the conclusion of the original, with Dharma Tower now in turmoil following the death of the Keymaster. Freedom isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be and violent gangs, amongst other parties, have reared their ugly heads. Fortunately though, the Ghostrunner (a cybernetic combatant) known as Jack is back and joins forces with the Interface Council to bring order to the dystopian city and, perhaps, the surrounding areas.
First off, the narrative doesn’t really come to the forefront of Jack’s antics in the early stages, so it’s hard to comment on that aspect. The back and forth chatter via comms is decent enough, with voiceovers of a good standard. It does seem to feature audio logs and the like to offer additional lore for you to seek out, which could provide an alternative pastime to the rest of the goings on.
Chances are, you won’t have much time to focus on anything other than keeping Jack alive. And that’s no easy task, which is surprising considering the skills and abilities at your disposal. Expect to partake in wall-running, grappling across chasms, grinding pipes, and swinging from beams, before engaging with the enemies. It’s then a case of dodging in slow motion, blocking until stamina is depleted, and parrying where possible. You’re simply waiting for the opportunity to strike, so you can slice and dice them with your sword. One hit is all it takes.
Should the Ghostrunner be on the receiving end of a single incoming attack though, it’s over, and you must restart from the nearest checkpoint. It’s crucial to always be on the move, while being aware of where threats are coming from; getting blindsided is common. Having died on an absurd amount of occasions, 113 to be exact, the regular save points are a godsend. Overcoming a section is darn tough, but it’s ridiculously rewarding, even just clearing out a small area.
Much of the rewarding nature arises from the way in which you decide to deal with enemies. Sure, you’ve got a sword that’s lethal, however you could also throw shuriken into an explosive barrel or shove baddies off platforms using a blast of air called Tempest. For the trickiest of enemies, a double sword-wielding Shinobi, a well-timed parry can lead to a neat decapitation animation. There’s nothing quite like the rush you feel after decimating a group of enemies at full throttle.
On the topic of full throttle, Ghostrunner 2 has motorbike-centric levels, providing even more high octane moments. These non-linear expeditions test your reflexes further as you’re put in control of the high speed vehicle. Avoiding obstacles, jumping gaps and slashing breakables are the very least of what must be done to survive and successfully traverse the environment. How this feature is expanded upon later in the game is a mystery, but it could play an important part in your arsenal.
The fast and furious Ghostrunner 2 is looking mightily impressive, especially with its many noticeable improvements and additions. You can get quite creative in your approach to a level, and there’s a real buzz garnered for the smallest of accomplishments. It is incredibly difficult however, so hopefully a selection of options are ready at launch to open up the experience to lesser skilled players, because it’s exhilarating.
If that’s got you excited, then you’ll be glad to know it won’t be too long before you are able to throw yourself into the fast-paced antics of Jack too. Ghostrunner 2 will bring its frantic, first-person slashing action to Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC (via Steam, Epic, and GOG) on 26th October.
A huge thanks to 505 Games for giving us some hands-on time with an early build of Ghostrunner 2 on PC. We’ll be following up with a full review of it on Xbox nearer that release.
Let us know whether you’ll be checking out Ghostrunner 2 at launch by reaching out via the comments section below!