Written by Maurice Verschuur
May 13, 2020 – Running, jumping and slicing like a Samurai filled up with robotic implants and living between the real world and cyberspace. That’s Ghostrunner in a nutshell. And it feels as good as it sounds as I have experienced during a demo version of the game. The full game releases later this year on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Ghostrunner is set in a cyberpunk world. After a cataclysm there isn’t much left of the world and humanity as we know. The remaining people are living in a megastructure, a large tower (think about the movie Dredd aka Judge Dredd 2) created by The Architecture. Unfortunately he mysteriously died an the tower is now controlled by The Keymaster. Every person born in the tower gets a category of implants and are thereby defined their whole live. It determines which social group a person belongs to. If you weren’t lucky enough to get a good life, there is nothing you can do. This inequality leads to rebellion where you are thrown in the middle. As a cyber-warrior you are the only one capable of fighting both in the physical world and in cyberspace. It’s your goal to ascend the tower, unravel the mysteries of the structure and ultimately challenge The Keymaster.
The short demo I’ve played makes it clear Ghostrunner is all about fast paced platforming and killing your enemy’s as quick as possible, because taking one shot means you’re dead. Platforming and making use of the environment to get from point a to point b means parkouring or freerunning. Gamers who have enjoyed Mirrors Edge will probably appreciate the gameplay and controls of Ghostrunner as well. It feels pretty self explanatory and the obstacles you can use are easy to notice which is important since it’s a fast past game. The parkouring in combination with the enemy’s who can one shot you makes it challenging and in the demo I died several times. Luckily the the game saved before I encountered every new group of enemy’s and in combination with the fast loading time I was back in the game in the blink of an eye.
As mentioned Ghostrunner plays out in a mega tower and the world in the demo felt large, harsh and gritty. But not particularly lively as I would suspect from a tower where a lot of people live. Maybe because this is a demo and a large part of the demo plays out in the prison part of the tower. The graphics are beautiful, gritty and made me feel the quality was movie-like. Especially in the beginning when you look at your prosthetic robot arm and Katana it did a little jaw dropping for me. The demo in combination with the trailers, showing wat other enemy’s you’ll encounter, and the story makes me curious to see the full game.