GhostRunner 2 Review: The Ultimate Test for Gamers

GhostRunner 2 Review: The Ultimate Test for Gamers

Review Copy was provided by the Publisher

Being a fan of flashy combat, Ghostrunner 2 recently caught my attention. While I didn’t play the first part, Ghostrunner 2 is typically an enhanced version of the first one. That said, Ghostrunner 2 boasts a unique combat system where I encountered some brand-new things that I have never seen in other combat-based games.

This review is going to be spoiler-free and I have tried to divide it into several parts to make it easier for you to know what exactly you should expect from this game and how it stands against other combat-based titles on Steam.

Ghostrunner 2 is 20% story, 80% gameplay

Ghostrunner 2 isn’t specifically something you should play if you are a hardcore lover of story-rich games. Personally, I don’t pay too much attention to the storyline in combat-based games where the player’s entire focus is on improving his fighting skills.

I mean it does matter but fighting or combat games are mostly remembered for their unique combat mechanics that distinguish them from typical action-adventure titles. To me, Ghostrunner 2 didn’t disappoint too much in the storyline either. It surely isn’t immersive as you are mostly going through different stages but the core part of the story is to fight against the AI monsters who are trying to destroy the leftover humanity in the Dharma tower.

So, you are up against the AI-based monsters fighting in the dystopian Cyberpunk environment to bring back the light of humanity. And that’s pretty much it. In the beginning, it feels good but as you progress, it feels like something is missing. Normally what gets players hooked to the game is the storyline and if it isn’t affecting your emotions, you are not excited for what is to come next.

This is my complaint about Ghostrunner 2 because coming back to the game every day requires some kind of motivation or the thirst to know what happens next. Ghostrunner 2 instead, focuses on increasing the difficulty level by introducing new stages and gameplay styles. We will talk about that later but now let’s get to the core aspect of the game that makes it stand out.

Be Ready to Die 20 Times or Maybe 50

Ghostrunner 2 has a one-hit death concept. You or the enemy die with a single hit and that makes it pretty hard for beginners. In the beginning, taking down a few enemies won’t be much of a difficult task but as you progress, you will encounter advanced enemies that have different patterns of attacking.

From simple enemies that slash with swords to enemies firing bullets or jumping over you, each type of opponent has to be dealt with carefully. The mechanics are fluid and you have to be careful in order to avoid any kinds of hits.

In every stage, the enemies will surround you in a way that will force you to think out of the box and forge plans to take down all of them without taking a single hit. That’s where the game becomes difficult. There are hooks overhead, walls for running, platforms that need to be crossed using jumps and dashes, as well as powerful turbines that throw you in the air.

It is quite normal to get hit by a bullet from an enemy far away when you are dealing with others. So, careful planning is needed when killing the enemies. It’s extremely crucial to keep moving in such arenas because the attacks don’t stop. Also, every type of movement is highly sensitive.

When you jump on the wall, dash in the air or slide over a railing, you have to be careful in managing the movement. It’s easy to miss the target and fall down. This is why if you have never played the original Ghostrunner, you are going to die at least a dozen times in each stage, or maybe more.

But this will improve your skills of attacking and evading the attacks and moving constantly. The game doesn’t forgive any mistakes and that’s why it requires perfection. As you perfect your movements and attacks, you will see yourself improving drastically not only in this game but in other games too.

Every Skill is Acquired Gradually

The protagonist, Jack has the ability to store unique skills. The character uses a motherboard with memory slots that need to be collected throughout the game in slightly hidden areas. As you get more memory cards, you can store more skills at the same time on your motherboard.

Every type of skill whether related to weaponry or movement can be upgraded as you progress. The more you go forward in the game, the more skills get unlocked, enhancing you to play more with more versatility. Jack also gets special abilities like Flux or Sensory Overdrive that equip Jack with super good stuff to kill enemies easily. However, each usage will require a good amount of time for recovery before players can use them again.

This, however, isn’t the same with skills like Shuriken, Ghost, and Tempest, which can be used multiple times and refilled pretty quickly. Each skill can be upgraded even further using Upgrade Chips but requires points and installation costs. Thankfully, these points are accumulated while playing the game and no extra real money is required to upgrade the skills of the character.

Mind-Boggling Stuff On Every Stage, Visuals Too!

Ghostrunner 2 has this amazing concept of changing the hazards and challenges in every stage. It’s not like that you will find the same type of platforms or hazards in different stages but they are mostly different from what you have been through in the previous ones. Still, you are going to utilize the same skills so that you keep your flow.

The game is built on Real Engine 4, which says a lot about the catchy visuals I saw in the entire game. The realistic lighting effects and beautiful environments are noteworthy and can be mind-boggling in different areas. The second boss Avatar and its stage made me a little overwhelmed through the portals that felt like taking a ride through the wormhole in Interstellar.

I really loved how every boss posed a different type of challenge and wasn’t just a regular hack-and-slash battle. Every boss brings a unique stage that needs careful executions, which of course, can’t be completed without dying a few dozen times. But that doesn’t feel frustrating due to the quick checkpoints and feel so good after the job has been done.

The bike riding stages are, particularly a hard challenge but very fun to play. Going through the closing doors while riding through a circular tunnel requires great timing while taking care of the enemies around you. I don’t feel that the bike had the best mechanics but it was a straight-forward experience that required quick reactions to jump on the right platform, unlock the doors, and avoid lazers.

The NPC’s Lack Expressions

One thing that felt off was how the NPCs acted and behaved around the protagonist. It seemed like little work was done on NPC’s facial expressions. Their dialogue delivery isn’t impressive but that could have been compensated with their expressions. It felt like I was playing a ’90s or early 2000s games where the NPCs had emotionless faces and existed just to provide a context of what was going on.

The Verdict

Playing Ghostrunner 2 is an exhilarating and heart-pounding experience where every move decides your fate. The fast-paced hack-and-slash combat with carefully executed plans will decide how quickly you move on to the next arena. While the storyline isn’t immersive, the new hazards and mind-boggling stages provide a new challenge every time you pick up your sword.

The game is unforgiving and the only way to succeed is to keep yourself safe from strikes. The bosses are unique and so are the methods of defeating them. Ghostrunner 2 does an excellent job overall in making a newbie gamer from zero to hero in a couple of hours. It increases focus, forces gamers to adapt to different situations, and makes them learn from their mistakes.

ghostrunner 2
Highly Recommended
GhostRunner 2
  • Unique hack-and-slash combat concept
  • Quick respawns
  • Provides generous upgrades as you progress
  • Mind-boggling stages and visuals
  • Lackluster storyline
  • Emotionless NPCs