When I play Ghostrunner 2, I die practically every 30 seconds. Nevertheless, I’m having a lot of fun with this action game.
I’m not the most patient player, a hopelessly bad driver, and find missions under time pressure awful. Not the best prerequisites for Ghostrunner 2, one would think. But I played the cyberpunk action game anyway, and I was surprised by how much fun I have as a neon ninja.
One wrong step is enough
Like the first Ghostrunner, the sequel relies on a gameplay loop that sounds frustrating at first for casual players. As a cyber ninja, I fight my way through a gloomy, futuristic city and can’t afford to make any mistakes: Every hit I take sends me to the afterlife.
In fact, I die very, very often. In the half-hour play-in version, I die 75 times during the first game. So I die about once every 30 seconds But to my surprise, I never want to give up annoyed.
(On the second playthrough of the demo, we only died 50 times, and got noticeably better.)
Ghostrunners 2 manages – probably just like its predecessor – to keep me motivated, even when I’m tackling a section for the tenth time. This is due to several factors, among others:
There are no loading times: After dying, I press a button and jump straight back into the fray.
Death is not bad: The game gives me plenty of save points, if I make a mistake I only have to repeat the very last section, I lose a maximum of two minutes of game time.
It’s fun to get better: When I manage to play through a section perfectly, it just feels incredibly good. In a split second, my katana cuts through whole groups of enemies and it feels like I really am a gifted warrior (at least until the next death.
Fast, faster, Ghostrunner
But how does Ghostrunner play anyway? The answer is: fast. I sprint, jump and slide through the glowing cyberpunk city, swinging over chasms on ropes, hurtling up rails and running along walls.
At the same time, I have to dodge, parry enemy projectiles and sword attacks with my katana and finish off enemies. Standing still is rarely helpful, I almost always have to strike first and keep moving in order to survive.
But that’s only part of Ghostrunner 2, because what’s brand new is the motorbike, which I get on when I need to, and then race through streets and ventilation shafts at breathtaking speeds:
The same rules basically apply here. In the playable mission, I am chasing a signal that I will lose if I slow down too much. So constantly I have to drive at maximum speed, surviving the dangers of the road instead of enemies.
I dodge obstacles, jump over canyons that suddenly open up, open gates that block my way with a well-aimed blow, and switch from the road to the side walls of a tunnel.
This part is almost as well done as the sword fighting action. Here, too, I die often, but feel like a real racer when successfully mastering a passage. However, I don’t feel quite as cool as I do on foot with a sword in my hand, but that’s also because I’m not a big fan of racing games.
What is great, where are there still questions?
What I liked more and less about Ghostrunner 2 when playing it, I’ll give you a short summary:
That was great:
Adrenaline rush: There’s never a dull moment in lightning-fast parkour and combat. If I perfect my movements, I feel like a real cyber ninja. The soundtrack adds to the atmosphere.
No frustration: Thanks to generously distributed save points, I only ever have to repeat the last section when I die. Also, it feels very good to crack a level after many attempts.
Noticeable improvement: The longer I play, the easier the controls become, and the more skilled I become at combat and parkour. At the same time, the challenges increase, so it never becomes too easy, quite the opposite.
I’m not sure about this one yet:
Parkour: In some sections I found it very difficult to progress, for example when I had to jump through the air and slide into a ventilation shaft. This should not necessarily be the challenge. Basically, however, the parkour plays quite smoothly.
Story: After half an hour, it’s almost impossible to say anything about the story of Ghostrunner 2, because I don’t get what exactly it’s about. The dialogue over the radio is simple but solidly written.
New skills: In the course of the game, improved skills can be acquired. However, nothing of these was yet to be seen in the half-hour play version.
What do you think of Ghostrunner 2 so far? Did you like the first trailers and would you like to try out a second part of the cyberpunk action game? Are you happy that the title is similar to its predecessor in essence, but introduces some innovations like the motorbike? Or do you think there should have been more or less changes? Write it in the comments!
I have to honestly say that I’m really surprised by how much I like Ghostrunner 2 so far. Even the motorbike level with a time limit and the frequent deaths don’t rob me of my motivation one bit. The game immediately draws me in and makes half an hour feel like ten minutes.
After the first Ghostrunner was already a real Steam favourite with over 90 percent positive reviews, I have little doubt that part 2 will be extremely well received again. Since the focus is on fast-paced parkour and deadly fights, even a mediocre story could hardly spoil the fun here. And the technology is also doing well so far; I haven’t experienced any performance problems or bugs.
Also well done is the big innovation, the motorbike. The driving sections bring more variety into the game and feel just as good as the rest of the game. Despite many interruptions due to deaths, we don’t lose interest or get out of sync here either.
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