Hello again, Ladies and Gentlemen!

My Name is ASH, and today we’re gaming! Today we’ve got a rather interesting and unique version of the combination of platforming and action, which we have never seen in the mainstream before. The only doubtful point about this game is that in its first trailers and demos, it seemed like a cyberpunk slasher game, in which a robotic ninja shreds and slices everyone with his katana. In reality, it turned out something like this, but not quite.

Ghostrunner is primarily a platformer with a range of combat mechanics, not the other way around. Our hero will have to jump a lot, run along the walls, slide along the ropes and regularly dodge the attacks of multiple enemies. Many people compare this game simultaneously with the parkour platformer Mirror’s Edge and Hotline Miami, because from the first we have a lot of first-person platforming, and from the second we have a blood-drenched action, where we have no margin for error ’cause our hero dies from the first bullet instantly. I only partially agree with this comparison, since I see it more as a combo of Mirror’s Edge and Katana Zero – the same 2D-pixel platformer where the combat works in the similar way, and the main character with the same katana cuts through the crowds of enemies.

But this is not the main point, because it is the abilities of our Ghostrunner that make him different from the other game protagonists. He can dodge jump attacks with the time slowing down around him so he can move away from the line of fire and attack the attacker from the flank. He further unlocks 4 more main abilities that will help him in the future – this is a Jedi push of the Force, capable of reflecting shots at the enemy, a charged samurai strike with his katana, piercing a crowd of enemies and the ability to control opponents’ minds. Tellingly, all these abilities are revealed to us only after the first half of the game and you will receive the final ability already in the final stages, when without it it will be much more difficult to cope with the crowds of attackers. That is, it is a certain balance here so our protagonist becomes stronger in the same way along with larger and more powerful crowds of enemies.

Tellingly, the gameplay itself is also very similar to Katana Zero, since the gameplay loop is approximately as follows – the platforming section, we go into the room with the enemies – we clean it up, we run further. Seems that everything is simple and clear from the first glance. But, with each new room, the platforming becomes more and more complex and hardcore, there are more enemies and they hit the protagonist harder and more painfully + the game becomes overflown with various barriers for a straightforward slashing. For example, in one of the rooms there is a barrier that does not allow you to break through enemies with a katana. The barrier is attached to some unknown wall, to which we must jump without dying. After that, we just jump over like a mountain goat and dodge bullets to go further. And these are just the beginning sections because the types of enemies will change and there will be barriers For barriers. That is, your sleight of hand and reaction will be much more important here during platforming than during the action itself.

That is, this stuff is hardcore sometimes, requires a lot of repetitions, but remains increasingly interesting and exciting. Plus, there are also three main Bosses in the game, from which you could rage-quit similar to Bosses in Dark Souls.

I absolutely didn’t care about the plot in this game, but it was not something outstanding anyway. The whole plot is that we are playing as an injured robot, which was supposed to save the local population from tyranny, but did not succeed. Now, during the game, he is gaining strength, recalls the past, learns new things about the world and fights for the city’s freedom. That is, a standard dystopian bubble-gum without any twists and turns and new ideas. And to be honest, I don’t care ’cause here works the method of a porn film, where the action itself is more important than the story before it.

But the developers have succeeded stylistically. This is exactly the same cyberpunk city that we all miss in anticipation of the new game Cyberpunk 2077. Locations are changing perfectly from filthy sewers, power grids and mines to neon windows of a night city and slums covered with graffiti in the same cyberpunk style. Both for the graphics and for the design of everything – from the swords of main character to the design of enemies – I express a separate gratitude to the developers. What I liked the most was the design of this inner world of Ghostrunner himself, where everything looked like one solid blue-green micro-scheme. This was a version of Ghost’s thought core, in which he remembered old or mastered new skills, by the way.

My main complaint about this game is the fact that in essence, the gameplay approach changes only in the moments of boss-fights. Only there we need to come up with completely new moves to pass and figure out how to win and complete the game. Plus, the game is very much oriented just for platforming and running around the walls, in particular. Despite the fact that the game offers some semblance of progression and 4 different skills, for the gameplay I still used simple dodge, jump and hit the most. They could’ve really added some cool combo punches or some offensive skills to the game so that it was really closer to slasher game. But this does not mean that I am not happy with what I have now.

This is an awesome platformer, the hardcoreness of which is often teeth-biting, but at the same time there are no excesses in complexity or any unfair moments that limit the player. You just need to show constantly quick reaction, always move and dodge attacks and eventually you’ll win, of course. Definitely a more than decent project, from which I was satisfied, despite the silly plot and lack of slashing sequences. For me it’s 4 out of 5.

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