Revealed at GamesCom 2019, Ghostrunner made a big splash with its vibrant, slick cyberpunk aesthetic and fast gameplay. Blending the style and tone of games like Cyberpunk 2077, Hotline Miami, and Mirror’s Edge, it puts you in the role of a resurrected warrior known as the Ghostrunner. The protagonist must navigate a dystopian far-future city to learn more about his past and gain the strength to fight the ruler, known only as The Keymaster.
Coming from developers One More Level Games, 3D Realms, and Slipgate Ironworks, Ghostrunner is an incredibly stylish action game set in a cyberpunk dystopia. In the newly revealed gameplay trailer, we saw the reveal of gameplay set in cyberspace, along with some new foes who can use tactics to get the jump on the Ghostrunner. Before the reveal, I got the chance to dive into a new preview build of the game, which showed off the increased scope of the game.
With the means to travel between the real world and cyberspace, the protagonist also possesses some fast moves and killer attacks. He’s incredibly skilled in the ways of combat, yet the trade-off is that he’s also incredibly vulnerable. In a similar vein to Hotline Miami, you can die in one hit, which will send you back to previous checkpoints in each stage. To play Ghostrunner is to always stay on guard while maneuvering throughout the levels. Yet, there’s a certain grace in how you’re able to dodge enemy bullets, wall-run to your target, and pull of chain attacks against groups of enemies. Blending platforming and fast hack-and-slash gameplay, Ghostrunner presents each battle as a combat puzzle, where you’ll need to figure out the most efficient and quick way to dispatch the enemies in the arena.
While previous demos showed off the familiar dark alleys and rain-slick surfaces you’d come to expect in a cyberpunk game, the new footage revealed aspects of the game not yet known, such as the many sections set in a VR world. In these sections, the Ghostrunner will learn more about his abilities while exploring the bright and visually stunning world of cyberspace. These areas are also where you’ll be able to gain new powers and test them against enemies before heading back into the real world. One of the new skills that the Ghostrunner can get is called Tempest, allowing him to use a force push-style ability to knock back enemies. The tempest skill can also deflect enemy bullets, which can come in handy against some of the more aggressive sharpshooters you’ll encounter in the game.
As you make your way through the city, new enemies are introduced to switch things up when you get too comfortable in the flow of the game. These enemies include heavy guards that wield giant energy shields and close-range brawlers that will leap towards you for a fast kill. Just when you get used to the flow, the game has a way of reminding you that you can die in a single hit with its approach to the combat puzzle design–which just made me want to dive in again to perfect my effortless run through the dystopian city.
Set for release this year on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Ghostrunner is shaping up to a fun and stylish take on the increasingly popular genre of cyberpunk games.
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