505 Games / One More Level
Just like games with pixilated graphics, platformers have been making a pretty decent comeback as of late. These are mainly of the 2D variety where things are more or less clear, as to where you should guide your digital avatar. 3D platformers, on the other hand, can be a little trickier to pull off since it’s usually harder to see where you need to go next within game levels.
Ghostrunner is a new 3D platformer that mainly avoids the latter pitfall, for the most part. In the game, you play as a cybernetically-enhanced ninja with amnesia. Your only link to your shrouded past is a voice calling out to you periodically from some entity known as the Architect.
Basically, some sort of apocalyptic event happened that pretty much ended all of civilization. A gigantic mega-structure known as Dharma Tower is humanity’s last refuge, but it’s not a nice place to live. Those with power rule with an iron fist and subject the weak and innocent citizenry to all sorts of mayhem.
Your objective is to make your way up from the bottom to the top of Dharma Tower and confront the tyrannical “Keymaster” to exact your revenge. That’s a pretty cool setup for a game—luckily, Ghostrunner’s gameplay largely backs up its nifty backstory.
In this 3D platformer, you’ll be able to maneuver your cyber-ninja around the game’s cyberpunk environs utilizing a wide array of movements. You can dash, slide, wall run, and grapple your way across the vertically-designed tower. These fun mechanics create some of the most exhilarating and satisfying moments in the game. There’s a distinct thrill that comes with climbing to great heights as you rapidly run across walls and leap over massive chasms.
Thankfully, the game is usually pretty clear as to where you need to go next and indicates reachable points within each environment. In a few areas, however, you’ll be sprinting across a few walls, and since you’re moving so fast—might not notice the next waypoint. It’s at these rare times that you’ll encounter a few breaks in the action that requires some careful trial-and-error.
Personally, I found this aspect of Ghostrunner a challenge to relish. Instead of holding my hand throughout the game’s various levels, it forced me to become hyper-perceptive of each environment. I can see why this element of difficulty could be frustrating for many gamers out there, so patience and persistence are the order of the day. You won’t find a laydown, lazy experience here.
As far as your opposition goes—there’s a lot of it. Throughout each level are multitudes of enemies that want to kill you, but you’ve got a few advantages over them: you’re super-fast, wield a “monomolecular katana” (that just sounds badass), and have a few tricks up your sleeve. Most of the enemies can be disposed of by simply sheering through them with your katana or reflecting their projectiles right back at them.
Combat takes place at a blindingly fast pace—almost too fast sometimes. While it’s entirely possible to take out multiple enemies within a single location by dodging incoming fire and eliminating them one-by-one, sometimes you’ll get shot at from many different angles that you’ll get caught off-guard. Since everything is happening at such a spastic speed, you’ll typically get blindsided and won’t even know where an enemy’s killshot came from.
A simple replay feature would have greatly benefited Ghostrunner in this respect. Because then you’d be able to go back and see where you’d made your mistake and learn from that experience, rather than just have to repeat the same zone over again and not know what you did wrong.
Overall though, Ghostrunner is a thrilling and immersive-power-fantasy-of-a-game that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Its fluid controls, fast-paced action, and great writing all combine to make it a very enjoyable post-apocalyptic experience that should provide multiple playthroughs.
Ghostrunner has some pretty good looking graphics that make its platformer gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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