Frenetic action in a cyberpunk universe with the blow of a katana; thus we can define the new of One More Level and 505 Games for PC and consoles.
We return once more to dystopian future more cyberpunk and how fashionable it is lately in the video game industry, although this time in a truly frenzied and bloodthirsty way. And is that Ghostrunner, the new of the poles One More Level together with SPF specialists 3D Realms Y Slipgate ironworks under the baton of All in! Games Y 505 Games, plunges us into a technological and decadent future in the skin (or rather metal) of a cyborg ninja with great skills for parkour and the most ruthless killing katana in hand. All this while we move at breakneck speeds through the different floors of the so-called Dharma tower, the last refuge of humanity after a devastating cataclysm. Let’s find out more about Ghostrunner, a violent, ruthless and challenging video game that focuses on action and the most frenetic platforms and is now available on Pc, PS4 Y Xbox One. The version for Nintendo switch has been delayed to November this year, while in 2021 it will appear in PS5 Y Xbox Series through free update for those who acquire it in the current generation.
The last chance to save humanity
But first let’s stop at the plot context proposed by this new exponent of cyberpunk in its aspect more wild and unbridled. In this sense, Ghostrunner takes us to a future in which the survival of humanity hangs by a thread after a universal cataclysm, living poorly in the last human stronghold, the colossal dharma tower, a place where violence dominates the streets and where only the strongest or the most heartless survive. All this under the relentless tyranny of Mara, the mistress of the complex who rules with an iron fist over the increasingly decimated population. Our objetive? Reach the top of the tower to end all this irrational suffering and find the answers that torment our agile and mysterious protagonist.
And it is that after waking up without remembering anything, our Ghostrunner undertakes a flight into the unknown while receiving certain communications from mysterious entities, voices that are introducing us both in the story and in the different skills that we will have to learn and develop as we advance in such a dangerous climb. This is when we must stop at the true central axis of the title: its devilish gameplay. Ghostrunner, in essence, is a platform game and first person shooter with a special predilection for parkour and combat melee and in which mobility is everything to survive and not fall into “Critical Failure” or death every two steps; something that, however, will be very common throughout the adventure.
The title drinks from different experiences that we can quickly identify; so much so, that he takes from here and there to propose a style of play with a lot of personality and quite unique, everything is said. Elements such as mobility of Mirror’s Edge, the imaginative of Dishonored, the immediacy of Hotline Miami or the challenge of Superhot are just some of the concepts that Ghostrunner handles quite successfully, positioning itself as a proposal with the enough own entity. Once at the controls, and after a certain period of adaptation and the search for the appropriate control combination, we will begin to move with relative ease, jumping, sliding, running along the walls, using a kind of cyber hook and, of course, brandishing the katana, tearing our rivals to pieces before they annihilate us.
And the thing is that speed is the key to survival, since we will die from a single impact, shot or blow from the enemies; so much so, that staying still is synonymous with “returning to the nearest checkpoint”. Of course, the constant number of reset points favors the hobby trial and error mechanics, causing each confrontation to become, in itself, a puzzle that must be learned to solve on the fly and without slowing down, with hardly any respite.
And it is in this aspect, precisely, when Ghostrunner shines the most. Control is very intuitive and allows us to complete all kinds of mischief, such as jumping between walls or vertical platforms, sliding under pipes or giving small impulses in the air in bullet time style, either to reach more distant platforms or dodge projectiles or shots to win the battle. position an enemy and give him the deadly thrust, an action that normally ends with the opponent in two halves or more; and sparing no blood and spatter, by the way.
Its development is completely linear and alternates sections of pure platforms, where the skill at the controls will be essential, with other sections in which to eliminate a certain number of enemies to move on to the next block; This is when the game certainly turns iterative and predictable, although the very challenge of overcoming each confrontation in the most creative way does the rest. However, the possible solutions to each encounter tend to be quite reduced, usually betting on a single solution.
Virtually every match is resolved by dying and retesting, a mechanic that is certainly becomes addictive but that sometimes can get to despair; Special mention for the tough final bosses of the second half of the game. We will also face “virtual” phases with pure platforms and logic puzzles, adding some variety to its development. And is that Ghostrunner is a demanding game, both due to difficulty and concept, not recommended for players who give up on the first change. Nor does a saving system help that can ruin a good part of the progress made if we don’t pay enough attention; and it is that sometimes it is not very clear what is a checkpoint and what is a save point.
However, we have several aids at our fingertips, from weapons or power-ups that are used only in certain areas to own skills to unlock, such as the telekinesis blow or the bullet time to annihilate several enemies with one blow, among others. In addition to a curious customization system in which to unlock and fit pieces of special abilities in the purest Tetris style and that we can configure according to the situation in which we find ourselves, to obtain some advantages or others, such as deflecting more shots with the katana, having an extra boost or locating enemies more easily, among many others.
To all this we must add a good handful of collectibles and katanas of the most varied designs distributed by 17 levels of which the story is made up, a campaign that we can complete in about ten hours on average, but that can be much more depending on our ability or if we want to complete everything one hundred percent. Finally, at the end of each level several statistics like the time spent, a key element for speedrunners.
Already in the audiovisual, Ghostrunner is really solid, with a very striking and successful artistic design and a more than convincing staging, especially at the level of all kinds of graphic effectssuch as lighting, particles, or animations. At the performance level, it remains stable without notable setbacks, something essential in a title as fast and frantic as the one at hand, with a constant 60 fps.
Of course, certain melodies can be made somewhat repetitive, all of them, with a marked electronic personality by the composer David Deluxe; the effects are forceful and marry very well with the setting, while the voices arrive in perfect English with subtitles in Spanish. Unfortunately, if the player does not have a good level of the language, he can miss a good part of the dialogue, since such is the frenzy that he will not be able to pay attention to subtitles while trying not to perish again and again.
Ghostrunner bursts in with force as one of the sleepers of the year, there is no doubt about that; a title that has gone largely unnoticed during its development and that has earned the right to position itself as one of the most compelling action games in recent months. He does not lack reasons: frenetism, demand, setting, playability … The new One More Level meets with a note in most of its sections, a title that although it will not fit with all kinds of players, those who like challenges extremes and trial and error mechanics will find a truly satisfying title in its formula. A bit like the Soulslike, which until the moment that the player does not make that “click”, can become a nightmare; But when it adapts to its development and exploits its full potential, it is as exciting as it is addictive.
- Very successful cyberpunk setting
- Demanding but very well calibrated gameplay
- Variety of situations and challenges
- Technically solid with eye-catching graphics
- Arguably cast of save points
- Development too predictable
- Difficulty following the plot
A game with a remarkable finish that we will enjoy and remember. A good buy, highly recommended for lovers of the genre. It is well cared for at all levels.