Released a little over three years ago, the original Ghostrunner was a hidden gem. The game was such an interesting blend of mechanics from parkour platforming to action swordplay. The game worked so well to create an action packed thrill ride. When I heard about the sequel I was really excited to try it out. I was curious how the game was going to try and top the original. Ghostrunner 2 is pretty much exactly what you want out of a sequel, more of what excelled in the first game along with some fun new additions.
Ghostrunner 2 takes place a year after the events of the first game. After successfully defeating the Keymaster, Jack and the rest of the Climbers must survive in a post-apocalyptic world. As they are trying to build a functioning world, peace is threatened by a violent AI cult that wants to take over the tower. Can you successfully stop the violent threat and bring peace once again to the tower.
While Ghostrunner 2 adds some new mechanics to the formula, at its core it is very similar to the original game. Those who have played the original game should be able to jump right into the sequel.
In a way Ghostrunner 2 feels like a mash up of two different genres. At its core the game is an action game. Throughout the game you will encounter many enemies that want to kill you. To help defeat them you have your trusty katana as well as a number of projectile attacks that you can occasionally use. Combat is a simple one hit kill for both you and all enemies. Should the enemies hit you, you will be returned to your last checkpoint and have to redo the battle.
The combat is combined with a platforming/parkour mechanic. As you progress through the game you unlock a number of different abilities. These include slowing down time and aiming a dash, a grappling hook, wall running, grinding on rails, gliding, and various other skills. You will use these skills to move around the environment and get across gaps. If you should fail a jump, you will return to your previous checkpoint.
The game combines these two mechanics seamlessly. The game regularly switches back and forth between the two mechanics. There will be a combat section that moves into a platforming section and so on. The combat also heavily uses the platforming/parkour mechanics as you need to use them to avoid enemy attacks.
Basically the gameplay of Ghostrunner 2 remains as satisfying as the original game. What I loved about the original game is the fast paced gameplay that makes you feel like you are playing through an action movie. The gameplay works as you have to constantly move in order avoid getting hit by enemies. The platforming is cool as you effortlessly move through the world. The combat is is so fluid and always keeps up the pace.
With how fast paced the game can get, you would think the game would become overwhelming. It never does though. I think this is because the gameplay is quite straightforward and not overly complicated. You can pick up the gameplay really quickly and jump right into the game. The game also gives you plenty of flexibility as you blend various mechanics together in combat.
So at this point you are probably thinking that Ghostrunner 2 is just more of the same. In a way that is true. A lot of the game feels like a pure sequel to the original game. That is not a bad thing since it knows what made the original game so enjoyable. The gameplay is just as satisfying as the original game.
There are a few additions to the gameplay though. The game returns a lot of the abilities from the original game, but adds a few as well. The glide ability is the standout even though it only shows up late in the game. It is really fun gliding towards an enemy and defeating them before they can even react. There are a few new enemy types as well. Ghostrunner 2 also introduces a new rogue-like mechanic where you have to complete a number of mini platforming and combat sections in a row while only having a limited number of lives. If you complete these runs you unlock some of the collectibles.
The addition I want to talk about most though is the motorcycle. You eventually acquire a motorcycle which you use in a number of levels. These levels kind of play like the rest of the game, but you do everything on a motorcycle. You need to race down the track dealing with enemies while also jumping across gaps and dealing with other obstacles.
I think the motorcycle was easily the greatest addition to the game. While these sections do play a little different than the rest of the game, they are arguably some of the best sections of the game. The motorcycle does occasionally have some control issues, but the sense of speed in these sections are hard to beat. The game does a great job making you feel like you are speeding down the road at high speeds while also dealing with other obstacles. I won’t get into details for spoilers, but I think my favorite section of the entire game was one of these motorcycle sections.
The motorcycle also leads to one of the other main additions to the game. I won’t go into details to avoid spoilers, but there are a couple open world sections in the game. You basically have to drive your motorcycle around to take you to various objectives. While traveling you can explore and there are a few optional areas you can go to that reward you with collectibles. The open world basically acts as a way to travel between areas that play more like the typical gameplay.
In a way I appreciate these sections of the game. They do add quite a bit to the world and atmosphere of the game. It is kind of fun exploring the Ghostrunner world. These are probably some of the least enjoyable parts of the game though. These sections are a little barren, and don’t add a ton to the game. They are sometimes hard to navigate as well, and lead to some bugs as your bike can get stuck in the terrain. While they aren’t my favorite sections, I thought they were still enjoyable enough.
Lets move onto the game’s difficulty. The original Ghostrunner was on the more difficult side. The game wasn’t unbearably difficult, but it definitely had sections that were quite challenging. Since one hit automatically kills you, there really is no room for error. The good news is death only sends you back a little way. Therefore you sometimes have to do some trial and error as you try to figure out how best to approach the situation.
As for Ghostrunner 2, I personally found it to be a little easier than the original game. This doesn’t mean that the game is easy. It still provides quite a bit of a challenge as you likely will die a lot before you find the right way to approach certain situations. There are some sections where you will die quite a bit. It just felt like I didn’t die as often as the original game. I think this is partially due to the added block ability. Basically you can hold the block button which blocks incoming attacks. This is limited as it uses your stamina. It does mean that you don’t have to avoid every single attack though.
Ultimately I still found Ghostrunner 2 to be quite challenging. Unless you are an expert at these type of games, you won’t breeze through the game. You likely won’t have as many deaths as the first game though. I could see some people seeing this as a con as they want it to be as challenging as the first game. For other players though I could see it as a positive as it makes the game a little more accessible.
As for Ghostrunner 2’s story and atmosphere, I think it improves upon the original game. The story takes place shortly after the ending of the first game. The overall feel of the story and the atmosphere are very similar. It just has a grander scale in my opinion. The sequel puts a greater emphasis on the story and world in general. This includes actually being able to talk with your allies instead of only listening to disembodied voices. Occasionally you will return to your base which gives you an opportunity to talk with your allies, and learn more about the world itself. While I don’t think Ghostrunner 2 has the greatest story ever told, the sequel feels like a step up from the original game.
Ghostrunner 2’s length is generally pretty good. How much time you get out of the game is going to depend on a few factors. First your skill at the game is definitely going to have an impact. The other factor is if you look for the collectibles. While playing the game I ended up finding around 90-95% of the collectibles and the game took me around 12 hours to beat. If you are really good at the game or don’t care about the collectibles, I think you could shave at least a couple hours off that. If you want to 100% all of the achievements though, it will likely take you at least a couple more hours as some of them look like they would be quite hard to get.
I would say that the biggest issue with Ghostrunner 2 is technical issues. I ended up playing the game on PlayStation 5 and I encountered a number of issues. None were gamebreaking, but they did lead to some issues at times.
The game has a number of issues with the physics/geometry. When trying to wall run or grab objects, sometimes the game doesn’t act like you think it should. Sometimes you will get stuck on parts of the environment. When you fall you will sometimes land on part of the background and not die. You can rarely recover so you basically have to jump into the void in order to reset. The motorcycle also tends to gets stuck in various parts of the environment. None of these ruin the game, but they can become a little frustrating at times.
In addition to the issues with the physics, the game does have some occasional slowdowns as well. While playing the game there were times that I noticed the game slowing down quite a bit. This usually only occurred when switching between different areas or when a bunch of things were happening at the same time. The good news is that these situations rarely happened during important gameplay moments. I mostly bring them up because they will come up at times, and if you are playing the game on a PC close to the minimum settings you may encounter quite a few more issues.
I had pretty big expectations headed in Ghostrunner 2 with how much I enjoyed the original game. For the most part the game met my expectations and even exceeded them in some areas. The gameplay is just as satisfying as the original game. It does a great job using speed to make you feel like you are in an action movie. The blend of action combat and platforming parkour work so well together. The game includes a number of additions which is topped by the gliding mechanic and the motorcycle. The motorcycle is actually responsible for some of the best moments in the entire game. The story and world are also expanded.
Really I only had two complaints with the game. Some people may be disappointed that Ghostrunner 2 is easier than its predecessor. I didn’t find this to be an issue, but it may turn off some players. Otherwise the game has a number of technical issues. I had a number of issues with the physics where my characters wouldn’t act how I wanted them to or they would get stuck. The game has some occasional slowdowns as well.
My recommendation for Ghostrunner 2 is fairly simple. For those who never played the original Ghostrunner, I would probably recommend checking that out first to see if you enjoy the gameplay. If you played the original game and didn’t really care for it, I don’t think the sequel will change your mind. If you are a fan of the original game, I would highly recommend Ghostrunner 2 as it is pretty much exactly what you would want from a sequel.
Release Date: October 26, 2023 | Systems: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Developer: One More Level | Publisher: 505 Games | ESRB Rating: Mature for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language
Genres: Action, Platformer
Official Website: https://ghostrunnergame.com/
- Maintains the same satisfying and exciting gameplay of the original game.
- Expands the world/story, and adds some fun new mechanics.
- Easier than the original game which may turn off some players.
- Has some technical issues with the physics, and there are some slowdown issues.
Recommendation: For fans of the original game who want a satisfying and exciting action game.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank One More Level and 505 Games for the review copy of Ghostrunner 2 used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.