I have thirty minutes to write this before my deadline, but that’s okay: I have speed on my side. That’s what it feels like after playing Ghostrunner II, the follow-up to developer One More Level’s fantastic Ghostrunner. If you’re here you probably like cyberpunk, parkour, speedrunning or sci-fi ninjas doing all of the above. And Ghostrunner II has what you want.
Ghostrunner II is a first person sci-fi action game and follow-up to critical darling Ghostrunner. After the events of the first game, the tower has been secured after the first game’s uprising. In charge is a motley crew of once-resistance fighters turned leaders of the remnants of humanity.
You’re back as Jack, robot ninja with a heart of gold and some severe katana skills. Slice your enemies, deflect projectiles, and otherwise be a pain in the side of the Asura and their campaign against the new caretakers of The Tower. There’s even a motorcycle! It doesn’t get any more cyberpunk than that.
If you’re familiar with Ghostrunner’s style of movement and combat, there’s not much difference here, it just does more–and each ability that is added on feels like a natural progression of the first game’s skills.Enemies still die in one hit, but so do you. Sometimes it only takes a single failure to redo an entire sequence, and that makes Ghostrunner II extremely difficult at times. But it never punishes you with that difficulty, and always puts you back to a location where you can pick right back up at the most fun part of the action.
Combat and parkour (essentially jumping puzzles) are your two main antagonists in Ghostrunner II–but you’ll also face the occasional boss. Bosses, like the game’s combat sequences, require you to play perfectly to a certain point. Some of the bosses in the first game made you restart the entire sequence on failure, but Ghostrunner II seems to have embraced the checkpoint system more thoroughly–especially on the default difficulty, which I chose to play for this review.
Something Ghostrunner II does everything more than the first game: That means crazier moves, harder (and bigger) bosses, and some insane acrobatic sequences–it also means more lore. In fact, Ghostrunner II loves having you speed through its levels, but then asks you to slow down in between so you can learn the goings-on of The Tower. These were not my favorite sections, but it gave you a great opportunity to see a little bit more of Ghostrunner II’s world, which I have no complaints about. If you want to beeline to the person that starts your mission, or cut through any dialogue, you have that option.
If you’re into speedrunning, Ghostrunner II has that built-in. It has its own system of recording your time on each level and how many deaths you suffered at the hands of–checks notes–gravity. You can even set the timer and death count on your screen to keep that information handy, or your stream chat can see how much you suck at this game (in my case, I’m sure YOU’RE fantastic, you beautiful person.)
But that’s the thing: Ghostrunner II–like Ghostrunner before it–does an excellent job of putting you in the shoes of a super elite Ghostrunner. Anybody picking up this game will immediately feel like a hyper fast ninja that can wall run, use a grappling hook, etc.
*Glances at clock* damn, I still have twelve minutes to spare. I am become speed, writer of fast reviews. But it’s not hard to extol the fantastic Ghostrunner II and its lightning fast movement and combat. If you want to check out the Ghostrunner series or are itching to play this sequel, you won’t be disappointed. Ghostrunner II is an absolutely fantastic follow-up.
Woo, 23 minutes.
A Steam key was provided to us for this review
Ghostrunner II will be available on ____ 10/26