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We return to Dharma Tower and bring you first impressions of the first-person parcours slasher Ghostrunner 2.
Ghostrunner 2 is currently in development by One More Level in Kraków, Poland for 505 Games. A year has passed since the events of the first game. In the pre-release demo, we find ourselves in the role of Jack, tasked with tracking down a villain named Mitra in Ghostrunner’s post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world. During the wild chase Jack is supported by Zoe’s cheeky commentary.
At the beginning we are carefully taught Jack’s movement repertoire. Not only can he dash in all directions and slide on the seat of his pants on sloping terrain, but he can also run along walls, reach new levels with the grappling hook and grind on rails. Added to this are his attacking skills: Jack not only defends himself against his opponents with his cyber sword, he can also fend off attacks, counterattack, use throwing stars and his storm ability. The levels that we could play were structured like a parcours. So we’re constantly sliding, dashing through the air and taking out groups of enemies, for example by throwing shuriken at red explosive barrels or performing a perfect counterattack against particularly strong enemies equipped with lightsabers, resulting in a bloody finisher. Ghostrunner 2 is not stingy with an explicit depiction of violence, it’s not for the faint-hearted. The artificial intelligence (AI) is quite aggressive, but your adversary can only take one sword blow, just like you can. The controls are quickly internalized and so you quickly get into a flow that doesn’t break off until the end. There are also a few puzzle elements. So we can break through walls to open up alternative paths and move objects with our storm ability. We’re excited to see what abilities will be added here in the final game.
In the second part of the demo, we jumped on a motorcycle and drove down a course peppered with laser traps, ski jumps and closing gates. Here, too, direct control works well and alternative paths provide variety. The challenge here is staying on top of things while navigating through tubes and along walls in TrackMania fashion. Technically, this part runs particularly well, thanks in particular to native support for AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). The AI-assisted graphics technology has given us over 20 frames higher frame rates. In the parcours gameplay, on the other hand, we repeatedly had annoying stutters that tear us out of the flow and affect orientation in the fast gameplay. Since this is a preliminary version, the developers still have the opportunity to make improvements here before the game is published. In terms of world design, we’re already very excited. Rarely has one seen such an authentic and detailed cyberpunk world.
Ghostrunner 2’s 15-minute demo has already whetted our appetite for more. The combat system flows well into the varied parcours gameplay and the motorcycle sequence has also been implemented well. We’re excited to see which areas, abilities and weapons will be added in the final version and whether an exciting story will carry over the entire season. We haven’t seen much of it in the demo, but we were able to convince ourselves of the excellent voice-over. Ghostrunner 2 will be released on October 26th, 2023 for PC (Epic Games Store, Steam), PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
The publisher has provided us with a preview code for Ghostrunner 2 and the screenshots.