Review of Ghostrunner 2: a super gorgeous Sequel that occasionally lingers too long

Review of Ghostrunner 2: a super gorgeous Sequel that occasionally lingers too long:Ghostrunner 2 $40.00 MSRP Specifications
“The action in Ghostrunner 2 is as thrilling as ever, but this ambitious follow-up overthinks a simple idea and adds clumsy new features.”

Pros                                                                          Cons:                                                                                                                         captivating tale                                                      A motorbike is untidy
improved staging                                                    Level length bloated 
slick battle                                                                Performance declines
Astute roguelike setting
 
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Ghostrunner. Celestial. Awesome Meat Boy. Bright White. One thing unites all of these games: they give players a sense of complete badassdom.

These games are all about persevering through progressively tougher obstacles, scoring numerous kills, quickly recovering, and then starting over. You’re not out, but you’re down a lot. Ghostrunner 2 is the same. A room can be destroyed in a matter of seconds by the game’s titular ninja, yet they also perish in a single blow. Patience is the key to successfully completing stages. It’s still really captivating to take on opponent-filled floors and try to solve the riddle of how to destroy every monster without getting hit. as there was just one adversary remaining, my frustration at dying would soon turn into joy as I made it through the next round without any problems. To put it simply, Ghostrunner 2 has some of the most thrilling scenes of the entire year.

Unfortunately, sequel bloat is a formidable opponent for the game. Bigger is the new installment, and sometimes that’s a bad thing. While clearing individual rooms is a lot of fun, the rapid-fire thrill of the original is diminished in longer stages. The main change to the sequel is a new motorbike, which further distances it from the exciting elements of the first one. Ghostrunner 2 is an action game that is always gratifying and fun, but its messy narrative is less likely to be remembered than its simplified roguelike side mode.

slick behaviour

Review of Ghostrunner 2: a super gorgeous Sequel that occasionally lingers too long
Review of Ghostrunner 2: a super gorgeous Sequel that occasionally lingers too long

At the conclusion of the first Ghostrunner, Dharma, the last stronghold of mankind, has been liberated from the oppressive masters of the dystopian tower by the titular cybernetic warrior and a group known as The Climbers. Ghostrunner 2 shows that when a villain is removed from a position of authority, things don’t always get better. Between the two games, not much has changed in Dharma as the remaining factions fight for dominance. The situation worsens as previously unknown older Ghostrunners reappear and pose a threat to the survival of civilization.

This is sufficient to compel the Ghostrunner—who is now going by Jack—to return to Dharma and even the area beyond the tower in order to neutralise this fresh threat. Despite prioritising gameplay above narrative, Ghostrunner 2 offers sophisticated science fiction perspectives on identity, self-worth, and the mechanisms that establish and maintain power structures.

The majority of Ghostrunner 2’s stages follow a linear plot and combine combat and platforming elements. By default, Jack is an expert fighter who can dispatch any foe with ease with his sword and use a shuriken to neutralise or incapacitate them from a distance. He can slide around any area of Dharma, wall leap, rush on the ground or in the air, and rail grind, demonstrating his extreme agility. When combining all these skills, such as wall-running to avoid an enemy’s strike before jumping back down and slicing them to bits, Ghostrunner 2 performs at its finest.

As the journey progresses, the circumstances become increasingly intricate and intriguing.

Ghostrunner 2’s intensity is heightened by Jack’s continued fragility. Jack can block, and he can increase this skill to return bullets back where they came from, but he also perishes in one shot. As a result, Ghostrunner 2 turns into a ballet of navigating stressful situations both aggressively and defensively. Since respawning happens almost instantly and usually doesn’t cause me to lose too much progress, I was inspired to keep returning and honing my abilities until I could complete a room flawlessly.

 

As new opponents, skills, and movement patterns emerge during the quest, the scenarios grow increasingly intricate and intriguing. At the end of the first round, which takes place in the lower levels of Dharma and centres around straightforward gang warfare, I was soaring across the upper levels of the building in a wingsuit and skillfully dodging bullets from mechs and adversaries that stood in my way. As I became proficient with its gameplay, Ghostrunner 2 seemed like one of the best action games of the year during those moments.

less elegant reach


I hardly had any complaints during the initial part of the experience as I quickly progressed through engaging action scenes. But as the journey progressed, Ghostrunner 2 demonstrated that having too much of a good thing can get tiresome. In the middle of the game, Dharma is escaped by the villainous Ghostrunners that Jack is battling. Jack follows them after spotting a motorbike and takes it down Dharma’s side to investigate the surrounding wilderness.

Ghostrunner 2 obviously wants to preserve its cool factor, and while the first motorcycle chase feels smooth and in line with that, those sequences fall apart quickly. Riding a motorbike involves careless handling, and the narrow perspective while travelling fast might make it challenging to see what’s approaching. The physics of the game usually make it difficult to get from riding on the ground to riding on the wall, and if I crashed into something and didn’t get killed, the motorbike would frequently become stuck in strange places that made me wish I was walking.

If this were a one-time quirk, I might have been willing to accept it, but the game’s longest objective forced me to use it more than I ever would have liked. In order to find the whereabouts of the renegade Ghostrunners, Jack must visit three smaller towers located throughout Dharma in this level, which is set outside of Dharma. Up until now, the majority of Ghostrunner 2 levels could be completed in a half-hour at most; this one required more than ninety minutes and had more frame rate troubles than any other part of the game.

This is because players can drive to and climb the towers in any sequence in this level’s quasi-open-world design. The previously noted motorbike control issues made getting from point to point less enjoyable and interesting. These issues only got worse in an open-ended level where it’s simple to stray from the main path and find that a seemingly quick spot is actually somewhere that neither Jack nor the bike can go.

Its phases are too protracted to lure me back.

Ghostrunner 2 excels in scenes with precise, dramatic design. This momentum-killing section undermines its air of tight design, and it made me less enjoyable overall because I was more conscious of other levels that had similar pacing problems. It was like fun between the carefully planned battle playgrounds, only worse. Going back and attempting to complete a level in the fastest time possible is a big part of the appeal of games like Neon White or the first Ghostrunner. Although I would want to do that for some levels in Ghostrunner 2, the game’s stages are too lengthy to lure me back.

Getting crazy
Fortunately, Ghostrunner 2’s development team almost seems to have known about its campaign issues. This is so that a new side mode can immediately address the issue at hand. This side game, called Roguerunner.exe, is a roguelike adventure that combines parkour and combat tasks in one of four tiers of difficulty. Once I finished a level, I could buy various enhancements. Certain powers, like boosting my dash and block metres, were more minor, but others, like the Superhot-inspired H.O.T., altered the game entirely by only allowing time to move when Jack did.

Even while I doubt I’ll play Ghostrunner 2’s story mode again anytime soon to improve my completion timings, I can see myself opening Roguerunner.exe in the future to have a quick taste of its sleek gameplay.

Ghostrunner 2 does have a sophomore slump, despite the fact that I love the Ghostrunner universe and am excited to see it grow. It commits the age-old sequel error of expanding too much for its own good and include things that detract from what made the first one unique. If the series does continue, I hope that Roguerunner.exe provides a roadmap for the future direction of the cyberpunk series because it does reduce the game to its essentials for a more pure action experience.

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