Ghostrunner 2 is more frantic and fast-paced than ever | Hands-on preview

by on August 31, 2023

Ghostrunner was an incredibly fast, action-packed game where one false move meant death, but one quick slice of the blade meant the end for your enemies. With Ghostrunner 2, One More Level has outdone itself, and when it comes to the motorbike, the intensity has been turned up to the max. I got to play a short demo of it, and I was thrown straight into the frantic combat. You feel so vulnerable yet so powerful at the same time, and while it can be tough, there’s no greater feeling than taking out a flurry of enemies in quick succession.

Jack is back, and from what I’ve seen, he’s got plenty of tricks up his sleeve. In the preview build I played, he had shurikens which could be thrown at enemies or barrels that would explode, the ability to force push objects and targets, and his trusty blade that can take out almost anyone with a single swipe. The various enemy types fired guns from afar, attacked from close (be it a slugger or a ninja), and slammed an electric hammer into the ground. They all act differently and react to your attacks, but the abilities on offer help to counteract their advances.

You can parry at the perfect time to initiate a brutal death, dodge and dash to the side before launching yourself towards someone, run against walls and use a grapple to pull yourself up into the air. All of these traversal techniques can be strung together to pull off some impressive sequences, where traversal and combat fuse seamlessly together. It can be tough at times, but the level design of the cyberpunk setting had plenty of high ground, cover spots, and ledges for me to be able to make the most of what I had.

Perhaps the coolest thing I saw in the Ghostrunner 2 preview build was the bike. One More Level has managed to make the action just as thrilling on two wheels as you travel at great speeds through levels. Walls of lasers and moving barriers block your path; huge chasms need jumping over; door controls need to be sliced or else you’ll slam straight into them; and so much more needs to be manoeuvred in order to successfully get to the end. The checkpointing system is fantastic, as you won’t have to replay the levels over and over again, but rather shorter sequences need to be overcome to inch closer to the finish line.

For saying you’re travelling at impressive speeds, you always feel in control, and Ghostrunner 2 has mastered how it all feels. After it ended, I just wanted to play more of it. I replayed it all over again just so I could experience the incredible gameplay, with a great soundtrack and impressive visuals. It maintained 60fps with no problem whatsoever (even on a modest PC), and despite not seeing much of the story or the upgrade system, I know this is going to be one of those games I’m going to be playing over and over again.

If you loved the original and were curious as to how it could be topped, Ghostrunner 2 has you covered. The combat has added little tweaks to keep it feeling fresh, and the movement gives you plenty of freedom to approach enemies in different ways. Do you attack head on, or find a vent and flank them? Choose away, because the power is in your hands. As if fighting wasn’t great enough before, the bike section blew me away with how good it looked and how responsive and diverse it felt. It’s great to see Jack back once again, and I can’t wait for more in October.

Ghostrunner 2 is due for release on October 26th for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.