For me, Ghostrunner was one of those games that was completely off my radar, but that I ended up loving – even IF I died like… a million times when playing it (yes, that’s an exaggeration, but it felt that way at the time). Naturally then, I’ve been pretty excited to die a million more times in Ghostrunner 2, which has now made its way to PC and consoles from today.

Oh, and it’s a ton of fun to play too, with it improving upon the stylishly aggressive gameplay of the original in almost every way.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Ghostrunner 2 once again puts players in the cybernetic boots of Jack, who has found freedom (and a new name) following his antics in the first game. Taking place one year on from then, players find themselves facing off against a new threat that hopes to take control over Dharma Tower following the fall of the Keymaster. This battle spreads outside of Dharma Tower too, giving Jack a clearer view of everything that’s going on around him in this grim landscape.

Let’s get this out of the way immediately: Ghostrunner 2 is a blast to play. It takes the established formula from the first game and ups the ante, with new features and abilities on offer to ensure your skillset is much more refined when taking on each challenge. There’s still a big emphasis placed on swift movements, precision platforming, and perfect timing with your attacks, whilst levels are still creatively designed to push your skills to their limit. Using the grappling hook and dashing still makes you feel like a badass ninja, whilst enemies are relentless and numerous. And yes, you’re going to die a lot. Like, a REAL lot. I died so many f*****g times, it’s unreal.

It’s easy to feel a sense of familiarity when you start playing then, especially with the neon-dripped aesthetic that will certainly remind players of the original game (even IF the visuals have seen a big boost since then). However, when you really get stuck into the game mechanics, you’ll appreciate the new additions and refinements that have been made. One of those comes with your block ability, which allows you to defend yourself from some attacks as opposed to having to dodge clear of them. This is a stamina-reliant ability so you can’t simply block attacks carefree whilst it’ll also only work from the direction you’re facing, but it gives players another option when trying to protect themselves in a perilous close-range situation.

“Let’s get this out of the way immediately: Ghostrunner 2 is a blast to play. It takes the established formula from the first game and ups the ante, with new features and abilities on offer to ensure your skillset is much more refined when taking on each challenge.”

There are other abilities to take advantage of too, such as Shadow which leaves behind a clone to distract enemies whilst also turning Jack invisible, or Shuriken which can be used to attack enemies from afar or even cause distractions in the environment. Then you have the ultimate abilities, which pack some real punch and can be a game-changer in some scenarios. My favourite? It has to be Blink, which allows you to dash through two enemies in order to kill them. These abilities can even be upgraded by equipping special chips, making them more effective when dealing with the game’s onslaught of enemies. You can also use the chips to upgrade Jack’s general skillset, but be warned: whilst they can boost you in some ways, this often comes at the expense of something else, so you’ll have to carefully manage your loadout to ensure it suits your playstyle.

One of the coolest new additions is your bike, which doesn’t only make for some thrilling set-pieces in-game, but also feels super slick to use in combat. It also lends itself to one of the biggest changes to the gameplay: the semi-open area you explore. Whilst a lot of Ghostrunner 2 takes place in familiar levels made up of clear pathways, you’ll eventually venture into an open area that you’re given a lot more freedom to uncover. It’s a cool twist to the formula that really helps differentiate Ghostrunner 2 to its predecessor, whilst the fact that the bike is a LOT of fun to ride is the cherry on top. And sure, the intensity and speed of the bike does mean you’ll suffer more deaths, but at least you’ll be doing it with style.

There’s just a lot going on in Ghostrunner 2 that it’s hard to cover it all. I haven’t even mentioned the epic boss battles that really up the ante and push your skills to the limit, the bigger variety of enemies that demand players to be more observant and wary of their surroundings, the expanded level design that offers players more creativity in the route they can take or how they interact with the environment, or just the fact that the game looks and sounds gorgeous. It’s just a really impressive sequel that doesn’t only refresh the gameplay, but also feels smarter in design.

Check out some screenshots down below:

That’s not to say that it’s perfect though. Whilst I had a good time with Ghostrunner 2, I did have a few performance issues here and there, whether that’s when getting stuck in the environment and demanding a reload of the checkpoint or when the frame rate stutters momentarily for no real reason. There were a few occasions where the controls would glitch out a little when performing an action too, which is forgivable but frustrating given that any minor mistake can mean death in the game. And of course, the brutal difficulty won’t be for everyone, and whilst the game is generous with its checkpoints, there’s a lot of dying and reloading, dying and reloading, dying and reloading… you get my drift. It’s not a flaw (and having the perseverance to learn and survive is part of the game’s charm), but it won’t be for everyone.

Ghostrunner 2 Review

Ghostrunner 2 improves upon the original in every way, with the refined mechanics, new additions, and smarter design making for a very impressive sequel. It’s equally brutal to play too, with a TON of deaths suffered during my playthrough – but hey, that’s all part of the fun, right? It feels like a genuine evolution of what was already a very fun formula, and whilst it does have some technical issues that could cause some frustration, there’s no denying that Ghostrunner 2 is a stylish and thrilling experience.

Developer: One More Level
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), Xbox Series X|S, PC