Ghostrunner is a thrilling new action-platformer set in the cyberpunk genre and it brings with it a unique, challenging and addictive gameplay loop which will keep you coming back for more!

The game pits you, a cybernetically enhanced ninja, against an evil nemesis who wants to control and distort a futuristic city. The narrative in Ghostrunner is not very unique or exciting, but it really doesn’t have to be. At the very least, the characters the team managed to create are compelling and interesting and the gameplay is the main focus of the title, clearly. This game does not rely on its plot and in a way, that’s a good thing, as it makes the title perfect for jumping in and out of short, intense sessions of play.

In terms of gameplay, the core loop primarily involves fast paced platforming, with a focus on wall-jumping, dashing and dodging projective from enemies who you will eventually slice apart using your katana. Combat situations feel like a puzzle, you’ll need to try different routes and approaches to clear an area before you unlock the winning formula and order of execution.

The game slowly introduces new elements as you progress through its levels: moving platforms, shielded enemies with an energy field-like item which must be destroyed to disable their protection, sliding, grappling to hooks, grind rails, air-propelled jump pads and more. The game does a great job of varying up the puzzles throughout its campaign, which took me around nine hours to complete. Instead of showing all of its cards at once, Ghostrunner saves elements to progressively introduce through its catalogue of missions, serving to both naturally increase the difficulty and keep the gameplay feeling very fresh. In the same vein, Ghostrunner introduces different enemies with fresh behaviour through the course of your time playing, which is another way the game keeps you on your toes.

Speaking of difficulty: Ghostrunner is not an easy game. A single hit from an enemy will cause you to die, so your platforming skills must be extremely tight and precise and you must use the Ghostrunner’s time-shifting ability to slow down time and dodge incoming projectiles or master the perfect timing of deflection. You will die a lot as you get closer and closer to mastering each area and creating a path to victory in your mind. Despite the difficulty, the game is very fair and rewarding. Controls are tight and responsive and respawns are practically instant, throwing you immediately back into the action without breaking the immersion. Checkpoints are also awarded fairly liberally bar a few exceptions, which makes the high difficulty level less annoying to deal with.

The formula that One More Level have cooked up results in an extremely satisfying, fast-paced game which gets the adrenaline pumping and sharpens the focus. Ghostrunner pulls you into a Zen-like mindset where you become one with the controls and as a result, it is one of the most fun games to play in recent memory. The credits will roll and you will still be licking your lips for more, which is a great way of telling that a game has left a positive impression.

One thing I haven’t yet spoken about is the world design and atmosphere of the game. Ghostrunner has surprisingly beautiful, high quality graphics, which surpasses the usual expectations for an indie title. One More Level have done a stellar job of filling their cyberpunk world with an exceptional level of detail and stunning lighting. The game also features ray-tracing, however, I have not yet had an opportunity to try this, as I was playing on Xbox One X. Nevertheless, Ghostrunner delivers a remarkable level of graphical polish with a stable gameplay experience on console.

Music and sound is another aspect of Ghostrunner which deserves plenty of praise. As you play through the game, you will come to adore the gloriously fitting soundtrack which is fast-paced and assists with your timing while platforming. Sound effects are apt and convey a cyberpunk feel, while voice acting for the few characters is surprisingly solid, despite not being a major focus of the game.

Overall, Ghostrunner delivers a must-play indie experience which will bring you plenty of thrills and get your adrenaline pumping. The game is available now on PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox, with a Nintendo Switch version launching on November 10th. The game will also arrive on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in 2021, with a free upgrade within your console family if you purchase the current-get version.

DISCLAIMER: This review was carried out on the Xbox One X using a review code kindly provided by the publisher, 505 Games.