Ghostrunner 2 review: ultra-stylish sequel sometimes overstays its welcome

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Jack holds a beard successful Ghostrunner 2 cardinal art.

Ghostrunner 2

MSRP $40.00

“Ghostrunner 2's aggravated action is simply a nosy arsenic ever, but nan eager sequel overthinks a thin conception pinch messy caller features.”


  • Intriguing story
  • Refined platforming
  • Slick combat
  • Smart roguelike mode


  • Motorcycle is messy
  • Bloated level length
  • Performance dips

Ghostrunner. Celeste. Super Meat Boy. Neon White. All of these games person 1 point successful common: They make players consciousness for illustration full badasses.

All of these titles are astir pushing done progressively difficult challenges, racking up dozens of deaths, easy respawning, and getting correct backmost to it. You’re often down, but ne'er out. Ghostrunner 2 is nary different. Its titular characteristic is simply a wildly powerful ninja tin of slicing up an full room successful seconds, but they besides dice successful 1 hit. The cardinal to clearing stages flawlessly is patience. Taking connected rooms of enemies many times to fig retired nan puzzle of really to return nan optimal way to termination each force without getting deed is arsenic enthralling arsenic ever. The vexation of dying erstwhile there’s only 1 force near would quickly go a emotion of bliss erstwhile I’d get done flawlessly connected nan adjacent attempt. Simply put, Ghostrunner 2 contains immoderate of nan year’s astir exhilarating moments.

Unfortunately, nan crippled faces disconnected against a worthy foe: sequel bloat. The caller installment goes bigger, and that isn’t ever for nan best. While individual rooms are a blast to clear, longer levels resistance retired nan original’s lightning-quick joy. Its biggest addition, a caller motorcycle, only takes nan sequel further distant from what made its predecessor truthful thrilling. Although Ghostrunner 2 is simply a consistently rewarding and enjoyable action game, its much apt to beryllium remembered for its condensed roguelike broadside mode than its messy campaign.

Slick action

The original Ghostrunner ends pinch its titular cybernetic warrior and a faction called The Climbers having freed nan dystopian building and humanity’s past bastion, Dharma, from its strict rulers. Ghostrunner 2 demonstrates that everything doesn’t instantly get amended erstwhile personification evil is deposed from a position of power. The business successful Dharma hasn’t improved overmuch betwixt nan 2 games arsenic nan remaining factions vie for control. And things get moreover worse erstwhile older Ghostrunners that cipher knew existed reemerge and frighten to swipe retired what’s near of humanity.

Jack looks retired astatine Dharma Tower successful Ghostrunner 2.505 Games

This is capable to unit nan Ghostrunner, who now goes by nan sanction Jack, to caput backmost retired into Dharma and moreover nan area extracurricular of nan building to extremity this caller threat. Although Ghostrunner 2 emphasizes gameplay complete story, it delivers nuanced sci-fi takes connected identity, self-worth, and nan forces that put and support group successful positions of power.

Most of Ghostrunner 2’s levels are linear and drawstring together platforming and combat challenges. By default, Jack is already a skilled combatant who tin easy portion immoderate force up pinch his beard and termination aliases disable them from afar pinch a shuriken. He’s besides rather nimble arsenic he tin dash connected nan crushed aliases successful nan air, wall jump, obstruction grind, and descent astir immoderate portion of Dharma. Ghostrunner 2 is astatine its champion erstwhile stringing each these abilities together, for illustration wall-running to dodge an enemy’s onslaught earlier jumping backmost down and slashing them to pieces.

The scenarios get much thrilling and analyzable passim nan escapade …

What pumps up Ghostrunner 2‘s stakes is really frail Jack still is. While Jack tin artifact — and this accomplishment tin beryllium upgraded to nonstop bullets backmost wherever they came from — he besides dies successful 1 hit. Because of this, Ghostrunner 2 becomes a ballet of aggressively and defensively dealing pinch aggravated situations. Respawning is near-instantaneous and typically didn’t group maine excessively acold back, which encouraged maine to support going backmost and refining my skills until I sewage that cleanable tally done a room.

The scenarios get much thrilling and analyzable passim nan escapade arsenic caller enemies, abilities, and ways of moving trickle out. While nan first shape revolves astir elemental pack warfare successful nan little levels of Dharma, by nan extremity I was gliding pinch a wingsuit done nan precocious levels of nan building, adeptly dodging deadly shots from immoderate mechs aliases enemies that stood successful my way. In those moments, Ghostrunner 2 felt for illustration 1 of nan year’s champion action games arsenic I mastered its mechanics.

Less slick scope

For nan first half of nan adventure, I hardly had a title arsenic I zipped done satisfying action sequences. As nan escapade wore on, though, Ghostrunner 2 proved that excessively overmuch of a bully point tin go exhausting. About halfway done nan game, nan evil Ghostrunners that Jack is fighting flight Dharma. Jack finds a motorcycle and pursues them, riding it down nan broadside of Dharma earlier exploring nan wasteland astir nan city.

While nan first motorcycle pursuit feels slick and successful statement pinch nan cool facet that Ghostrunner 2 truthful intelligibly wants to maintain, those segments autumn isolated fast. Motorcycle riding revolves astir sloppy controls, and nan constricted section of position while riding it tin make it difficult to discern what’s coming up astatine precocious speeds. The game’s physics ever make it uncomfortable to move from riding connected nan crushed to riding connected nan wall, and if I collided pinch an object, but didn’t die, nan motorcycle would often get stuck successful overseas ways that conscionable made maine wish I was walking connected foot.

Jack rides nan motorcycle successful Ghostrunner 2.505 Games

I had hoped to place this flaw if it was an occasional novelty, but nan game’s longest ngo made maine usage it much than I ever wanted to. This level takes spot extracurricular of Dharma and tasks Jack pinch going to 3 smaller towers astir Dharma arsenic he tries to way down nan location of nan rogue Ghostrunners. Until this point, astir Ghostrunner 2 levels took astatine astir a half-hour to beat; this 1 took complete 90 minutes and had much framework complaint capacity issues than immoderate different conception of nan game.

That’s because this level has a pseudo-open-world setup, arsenic players tin thrust to and standard nan towers successful immoderate order. Driving from constituent to constituent wasn’t that nosy aliases engaging because of nan aforementioned motorcycle power problems, which only worsened successful an open-ended level wherever it’s easy to get disconnected nan beaten way and observe that what seemed to beryllium a shortcut is conscionable a spot nan motorcycle aliases Jack aren’t capable to go.

Its stages are excessively agelong to entice maine back.

Ghostrunner 2 is astatine its champion during moments of tight, aggravated design. This momentum-killing conception loses that aura of tight creation and soured my acquisition arsenic I became much hyper alert of later levels pinch akin pacing issues. It felt for illustration exacerbated playtime betwixt nan intricately designed combat playgrounds. Part of nan beauty of a crippled for illustration Neon White aliases nan original Ghostrunner is going backmost and trying to get nan champion clip imaginable successful a level. While I’d emotion to do that for circumstantial sections of Ghostrunner 2 levels, its stages are excessively agelong to entice maine back.

Going rogue

Thankfully, nan squad down Ghostrunner 2 almost seems for illustration it was alert of its run woes. That’s because a caller broadside mode straight counteracts this problem. Dubbed Roguerunner.exe, this broadside mode is simply a roguelike acquisition wherever combat and parkour challenges are strung together crossed 1 of 4 stages of difficulty. After completing a level, I could acquisition immoderate upgrades. Some were smaller abilities, for illustration expanding my artifact and dash meter, while others, for illustration nan Superhot-inspired H.O.T., wholly changed nan crippled by making clip move only erstwhile Jack does.

Jack rides nan motorcycle extracurricular of Dharma successful Ghostrunner 2.505 Games

While I uncertainty I’ll replay nan communicative mode of Ghostrunner 2 anytime soon to refine my completion times, I spot myself booting up Roguerunner.exe successful nan early if I want a burst of its slick gameplay.

Although I bask nan world of Ghostrunner and I’m thrilled to spot it evolve, Ghostrunner 2 does brushwood a sophomore slump. It makes nan classical sequel correction of getting excessively expansive successful scope for its ain bully and adding features that tie attraction distant from what made its predecessor special. Roguerunner.exe does portion nan crippled backmost to its basics for a purer action experience, truthful if nan bid does continue, I dream that offers a roadworthy representation for wherever nan cyberpunk bid tin spell next.

Ghostrunner 2 was reviewed connected Xbox Series X.

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