Ghostrunner Review (PS5) – The very popular niche title Ghostrunner from One More Level has received a PS5 update. Having played a little of the PS4 version it was clear how a PS5 version could enhance this game. It’s quick, brutal and very addictive, and I was sure quicker loading, smoother framerates and improved image quality will improve the experience massively.
We have already reviewed Ghostrunner here at PSU and I do mostly agree with what was said. I will, however, say a couple of things about what I thought about the game now I have put a significant amount of time into it. What would you get if you took the gauntlet from Titanfall 2 and folded it into a mix of Hotline Miami and Mirrors Edge? Yep, you guessed it, Ghostrunner.
Ghostrunner Review (PS5) – Death Is Swift But Success Is Joyous
Get With The Flow
You awaken with no memory, I know, I know, that old chestnut. The last remnants of humanity are housed in a dystopian digital landscape and you are instructed to free the ‘Architect’. From there unfolds an average tale of trying to free mankind but on the whole, I just found it a vessel that carried you to the next area.
The story is definitely not this games strong point, it’s the gameplay that keeps people invested. The try, try again methods required to complete this game speaks to a certain type of gamer. While a lot of players will leave frustrated, players like me that love a challenge, revel in these types of games.
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The Pure Speed Takes Some Time To Adjust To
My initial hour or so with Ghostrunner was like wading through treacle. It took a bit for my forty-year-old brain to catch up with the slightly irregular control scheme and breakneck speed the game motors along at. Jump is R1, which takes some adjusting too but I can see why it is that way, you need your right thumb free for constant monitoring of your death-soaked surroundings.
After my initial old-age failings I soon got into the groove, I was slicing folks into bits and parkouring along like the best of them. Ghostrunner is as fluent as it is smooth and above all, Ghostrunner likes to kick your ass. This is where the Hotline Miami comparison comes to fruition, in Ghostrunner death is always one hit away and you will die, you will die a lot!
Each area you encounter becomes a ballet-like puzzle, a mix of wall-running and enemy encounters must swiftly be navigated with fluidity, briskness and split-second thinking. I really enjoyed the flow of Ghostrunner, the level design and mechanics blend together beautifully to create a remarkably fluid experience.
You collect new abilities for combat and platforming along the way but another feature I really enjoyed was the skill system. Your skills are made up of tetromino shapes that you must fit into a grid. You can rotate them and swap them to try and activate the skills you require in a Tetris like fashion. A nice little wrinkle in this system is that whatever space you have left increases your ‘focus’ power. It’s all rather lovely.
PlayStation 5 Improves The Experience
I don’t want to retread too much ground as I do agree with most of the points raised in our previous review but I will touch on some of the PlayStation 5 update features. Firstly, I can whole-heartedly say the PS5 version looks a lot better on your screen. Sharper, more crisp and generally just a better looking game.
Ghostrunner now runs at 4K, 120FPS, if you have the right setup and also supports Ray-Tracing. On the whole, the update creates a vastly better product than what is available on the PS4. The environments glisten, your swords look so sharp and while I am not a graphics snob at all, everything just looks vastly superior.
There are the expected DualSense bells and whistles, the haptics and adaptive triggers make sure you feel every death and every grappling hook shot. I really feel like the DualSense really elevates this game, it makes the parkour more immersive and the combat more visceral. I’m struggling to see the game feeling as good on other controllers or with a keyboard and mouse.
I did not listen to the sound very much on my quick jaunt on the PS4 version but the PS5 3D audio works very well, being able to pinpoint enemies and projectiles in this game is paramount and 3D audio really helps. Along with the game’s brilliant soundtrack which thumps along while you zoom through the games intricate levels, I really appreciated Ghostrunners sound design. It adds to the overall immersion and heart-pumping action.
Revel in Defeat, Elation in Success
Ghostrunner kicked my ass, all over the place but I loved it doing so. I like a challenge though and there is some fun to be found in finally conquering a tricky section of the game. Muscle memory is key and there is space in Ghostrunner to be creative, to accomplish goals in your own way and I am sure a lot of the game’s rooms will be completed differently by a multitude of players.
The improved resolution, frame rates and loading time are awesome additions as are the DualSense features. I really feel the PlayStation 5, with the amazing controller, will be the place to play this game as it massively improves immersion and drags you more into the speedy gameplay. Ghostrunner is comparatively cheap, if you have a PlayStation 5, if you like a bit of challenge and want something different, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Just be prepared to die, a lot!
Ghostrunner is out now for PS5 and PS4.
Review copy provided by the publisher.