Ghostrunner II – Review

Release Date
October 26, 2023
505 Games
One More Level
PS5, PC, Xbox Series X|S
Reviewed on
Review copy provided by
505 Games

Ghostrunner is back in this sequel to the rogue-lite runner where being quick is your superpower. Or at least that’s how I feel the superpower is. Because in this game, just like in the first Ghostrunner, you have to move quickly enough that you don’t get hit by any enemy or obstacles. At the same time, you can also kill most of the enemies with one hit.

For anyone who has played the first game, you all will know what you are getting into. For those that don’t, well, you don’t really know what you are getting into. The unique thing about this game is that one mistake could cost your life because it only takes one shot to see that “Game Over” screen.

The start of the game takes you through a tutorial of the game. And not before long you will know how unforgiving this game can be as you taste your first defeat. Controls from the first game are retained so anyone who is a veteran from the first game will not find it hard to get used to the controls. On the other hand, just because you’re new to the game doesn’t mean it’s hard to master the controls. The game does need you to have very quick reflexes and being able to make split-second decisions as the game tries to throw everything at you and the kitchen sink.

Ghostrunner II is just like its predecessor in so many ways but with a few little improvements that make it stand out as a game on its own. I didn’t really play that much of the first Ghostrunner because of how demanding the game was in terms of skill and accuracy. There were also too many screen shakes for me to handle before I would puke all over my bedroom.

It seems that Ghostrunner II has learned a lot from its predecessor as the controls are much more slicker this time around. Buttons are more responsive, and reaction time is quicker than before. It made the game seem easy in that respect because timing is everything in this game. But at the same time, if you slow down and try to take in all the sights in this world, you will just end up as a stain on someone else’s blade.

Where the first Ghostrunner focused on the world-building, Ghostrunner II is focusing on new and improved ways to tackle each level of the game. The game now has a hub of sorts where you can relax in between levels to enhance your character. In the hub, there is a console you can interact with where you can buy mod chips to enhance your character.

You can then use these chips and install them into your motherboard slots. You start off with a single slot but you can increase the number of slots by finding memory shards. Memory shards will be hidden throughout the game levels for you to find. The more shards you find, the more memory slots you can use on your motherboards.

The currency in this game is based on how quickly or how impressive you can kill enemies. There is also a multiplier that increases the amount of points that you can get. These points that you get are the ones you can use on the console to purchase the mod chips. I really like how your character can be enhanced now with different kinds of abilities and skills. It makes the game more complex in terms of being able to decide on which mods to bring in each level.

This game also has bosses, and it is interesting because the bosses will have their health bars, but you will still get killed in one shot during boss fights. You might think this is a bit unfair but because of how fast-paced this game is, being able to think on your feet can actually put the odds in your favor. The bosses, like in any other games, will still have patterns, and being able to read those patterns and knowing when to strike can really help you along the way. The boss fights will also have checkpoints where if you are able to damage the boss for a certain amount, the game will create a checkpoint that will reset you at that boss’ health bar should you be defeated during the fight. Any gamer who is up for a challenging and interesting boss fight will definitely want to check this game out.

The level designs are really good and challenging. There are areas where you are given the freedom to choose how to tackle it best. Whether you swing head on to your enemies to the right, or go straight to the center of the arena and kill the more threatening enemy there. The strategies are endless when it comes to these areas.

The audio and music for this game are also great. I really love how when you are slicing through enemies you get accompanied by electric cyberpunk-ish music setting the mood and making you feel the adrenaline rush. The graphics are better than ever and have improved over the previous game. The detail in the environment is really great, and everything pops out with the neon lights and colors. The character models do not seem to reflect this, though, as they seem to be rougher around the edges.

Overall, Ghostrunner II is a fun sequel that enhances the experience of a game that was already fun. However, removing all of this and stripping it down to the core mechanics of the game leaves you with a copy of the exact same game as before. Sure, there may have been a few additions and enhancements to the game, but whether this would be enough to compel you to buy the game is another story if you are after the game’s story though there is no doubt that you would want to buy and play this game. But if you were expecting something more out of it, then maybe you are better off playing another game.

Ghostrunner II
Score Definition
When the issues of a game are rolled and stomped by its greatness, then it’s something to invest in if you have some spare.
Seamless fast paced action
Amazing graphics
Great sound quality
Same game with a few add-ons
Character models seem to be unpolished