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Did you ever want to hold the fanciest looking katana, and run around in a cyberpunk world,  slicing and dicing anyone who stands in your way? If yes, then developers One More Level3D Realms, and Slipgate Ironworks has brought you Ghostrunner! A fast-paced first-person cyberpunk parkour action game that requires you to react faster than you can think. This game goes hardcore right from the beginning and challenges you to refine your reflexes and decision making. Featuring precision-based gameplay in a stylized neon-filled world, backed with amazing freerunning, Ghostrunner has taken me by surprise!

I Have Feelings and a Katana

It is revealed that someone called Adam and Maya had predicted the purge that will end the whole world and built the Dharma Tower to shelter humanity. And after the purge happened,  what was left of humanity started to live in it. But things went sideways when the ration for the poor people was reduced and diverted to the rich residents. Corruption took over and people took fights with the Ghostrunners (who are protectors of the tower) and salvaged their equipment. The situation gradually slid from bad to worse when Adam was murdered by Maya, who sought to wield control over the power of the Dharma Tower. She eliminated each speck of resistance and hired every bandit and mercenary out there to dish out her personal justice.

The game starts off with an amazing intro, where the titular Ghostrunner slashes through the bandits that stand in his way. He finally reaches his destination, where Maya, a cyborg with mechanized tentacles is for you. However, things go the other way around and you are defeated. She chops one of your arms and throws you off the tower.

You fall more than 100 stories down, and normally, nobody can survive a fall like this. But you survive, barely, thanks to a group of climbers – who are the last resistance against Maya and her dystopian dreams. Aided by the AI subconscious of Adam, you start your perilous journey back to the top.

You are the last hope of humanity, of the architect and the last Ghostrunner. You were designed to be the servant of Adam, his protector, and just a robot who follows orders. But after the climbers managed to fix you up, you start thinking – thinking about yourself, the people, and your existence. You start to feel.

The game puts you in this emotional dilemma as you constantly fight and run across the Dharma Tower, risking everything. Making a mistake is not a luxury: you’ll one shot your adversaries but can get one-shotted by them too. Armed with the power of cybernetics and your trusty katana, soldiers, bandits, machines, and all others who stand in your way are nothing but mere spots in the large scheme of things.

The Ghost

In Ghostrunner, you will get to wield various amazing looking swords including the Seisouken, Katana, Carbon Swords, and many more. All of them look great in their own way, and even better when you get to taunt with it. The fighting mechanics of Ghostrunner is pretty straightforward – get close to an enemy and slash your sword – the end. But what plays a more pivotal role, is the movement. You can dash, slow down time, and move out of the way while being airborne and do some extreme parkour. But it will not be as easy as it sounds. You need to time your movements, your approach, effectively dodge enemy attacks and finally land your killing blow.

Much like Hotline Miami, all it takes for you to go down is one hit and thus, most of the game revolves around a trial and error gameplay loop. Things get progressively harder the more you play and there are lots of frustrating sections thrown in the midst. It suffices to say that Ghostrunner is not for people who can’t handle the pressure and frustration of such games.

There are various enemies, like a bandit with a pistol, a mercenary with an Assault Rifle, predators who leap to strike on you, Samurais with their swords, and many more. There is one particular enemy type you’ll come across for a couple of later levels – the synthetic humans. They lack brains and are designed to blow upon contact. These enemies particularly felt off the track and ruin the whole flow of the game, since you can’t kill them or run through them. If not for them, I would have enjoyed those levels a lot more since they have a very creepy vibe. These kinds of enemies work in a game like Serious Sam but not in Ghostrunner where precision and flow are everything.


Neon Lights, brutalist architecture, cybernetics, and much more add to the world of Ghostrunner and make it an exceptional visually appealing game. In the times when I used to get frustrated, the striking visuals kept me engaged. Each level in Ghostrunner has been designed perfectly with ample space for people to take down enemies in their own way. The parkour platforming designs never ceased to impress me throughout the game.

What’s more surprising is that Ghostrunner runs as good as it looks and offers crisp looking assets, lighting, VFX, and much more even in low settings. In short, it is one of the most gorgeous games released this year.

Now Sheathe

In the end, Ghostrunner is a hardcore, fast-paced, parkour action game. It will test your reflexes, on spot decision making, and patience. With instant respawn, dying will rarely feel counter-intuitive because the more you die, the better you become at the game. With mind-blowing visuals and the chest-thumping techno music, you’ll rarely feel like letting go of this experience. If you’re up for the challenge of becoming the one true Ghostrunner, forget everything and grab the game on the platform of your choice!

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