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31 Oct 2023

REVIEW: Ghostrunner 2 on Xbox - A Thrilling Upgrade to the Cyberpunk Slasher Genre

Review by Jon Donnis
If you loved the first Ghostrunner, you're in for a treat with its sequel, Ghostrunner 2. Building upon the foundations of its predecessor, the game offers a thrilling and immersive experience with several notable improvements. This hardcore first-person slasher keeps you on the edge of your seat as you navigate a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world, making it one of the standout action games of the year.

Much like its predecessor, Ghostrunner 2 features fast-paced, one-hit-kill combat, where agility and precision are paramount. You'll dash, slide, and execute enemies with your trusty sword, and the game introduces new ninja tricks to customize your playstyle. The addition of a stylish motorcycle segment adds variety to the gameplay, enhancing the overall experience.

One of the game's strengths is its more fleshed-out world, captivating level design, and challenging boss battles. The cyberpunk dystopia of Dharma City comes to life with engaging storytelling and well-developed characters. The conversations with fellow rebels in the hub world offer valuable insights into the game's lore, making them worthwhile diversions before embarking on your next mission.

The game's combat and parkour elements are further accentuated by a pulsating soundtrack that gets the adrenaline pumping, intensifying the action and immersing you in the dystopian atmosphere.

However, Ghostrunner 2 does have its drawbacks. Some players might find it easier compared to the first installment, potentially diminishing the challenge, especially the boss fights. The hub world, while offering valuable narrative content, disrupts the pacing of the game. Combat arenas sometimes feel too open, with large gaps between enemies, and some dialogues suffer from awkward silences. Additionally, the boss fights, while decent, could have been more engaging.

Ghostrunner 2's plot places you in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world, one year after the fall of the tyrannical Keymaster. You'll face a violent AI cult outside Dharma Tower, the last refuge of humanity, as you shape the future of your kind. The game features remarkable katana combat mechanics, nonlinear levels with intricate motorbike sections, and exciting new modes. Boss fights now offer more interactivity, allowing players to choose their strategies.

The introduction of new skills adds depth to the gameplay, encouraging creativity and adaptation to different encounters. The player progression system is revamped, providing customization options for your playstyle. The Cybervoid, interactive environments, and a dialogue system further enrich the experience.

In conclusion, Ghostrunner 2 successfully builds upon the strengths of its predecessor, delivering an exhilarating and immersive cyberpunk slasher experience. While it might be slightly easier and the hub world interruptions can be a pacing issue, the game's engaging story, refined gameplay mechanics, and captivating soundtrack make it a must-play for fans of the genre. Dive into the dystopian world and save humanity in style, all while enjoying the synth-wave soundtrack that enhances the overall experience.

I score Ghostrunner 2 on Xbox a solid 8 out of 10.

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