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GhostRunner Demo Hands On – The literal Blade Runner

A surprise Ghostrunner demo has dropped on Steam, but you better move faster than a greased cyber ninja if you want to try it out. We take a look hands on...

It seems the gaming world has gone Cyberpunk mad in the last few years, and now with Cyberpunk 2077 only a few short months away, its harvest time on a number of projects that have been teased for a few years. We had the wonderful flying-car delivery game Cloudpunk just a few weeks ago, and now Ghostrunner has dropped a surprise demo.

Released just two days ago, and only available until May 13th, you better move faster than a greased cyber ninja if you want to get your chance to try it out.

GhostRunner is a first-person wall-running stealth action game, full of everything you would expect of the cyberpunk genre, from rain-soaked streets and a neon-industrial world to rogue AIs and corrupt corporations. Just look at those screenshots. The graphics are incredible. Think Deus Ex on speed. You play as a half human, half cyborg ninja, with at least one robotic hand from what I saw and a katana blade the most badass samurai would have been proud of.

I can’t help but think some bright spark was watching Blade Runner, looking at Harrison Ford’s Deckard and thinking, ‘But he doesn’t even have a blade, and he barely runs. Hey, I’ve got an idea.’

You should be thinking Titanfall and Mirror’s Edge for the closest thing to this lightning fast, reflex-heavy hyper vertical mobility game. Everything is super fast, from input response to the framerate to the movement through each obstacle-filled vertical level.

The demo covers just twenty minutes or so, but gives you a flavour of what promises to be an exciting time. You have no gun, so you must wall-run, dodge bullets, and then leap into super close range to dispatch the lethally accurate enemies with just your blade. Its not simple and demands nimble fingers, but its hella satisfying to play. Most enemy encounters require you to take out a room-full in one seamless non-stop blur of stealth and speed, never stopping to breathe, before you get a slow-motion kill on the final soldier and that all-important checkpoint.

The demo had three or so tracks of pumping bass-heavy hardcore synth which perfectly complemented the action and speed of what was happening on screen. It’s also full of customisation options, so that you can optimise it for your gaming rig.

This is not one for the faint of heart; your blade will often slice your enemies in half, and the blood and gore is visceral. Younger gamers might need to wait a bit, or you know, get your uncle to buy it for you.

The full game promises a story involving the acrobatic ascension to the top of a futuristic tower-city in hot pursuit of your nemesis, the keymaster. Very Matrix Reloaded. Discover your origins as a blade-wielding cyber ninja. We can only imagine the blood-soaked quest for vengeance that awaits in the full game.

Ghostrunner is due out on PS4, Steam and Xbox One on August 6th according to the gang of developers on board including One More Level, 3D Realms (of Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior and Ion Fury fame) and Slipgate Ironworks. That’s just in time to benefit from a lot of people chomping at the bit for some cyberpunk ahead of the biggest release of the year.

We sincerely hope that Ghostrunner is on your radar, because on the strength of this demo, it’s certainly on ours.

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Toby Andersen

Author of the Overlords fantasy novel series - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KPQQTXY/ Addicted gamer. Love all things pixel-art, Final Fantasy, cyberpunk, Anthro. Lives with his wife and two geckos with god-like names completely unfitting to their tiny stature.

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