Review: Cyberpunk Slasher Ghostrunner Demo

Ghostrunner demo

Cyberpunk Slasher Demo Now Available

Without any warning except for some cryptic posts on their twitter, the Cyberpunk wall-running time-bending slasher Ghostrunner just dropped their demo on Steam, PS4, and XBox (and yes, it’s free!). However, make sure to pick it up quick, as it’ll only be available until May 13th. For more details, check out their website.

With a final release date that still hasn’t been announced (maybe sometime this August?) Ghostrunner is the OTHER Cyberpunk video game we’re all really looking forward to this year. Since the demo was free and I have a Steam account, I was able to give it a go. So here are my thoughts on the 20 minutes of gameplay I spent on this new demo.

A Beautiful Cyberpunk Intro Video

Ghostrunner starts with a beautifully done introductory video of you, the titular “ghost runner” with a lightsaber-style katana Cyber-sword and a full mech-looking body including a closed helmet. Who are you exactly? We don’t know. All we know is you run fast and mortally slash all in your way.

An Exciting Introduction

Ghostrunner Gets Demo On Steam, Cinematic Trailer

The beginning short video also introduces to you the types of moves you can look forward to making in-game, like wall-running, big leaps and dashing forward in the air, slashing enemies, and some sort of slowing time ability.

“Ascend humanity’s last remaining shelter, a great tower-city. The tower is torn by violence, poverty and chaos. Conquer your enemies, discover the secrets of the superstructure and your own origin and obtain the power to challenge The Keymaster.”–Ghostrunner Game Description

Beautiful Cyberpunk Visuals and Environment

The Ghostrunner demo is quick but well worth your time

One of the reasons why I completed the level in 20 minutes my first time (I’ve seen online that some were able to finish it in as little as 4 minutes, but that’s quite difficult) was because I really wanted to take the time to appreciate all the environments. It’s not every day that you get to really walk around in an immersive 3D Cyberpunk environment like this one. I encourage you to take a look at the ads and posters plastered everywhere, and then go back and run through it as quick as possible. The irony of a game like this is that its producers spend all this time designing beautiful levels with stunning screenshot potentials, and then players run through it without even bothering to take in the details (as you run your environment blurs ever so slightly because of how fast you are running, making it even harder to take in your Cyberpunk atmosphere). It also has great synthwave music, I’m happy to report. They sure know their target audience!

Simple Armed Enemies

Ghostrunner Demo Now Available on Steam; New CGI Trailer Released

Not much to say about these simple armed guards. You don’t have much of a chance to look at them, since they fire at you as soon as they see you, and they’re fairly easy to dispatch. The intro video above suggests more difficult enemies later on, including a boss of some sort with robotic arms? An interesting twist was that to pass a certain level, I had to kill all the guards to unlock the doors, who had chips implanted in them that kept the doors locked (and if they were dead, all chips would go offline I guess).

Wall-Running Action

Cinematic Trailer For Ghostrunner Reveals Limited Demo On PC ...

The wall-runnning action reminds me a lot of the fun fast-paced action in Titanfall 2. Except this time you are armed with a glowing sword and nothing else. Sometimes the walls are just walls, other times they are curved billboards, or pieces of wall suspended in midair by inert cranes.

Open Levels with Deep Chasms

Ghostrunner Demo Now Available on Steam; New CGI Trailer Released

The levels have 2 challenges: the guards shooting at you, and the empty spaces that you need to traverse. Get shot by the guards, even just one shot, and you’re dead. Fall to your death, of course, and you’re dead with no chance to recover. Whenever you die, however, you instantly respawn and reset to an earlier checkpoint that saves automatically (so no need to save the game continuously). It also encourages you to get right back into the action, similar to how deaths in Halo, for instance, result in an instant reset and throws you right back into the action.

Ghostrunner Demo No Death Run (4:44) - GameSpot

Final Verdict: 8/10 for a Cyberpunk game demo

Ghostrunner is a fast-paced, exciting game with stunning visuals and great music. The game itself is a level-crossing slasher, with wall-running and slow-motion options. It’s meant to be played fast, so it’s quite hard but rewards repeated attempts to cross its levels. Playing well rewards good instincts and experience through multiple attempts, rather than any planning or logic. With no chance to shoot back at your opponents and very little story to speak of, if you like fast-paced wall-running slashing action, this game is for you.

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