Okay, look, let’s get something out of the way: we were provided an early code for Ghostrunner 2 for review. We at Hard Drive very rarely get gifted the privilege of early codes for games, probably on account of the Waluigi cum jokes and whatnot. So, when we do get one, I like to put it through its paces and, if it warrants it, write up a little review on it.
The Ghostrunner 2 team worked really hard on a big sequel that introduces a bunch of new features: vehicular combat on a motorcycle, expanded story, and grander boss fights, while still having the main meat being the high-octane action and parkour from the original game. The action is as good as ever, and the parkour feels great. The grounded dash in particular felt much better to use than the first game. New skills and upgrades add extra depth to the gameplay as well, letting you really customize your experience to your liking.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really get far enough to form an opinion about the other new stuff like the motorcycle in GR2 because there’s a roguelike mode in this one, and those are my absolute shit. Maybe the dialogue and all that is grand, but when I booted up my game after a few hours of playtime, I saw a new button: “ROGUERUNNER.EXE.”
I was instantly hooked. There’s a selection of different stages, being designated as either parkour stages or arena stages. You have a set number of lives to start with, and gain either bonus lives or a bonus mod with each section you complete. Work your way through these stages and you’ll be greeted with a “final stage,” a challenging arena that will likely drain away a lot of your accumulated lives as you strategize and learn how to take on the challenge.
After completing this, you’ll be moved on to the next “phase,” where you repeat the process over again three more times to truly beat ROGUERUNNER. Unfortunately, to move onto these next phases, you need to progress the main story. But, I was having too much fun playing the new roguelike mode to want to progress the story more. The only reason I did progress the main story was so I could unlock more roguelike content. After which, I played the roguelike mode again for the rest of the review period. The upgrade cycle was just too damn fun, and the mode is a perfect distillation of what I love about Ghostrunner and first-person action games like this in general.
So yeah, if you’re reading this, Ghostrunner 2 devs, sorry I didn’t review your game. Thanks for the roguelike mode, though. If you spin this off into its own game I will be there day -1.