PAX EAST 2020 | "Ghostrunner"
The trio of 3D Realms, One More Level, and Slipgate Ironworks have concocted a first-person experience that’s a beast to experience! Entitled Ghostrunner, the game mashes up parkour mechanics and assassination strategy, and ups the difficulty to the extreme. At PAX East, I was able to experience the first level of this new title, and walked away from it shook. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on how much adrenaline you like rushing through your body.
Ghostrunner starts off with you entering a tall structure, with a prisoner communicating with you as you attempt to release them. You learn the tools of the trade, from running and leaping off of billboards to launching yourself via a hook mechanic. All of this goes on, as enemies are out to keep you from reaching your destination. Taking them out may seem easy at first, but a little mechanic known as one-hit kills makes all the more challenging.
This is one of those rare instances where I’m glad this wasn’t a VR title. I found myself bouncing all over the place (both in-game and literally as I played in the booth), as I attempted to get my assassin to the next checkpoint. But it was not easy in the slightest, as I literally brought a knife to a gun battle. While enemies are shooting, you’ll have to evade their fire and take them out with the quickest of speeds. Be one millisecond off, and you’ll either be eye-to-eye with a bullet or — in my case multiple times — accidentally plummet to your death.
It was quick to see that this isn’t the kind of game for the most casual of players to just dive into. Those who have mastered the likes of Dishonored, Hotline Miami, and Mirror’s Edge will be the ones who shall find victory in this type of title. While the checkpoint system is somewhat forgivable, it doesn’t take the sting out when you aim for your final kill and instead miss grabbing the platform and fall to your doom. And yet, the world and mechanics Ghostrunner deliver is enticing enough to keep on soldiering onward.
After I was done with my demo, I was told that what I had experienced was the easiest part of the game. My face nearly turned white upon hearing these words, as I began to wonder just how tough this game was going to be. Ghostrunner is not in the hand-holding business, and those who walk blindly into this game will no doubt be rage-quitting via a fist through their TV screen. But with a little practice (okay, A LOT of practice), you may find yourself partaking on one epic head-spinning body-slicing adventure for the ages.
Ghostrunner arrives on PC and consoles in 2020.