Released back in October Ghostrunner was met with wide praise for its lightning fast action and quick precision dodging largely in part by its control scheme on PC. What wasn’t received well was how the game plays with controllers specifically on PS4 and Xbox One.
2 weeks later the Nintendo Switch version has been released making this the absolute worst way to play this otherwise amazing game.
*Screenshots used for this review are from Steam page and not representative of the Switch gameplay
Ghostrunner isn’t heavy on the story but plays well to its strengths by offering you pieces of the plot slowly through dialogue. As a Ghostrunner you awaken with no memory but is hellbent on killing the Keymaster who threatens all life within the Dharma Tower.
The story reminds me of films like John Wick or Mad Max: Fury Road in which the story plays second to the action and boy is there plenty of action in Ghostrunner. Ghostrunner is a platformer like action game similar to that of Ultrakill, Metal Gear Rising, Meatboy, and other games that require the patience of a saint to complete.
Each area is full of enemies that will shoot you down the second they see you and with your new found abilities you have to figure out how to traverse the area to find the cleanest kill shot for all that stand in your path. The gameplay is fast paced and addicting with the quick respawn only enabling me to say “one more time” before jumping into a room full of enemies again.
Looks That Kill(Your Interest)
Now if you’re playing Ghostrunner on PC or even PS4 or Xbox then congratulations you have a fantastic looking hack and slash game to look at. Unfortunately for Nintendo, their hardware can’t justify the same level of visual polish mixed with the quick gameplay and what you’re left with is appalling.
Not only does in look worse than the lowest graphical settings on pc but each area loses its personality immediately from one glance with poor draw distance, terrible backgrounds, and watered down textures.
*For a more up close review I highly recommend SwitchUp’s detailed review on the performance of Ghostrunner.
Out Of Controls
It is very rarely that a control scheme puts me off of a game all in itself but somehow the Nintendo Switch version does just that. The control scheme for Ghostrunner downright does not feel good on the hands and does not mesh well with the hectic gameplay.
Quick reactions using shoulder buttons and an inverted controller scheme on the Nintendo Switch is in no way playable for game as fast as Ghostrunner.
At the end of the day Ghostrunner is not ready for the jump to Nintendo Switch and to be honest they don’t need it. The game is an absolute blast to play through on any other console but the Nintendo Switch port lacks every ounce of charm that other versions have in order to squeeze it onto the system.
The gameplay is by far some of the snappiest and satisfying hacking and slashing that I’ve had in a minute while the graphics are extremely impressive for an indie studio but unfortunately neither of those are present in the Switch version.
I would not recommend the Nintendo Switch port to anyone in almost any circumstance.