Ghostrunner is blindingly fast. As players traverse around the corridors and over the rooftops of Dharma City as Jack, there’s a constant pulsing of dark synthwave urging you faster still. From its initial reveal, it’s clear that Ghostrunner could be a speedrunner's dream, and the team at One More Level are ready to make that dream a reality – or a cyber-reality.
As part of a digital press tour (how appropriate for a cyberpunk game), we got to speak with a few of the developers from One More Level about Ghostrunner. A variety of topics were broached, but a conversation about speedrunning really stood out.
It was early on in Ghostrunner’s life that the team realized they could get the interest of the speedrunning community. “When we showed Ghostrunner for the first time at last year’s Gamescom in Germany, we noticed we had huge potential for speedruners,” Radosław Ratuszni, Game Director at One More Level said. “There were guys there four or five times trying to beat their best times.”
Since then, the movement, lethality and speed of Ghostrunner have been its main selling points. Players are encouraged to move around the environment as fast as possible in order to avoid getting hit by the one-hit kill enemies. Sliding down slopes speeds you up and wall running moves you fast enough to dodge automatic weapon fire.
When the game’s first demo was released in May, the team noticed some trends that solidified their belief and pushed them to create better systems.
“The demo version had a huge community of speedrunners, that was crazy for us, there were players that were playing for 30 hours in the first three days of the demo, they were trying to beat their world records,” Radosław said, clearly admiring the tenacity of their players. “That’s why we’ve also prepared some updates for the demo version, we’ve included gameplay counters like time and death counters.”
Though it might seem like a small addition, these in-game tools help speedrunners work out optimal routes. The support doesn’t stop here though, the team plans to lean into this niche market with some unique game modes.
“There is a huge potential, and of course we are going to support this. We are already thinking about some support for speedrunners, some special game modes for them, we have a lot of ideas and we would love to bring them to life.” When pressed about whether these modes would be woven into the story or offered as a separate mode, Radosław teased, “I could totally support arcade modes.”
A game featuring such high speeds is bound to do well in the speedrunning community, and it sounds as if the team at One More Level have big plans for Ghostrunner. Be sure to check out our Ghostrunner hands-on preview for a special look at an new build.