Ghost 1.0 Review
Name Francisco Tellez de Meneses may not tell you much. However, back in 2011, at the dawn of the boom that would have led “indie” games to have more and more visibility in the market, the friendly Spanish programmer gave life to a hit that over the years has become in a little cult game. . A cardboard box-like metroidvania called Unique, characterized by well-chosen humor that enjoyed irreverently poking fun at fantasy game stereotypes. Years later, Francisco returns to the market with Ghost 1.0, an atypical (another) metroidvania that draws heavily on 1980s cyberpunk imagery. Ghost is a mercenary hired by two unlikely budding hackers with the goal of infiltrating Nakamura, a company that produces servant androids, in order to reveal some mysterious secrets. To save the anonymous plot, a subtle ironic vein (less marked than UnEpic) comes to the rescue that makes the curtains between the three protagonists pleasant deviations between veiled dates, or not, and picturesque situations. No big twists but a nice story, told with a light and carefree tone, which in some sections manages to provoke a sincere laugh and soften the decidedly more serious tones of the plot.
ghost in the shell
In the spotlight, of course, the station to be explored through Ghost’s peculiar abilities that make the game an atypical metroidvania for two reasons. The first is linked to Ghost, able to “come out” of his shell to take control of the other robots that populate the Nakamura. The ability to enter enemy robots and exploit their weapons and abilities brings to life small environmental puzzles and situations to solve that give the product its own character identity and make base exploration more varied. From this point of view, Ghost1.0 is successful, but not entirely brilliant. Five different areas, which can be explored following missions dedicated to the acquisition of unlock keys or objects to analyze, each one varied and with dedicated mechanics that eliminate the monotony of the gameplay. In general, the whole rhythm is decidedly well balanced, except for a final section linked to the resolution of particular environmental puzzles that goes on too long despite the good variety of the proposed challenge. The only problem in this regard is related to a fairly basic level design. The game focuses more on combat than exploration, and despite smooth 2D graphics that pay for some asset recycling, it only offers slightly more sophisticated level architectures in the later stages. We are far from the glories of the genre but there are little secrets to discover in the form of strange modifiers that change some aspects of the game. these are linked to some of the most ingenious ideas in the game. In our run we found one capable of transforming the map into Ascii code but there are several and hidden in the most unthinkable places. The other atypical point regarding the classic metroidvania structure is the power-ups. The moment the game starts Ghost 1.0 asks the player what attitude he wants to face the game with: On the one hand we find a classic mode, in which the acquired improvements are kept by our protagonist in case of death. On the other hand, we find a modality that pushes the genre more to the roguish side. Here it will be easier to get your hands on the various upgrades, but when you die, these will be irretrievably lost. This logically does not affect the protagonist’s talents: particular points with which we can unlock skills and permanent bonuses. In both cases, the various gadgets – practically all related to the combat system, forget about grapples or other objects that exploit the platforming side of the game – are not unlocked in specific areas but must be purchased in the various shops present throughout the game. of credits that are obtained by destroying enemies. Here comes a wink, voluntary or not, even in Dark Souls since the credits, essential to improve our character, are the first thing we will lose if our droid is destroyed.
In terms of gameplay, this makes it necessary to go back in order to accumulate credits through the alarm mechanism. The result hangs to the side of the grind. Many rooms in the base will be dedicated to a growing system of alarms, mandatory the first time and optional later, that will sweep us through several waves of enemies. These sections are fun thanks to some imaginative weapons and good control response, and turn the game into a raw shooter that at later levels almost goes into the realm of bullet ****. It is true that sometimes the sessions dedicated to accumulating credits can become tedious when you have explored the entire area and only want to get hold of one of the gadgets. Especially if some obstacle like an unexpected death forces us to start farming from scratch. Ghost 1.0 it is a metroidvania where the most modern influences serve to give depth rather than to rewrite the rules from scratch. A formula not perfectly balanced but successful, thanks to the good paraphernalia present. The biggest flaw is given by a difficulty curve that is not always calibrated gradually.
The game experience changes significantly if you decide to play the game in classic or survival mode, but in both cases the various sections of the game see unexpected spikes in difficulty that risk being frustrating: an emblematic example is that of the game’s first boss, unanimously considered the most difficult due to the absence of power-ups. After a very soft first section useful to familiarize ourselves with the controls, the game launches us into a fight that requires more than a few attempts played with clenched teeth and sweaty hands to overcome. Add to this Francisco’s reckless tendency to *Troll* the player with little notes of evil. I don’t want to spoil the (unfortunate) surprise, but at the end of the first boss fight, pay close attention. summarizing Ghost 1.0 it doesn’t reach the heights of other recent holy monsters, but the project’s smaller dimension still shows passion, inventiveness, and a genuine love for the genre enriched by a gameplay formula that sacrifices the exploratory side but still manages to make the game captivating from the start. the one from beginning to end thanks to the variety of weapons, gadgets and secrets scattered throughout the Nakamura space station.