20th Jul2018

‘Ghost 1.0′ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

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I want to get this straight out of the way. I am loving my time with Ghost 1.0. As a sucker for Metroidvania games, I was really excited to be given this game for a review and was pleased to see that it strikes a very delicate balance between gentle grinding, humour, sci-fi tropes and great game design that really pulled me in.

Your character is the titular Ghost, a 3D-printed chassis controlled remotely by an unseen person. Hired by two men, Boogan and the ‘Operations Chief’, you are to break into a space station and commit that most cinematic of crimes, industrial espionage.

Played in a 2D viewpoint, Ghost 1.0 begins with a brief tutorial (smoothly built into the game, so it doesn’t feel jarring or tacked on) which explains the controls. You can shoot, jump, roll and all the usual platforming mechanics, but you can also take over other AI in the facility, which makes for some interesting sections in both action and puzzle variations. For example, you can take over a distant robot and use it to attack and destroy all other enemies in a room (the game is split into corridors and room sections) before using it to operate a panel which opens a door blocking your way; it’s a very well-implemented design feature that adds a layer of depth to the game.

With sharp visuals, driving music and strong voice-acting accompanying you through the facility (the constant banter between Ghost and her handlers is VERY well written, filled with pop culture references and several laughs) the game really is a joy to play. It’s also not shy in the difficulty department. At one point, I was making my way through the facility and feeling pretty good about myself when I wandered into a room that held a boss, needless to say it stamped me to death in a couple of minutes with me barely having scratched it’s health meter (I think I kicked it once and scratched its paint before being crushed) and so I re-traced my steps back through the game and realised a few things that helped me on my way…

Firstly, there are ‘alarm’ rooms which hold a panel that, when operated calls in reinforcements for you to destroy, when killed, they drop energy which can be used to purchase upgrades at various points. Secondly, some rooms contain ‘souls’ which can be collected, when all souls in a room are picked up, you get a bonus such as a raised critical shot chance or the ability to hold extra shots in your gun, and so I began some grinding to pimp up my chassis (I usually dislike grinding in games, but as this was so well-implemented and only took an extra few minutes, I had no issues whatsoever as it was such fun to do). After raising my power slightly and grabbing a shotgun, I ran back into battle and after a couple of attempts, I was victorious against the first boss, the end result being especially gratifying. The game has lots of these little moments and rewards you with accomplishments and geeky bonus pick-ups for doing certain things which all add to the overall charm of the game. Its expansiveness, well-chosen difficulty and inherent replay value in exploring the entire space station make this great value for money on top of everything else.

In summary, Ghost 1.0 is great and is a MUST for any Metroidvania fans. It also has a unique slant on things with its humour and overall approach to the genre. A hearty recommendation for all Switch gamers, get stuck in the world of Ghost 1.0, I promise you that3D printing has never been this good.

Right, I’m off to make Tarzan noises on a zip line.

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