You’ll need to slice through your opponents even more quickly in the new DLC for ninja parkour game Ghostrunner. The new Kill Run mode brings some extremely tough new challenges to the game, requiring you to not only rip through enemies who can one-shot you at a moment’s notice, but to find ultimate paths through enemies and execute perfect jumps, dodges, and wall-runs in order to nab a high score.
We got a chance to check out the newly announced DLC mode ahead of its reveal, and it brings an even higher level of intensity to the game than the rest of Ghostrunner. Kill Run mode contains five intense time attack levels, where you’re judged not only by finding your way through the stage, but by how quickly you do so. You’re only given around 25 seconds to beat them, but with the twist that 25 seconds isn’t really enough time to beat them. If the timer runs out, you’re killed and are forced to start the level over.
To make it through Kill Run’s stages, you’re incentivized to take out enemies, with each kill adding two seconds to your timer. You can also grab yellow clock icons scattered throughout the level, each throwing another second on your timer. But dying in Kill Run is essential, because beating the stages with a decent time–and therefore, unlocking higher ranks–is all about finding the best paths through the stage to gather kills and speed while maximizing your efficiency. So each Kill Run is a battle of attrition, forcing you to go as fast as possible, be as good a killer as you can be, and to be as observant as you can manage to find the best ways forward. Sometimes, you want to hit as many kills as you can in a short amount of time; at other points, whipping past enemies to find a quicker way to the goal saves you way more time.
It takes a bit to get used to how Kill Run works, since it’s a big change of focus from Ghostrunner’s standard levels. Most of the time in the game’s story mode, your goal in a room is to kill everyone there. If an enemy is left standing most of the time, the exit remains locked until you take them out. But in Kill Run, even figuring out where your goal is will probably take you several runs, and once you’ve located it, you’ll need to figure out the best way to get there, which battles are essential to fight and which you should avoid, and how to best navigate the environment. And the whole time, you’re on the clock, so you have to make those decisions in a heartbeat. The upshot is that you have all of the unlockable abilities you get during the main game at your disposal, so if you’re a well-versed Ghostrunner, you can potentially utilize the ability to control the minds of enemies or to blink through multiple foes at once to serious advantage.
In all, Kill Run is a cool new challenge for seasoned Ghostrunner players. The mode ratchets up the challenge of the game, while testing the abilities you build while you’re playing it–it’s not just about super-fast reflexes, but in recognizing how you can move through a level and what paths are most efficient. Kill Run excels when you spend the time to get really good at its short levels, playing over and over (and over) again to really, fully understand it. As a competitive mode for parkour ninjas, it really does a great job of honing in on that super badass feeling you get when you perfectly execute a run in Ghostrunner.
Kill Run is a free addition to Ghostrunner, as is one other big new feature: a photo mode. Ghostrunner has some pretty impressive-looking environments, especially when it leans into its neon-washed cyberpunk look, and the new photo mode gives some new options for capturing those looks. There are a fair number of options in the mode for applying filters and adjusting things like focal length, and that gives you plenty of ways to tweak the shots you can create while slicing your way up the Dharma Tower.
While you get more options to play Ghostrunner for free with the DLC update, there are a few things you can add to the game if you’re willing to pay into it as well. Alongside the DLC comes the $5 Metal Ox pack, which adds a few new cosmetics to the game–namely, new swords and gloves for your ninja. The pack comes with four swords and gloves inspired by Chinese culture in celebration of the Year of the Ox.
The update for the new Kill Run and photo mode,along with the Metal Ox pack, are available right now. You can also find Ghostrunner on sale on Steam and on Nintendo Switch in celebration of the new releases.