Launched on 3rd November 2022, Ghost Song is an atmospheric Metroidvania romp. It’s from Old Moon, a small indie team in the US.
It nods very clearly to the SNES classic Super Metroid (1994), with the whole thing being something of a homage.
Ghost Song is steeped in a sense of atmospheric exploration. Its introspective nature sees you exploring, learning, and unravelling the mysteries of the world you find yourself upon. And it’s goddamn brilliant!
Masterly Robotic Exploration in Ghost Song
Metroidvania is pretty much our favourite genre of gaming. These days, we head into any new release like Ghost Song curious to see a developer’s take on the familiar platforming stuff.
What’s curious about Ghost Song is its sedate pace.
Initially, it feels like the game is running in slow motion. We guess we’re too used to fast-paced lunacy. But it soon becomes clear that’s a development choice, with a slow-paced focus on exploration and melancholia.
Even the battles you have, when you come to shoot baddies, is methodical. Often requiring you to take your time and mull over the best approach.
That’s until you start ramping up your arsenal, at which point you really have some serious fire power behind you to kick some butt.
However, a bigger surprise here is just how rapidly Ghost Song grows on you. This is one of the best indie games we’ve played in 2022.
It’s excellent platforming action, with a major emphasis on exploration across a peculiar, brooding alien labyrinth. And it draws you in—you just want to keep exploring every nook and cranny of this bizarre world you’re on.
As for the plot, you take control of a long-dormant robot called Deadsuit. It’s on the desolate moon of Lorian, packed with strange monsters and bugs.
It’s your task, panic-stricken player, to journey into the murky depths below the surface… and discover… the mysteries!
In classic Metroidvania fashion, that means winding your way around a maze-like set of caves, caverns, and tunnels. And the more enemies you kill, the more of this green goo stuff you get. You can use the goo to power up your abilities and continuously delve deeper into the underworld.
That aspect has a hint of the classic Hollow Knight (2017) right there.
But Ghost Song is more Metroid than Castlevania, for sure, and it delivers on every front. It’s mournful—stark in its curious, deprived world.
There are hints of a distant past where things have gone wrong. A robot in a tunnel telling you the bridge is out of order ahead. Come back in a year. You run on, anyway.
Owl Moon has combined the best of atmospherics alongside brooding action, as the shooty stuff is very satisfying.
But it’s all about that exploration. The enjoyment of discovering Lorian.
Ghost Song? It’s excellent. You can get it now on Steam and all the consoles. It’s on Games Pass for Xbox right now, too! Highly bloody recommended, indeed.
Ghost Song’s Glorious Soundtrack
Ghost Song boasts one of the year’s best games soundtracks. It’s all the work of Scottish composer Grant Graham.
His approach for this one is Vangelis-esque (think Blade Runner), with a mix of spacey electric guitars, ’80s synth, and heartfelt piano.
Additional atmospherics are thrown in as well, such as robotic noises and malfunctioning equipment. Really fine piece of work.
He’s already uploaded the full soundtrack to his YouTube channel. Hopefully he’ll have a breakdown of each composition at a later date, as this is a great piece of work.