Note: This review was done before the announcement of the new all male led movie. Still, that doesn’t change the views of the reviewer in the slightest.
Now that the dust has settled and (mostly) everyone has calmed down about women taking over the franchise, let me tell you why I have no qualms with this reboot. First, yes I am a dedicated fan and eagerly anticipated the day I would get to see a third instalment. As we all know, that never happened whether it was the falling out between Murray and Ramis, or Murray not liking the script or Murray being Murray. In any case, by the time there was some rekindling interest, the guys were simply too old and would have had to pass on the torch regardless. But, thanks to videogames, fans like myself got the essential third Ghostbusters movie and more in the form of Ghostbusters the Video Game. So before I get too carried away, let’s review the game.
The opening cut scene begins in a museum where a massive PKE shockwave rips through New York. The Ghost-Busters are now city contractors who are training a new recruit who shall remain nameless. Reason being as Venkman puts it, he probably won’t last long since he is more or less a human guinea pig for Egon’s latest gadgets.
So Slimer, who is more or less a pet kept in a cage breaks loose and thus we begin our story. After a brief training segment where you learn to point, aim and fire using the analogue sticks, you along with the others head back to the hotel where you first captured him and battle the ghosts there. As the newest recruit you’re hardly ever left alone and always have the others watching over you. The A.I is responsive and the boys can hold their own although for the most part, the ghosts will have their sights on you.
The first quarter of the game is a retread of the first two movies. Not that you will be doing the same stories but you will be visiting some of the same places and tackling some old but valuable foes. Then it takes off into a whole new dimension, as in quite literally. Hard core fans know that in the original version of Ghostbusters, Aykroyd had the busters travel in and out of alternate dimensions. Long story short, the budget could never cover it so they brought Ramis on board to give it a more human touch. Well, thirty years later and Aykroyd got his way. A few levels do take part in nightmarish alternate New York as the boys keep uncovering clues as to why the sudden explosion of ghosts.
Gameplay wise it’s your standard third person shooter with the camera over the shoulder. Left analogue stick moves back and forth left right, while the right stick helps you aim. An awesome mechanic added is that once you capture the ghost in your stream you cannot spring the trap otherwise they will break free. What you must do is tire the ghosts out by slamming them into the walls, ground, and ceiling, anywhere. It’s a fun addition and the characters animations as well as straining facial expressions are a nice added touch.
As the story develops so do the enemies. Even though the proton stream is your primary weapon, not all the ghosts can be defeated this way. Your proton pack is upgradable and after every three or four missions, Egon will supply you with a new weapon such as Stasis Stream which can freeze enemies, Boson Charge, and the positively charged slime. Each weapon has two different firing types which you can use at any time. The proton pack also has an overheating function which prompts you to vent and cool it if you use your weapon too much. The P.K.E meter is also there where you can track and scan ghosts as well as finding collectables.
Graphics wise, it’s awesome to look at. The actors’ likenesses are spot on and everyone lends their voice to their respective characters. Hell, even William Atherton and Annie Potts return as Walter Peck and Janine respectively. There are some instances during the cut scenes where in game graphics are used but those are few and far in between. Enemy character designs are creative and in with the over the top, cheesy but slightly frightening tone of the original movies. The auto-save function is as most auto-saves are. Annoying and saves at the wrong times. If you lose, be prepared to be replaying huge segments again.
Sadly there isn’t much to do with multiplayer. It would have been awesome to play the story missions with four or more friends. Instead there are some co-op capture the ghost missions and defence. Still, the story mode which takes between 8-12 hours is enough.
A special fan mention must go to the games in-jokes and trivia; Slimer’s introduction is with him playing the card guessing game/experiment that Venkman was doing in the first movie. The toaster is there, Vigo the Carpathian’s portrait also. Oh and before each mission you do start off inside the firehouse and it is beautifully detailed.
All in all this is a treat, not only because I am a Ghostbusters fan but to be fair this is a rather fun game. And this is the main reason why I don’t mind the new remake. As far as I am concerned, I got the third movie and better yet, an interactive movie. I wish Feig and the ladies all the best but for now, I’m going back to some nostalgia.
Story: 4.5/5- Does everything right in expanding and closing the franchise.
Graphics: 4/5- Some low res cut scenes aside, excellent.
Audio: 4/5- Original theme is there although it’s on repeat which can get tiresome. Original cast is included, funny dialogue.
Multiplayer/ Extras: 3.5/5 – PS3 severs are down since game is old. Never found much to do online.