Most people who grew up in the 80’s, like me, we’re big fans of Ghostbusters and appreciated just how good they were as films which so rightly gave them the cult status they deserved.
For years there have been rumours of a Ghostbusters 3 movie and FINALLY, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, the original writers of the first two films, brought us Ghostbusters: The Video Game.
After all the hype surrounding the game, I can honestly say, it was worth the wait!
As a game, it’s not the greatest ever made, and some may even find it a tad repetitive, but for all us ‘kids’ out there who have always dreamed of strapping on a proton pack and crossing the streams, then this is great fun.
The main storyline could have been used as a film and I would have loved to have seen it this way, who knows. Maybe the actual Ghostbusters 3 movie (which is a definite) will be based around the game?
The game starts with a nice cutscene at the new ‘Gozer’ exhibit in the museum. After the good old Ghostbusters intro, you go to Ghostbusters HQ and see the new addition to the team, who you’ll be controlling.
You play a rookie who has been brought in as an intern to test out some new equipment that Egon and Ray have been working on. Of course, there are the jokes throughout the game of how they hope the pack works and they’ve not tested it yet, especially in the rain, as they’ve never tested it outside in rain before.
You’re thrown straight into the game and of course, things start getting a little busy as the ghost world is starting to cross through into our dimension, which is a very bad thing. A little fuzzy on the whole bad? Well, as Egon explains, two dimensions cannot exist in the same space at the same time.
Cue the ghosts.
I’m not going to get carried away and ruin the story, but I’m am going to say that the classics ghosts from the films are seen throughout. You get to recapture Slimer, hunt down the Librarian who was the first ghost the Ghostbusters ever encountered, and of course, the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.
Catching ghosts in the game is great fun. There can be a lot of buttons to press at once sometimes, but you get to grips with the controls in no time.
All you need to do is point the target cursor at the ghost and press R2 to release your proton stream and “wear the ghost down”. Each ghost has an energy bar which can be seen whenever the cursor is over the ghost. Get this bar down into the red, and you’ll have it in your stream.
You can either press square to throw down a trap, or the Ghostbusters might throw one of theirs down for you to use. Drag the ghost over near the trap and hold it until the trap sucks it in. Simple.
Not all enemies can be caught, as some of them simply explode or melt as they’re made of books or other objects. As you progress through the game, the ghosts get tougher to catch, but you can upgrade your weapons throughout the game to help you in saving the world once again.
The game is all in 3rd person view and over the shoulder which is reminiscent of Resident Evil 4 and 5 and even Gears of War. The camera angles never seemed to be an issue when catching ghosts, and the controls are fairly straightforward and will have you busting like a pro in no time.
Throughout the game, your pack upgrades to give you different beams to use against the ghosts. Each ghost has a weakness, and you can find that out by pressing triangle and whipping out the trusty old PKE meter and scanning it with R2. You can then check your Tobin Spirit guide to learn more about that ghost. Once it’s been scanned, the rest of the Ghostbusters will use the beam that is most effective against that ghost, so if you’re unsure, just see what your colleagues are doing.
There are parts of the game that will infuriate you to no end, and had me almost launching my busting controller through my screen! But for the most part, busting ghosts is an absolute joy.
Just because this is a game doesn’t mean the comedy suffers. There are some great one-liners throughout, obviously with most of them coming from Peter Venkman voiced by Bill Murray. The dry humour is always there and had me chuckling along quite a few times.
The cutscenes are really impressive, with some really nice animation that makes it look a bit like a CGI Ghostbusters film at times.
All the original cast are back including Walter Peck and Janine Melnitz, voiced by William Atherton and Annie Potts. The only ones missing from the line up are Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis.
The main game was a little bit too short for my liking and I’d completed it in about 7 hours, which nowadays is classed as a very short game.
The graphics are good but could have been a little better to say this is a next-gen game, and the whole frame rate issue never really became a problem. There were a couple of times when the game seemed to stutter but was more like “the buzzing of flies to him”. Vigo? Anyone?
Even though the story is short, you do have the choice to go online to bust some more ghosts, plus the addition of trophies will make you go back and try to collect all the ones you’ve missed.
There are six types of modes in multiplayer and these are:
- Survival — Sends wave upon wave of ghosts at you.
- Containment — Has you trying to capture as many ghosts as you can within the time limit.
- Protection — You have to protect three PKE disruptors as they are being built.
- Destruction — Destroy any relics with a psychokinetic energy and eliminate the ghost within it.
- Thief — Stop the ghosts from stealing objects.
- Slime Dunk — Dunked ghosts into traps for cash rewards.
Anything that can give me added time with a proton pack and catching ghosts is always good for me!!
Overall, I was impressed with how Ghostbusters: The Video Game turned out. A little short, but if you’re a fan of the films then that really won’t matter as the storyline is definitely worthy of being the 3rd Ghostbusters film. Also, just a reminder, Ghostbusters on the Xbox 360 has been delayed in the UK, so we have to wait until later in the year to play this unless you want to get it from America or Canada where Ghostbusters is region unlocked and is already out, so you could be playing it on your UK Xbox 360 within a week or two of ordering it!
Has anybody seen a ghost? Busting makes me feel good!
3 and a half out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.