It has been a long time coming for both this review and the release of the Ghostbusters video game. Ghostbusters is celebrating its 25 year anniversary and the original cast got back together to turn some of that movie magic into gaming ecstasy for fans of the series. Most movie games are about as fun as clipping your grandmother’s toenails on a Sunday night, but Ghostbusters looks to show gamers how movie related games are suppose to feel. Just like the movies, Ghostbusters the Video Game was written from the ground up by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The dedication to an authentic Ghostbusters experience can be seen from that fact alone.
The story of this game takes place in 1991, two years after the end of the Ghostbusters 2 movie. The protagonist of the game that you are controlling is a new intern joining the Ghostbusters crew. Controlling a new character is a good idea because you are able to enjoy the interactions of the other characters from a fresh perspective. You begin with a few formalities such as getting your proton pack and hearing Bill Murray joke about how you might not make it as a Ghostbusters like the last intern. All seems fine and dandy until a shockwave hits the city out of nowhere. From there you learn the controls or the game while catching an escaped ghost. The controls are very solid and easy to learn. You basically aim and shoot. I played this on the PS3, so R2 is the firing button. The proton pack has unlimited ammo, but it does need to be cooled after it overheats from usage by holding R1. Once the ghost is stunned, you throw down you ghost trap by hitting square and wrangle him into it as quickly as possible. Obviously the ghosts do not want to be caught, so getting them stunned and slamming them around by hitting L1 helps a lot.
The game seems simple enough, but it gets hectic real fast once you get away from the beginning stages of the game. The ghosts start to roll deep like a gang, and your AI teammates seem useless half of the time. The ghosts are mean, violent, and they do whatever it takes not to be caught. That also includes trying to take you out before you get them. The life recover system in Ghosterbusters works something like Gears of War. If the ghosts put a beat down on you, your teammates have to come and revive you. The only way to lose in the game is when all of you teammates are knocked out and there is no one left to revive you. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, weapon additions will be acquired throughout the game to give you an advantages over the opposition. In total, there are four weapons in the game each with an alternate fire version of the weapon. I’m sure you can guess that one weapon is something like a shotgun, but I’ll leave the rest of the weapons up to your imagination.
When you are not spending your time blasting ghost, the other half of your gaming experience will be learning about ghosts with the PKE meter. With the trusty PKE meter, you scan enemies to learn what type of ghost they are and any kind of weaknesses that they have. This becomes extremely important if you are playing on the professional difficulty. You will also use your PKE meter to find hidden objects and ghosts throughout the game. This makes you feel sort of like a treasure hunter. And while I’m on the subject of treasure, you will be getting money for your findings to purchase upgrades that makes ghost busting a little more diverse and fun. Money is also obtained just for beating up and catching ghost, so you don’t have to go all Sherlock Holmes if you don’t want to.
Ghostbusters also has an online mode that I want to speak on for a little bit. In fact, the online mode is the reason I am going to say this game is cop worthy. The single player is only 9+ hours and that’s if you are playing around with it, so the multiplayer inclusion gives it that extra needed value. There is no co-op online to complete the story mode, but the modes present are fun enough to keep you coming back. There are 6 game modes to choose from. They range from things like who can catch the most ghosts or stop the ghosts from stealing stuff, but survival mode is my favorite. Especially when the bosses start coming out. The ranking system in Ghostbusters is also pretty cool. Your outfit changes color to represent the rank that you are at. You don’t want to be the noob still in the original gear like me while other people are all rocking their fresh new outfits.
I won’t go into graphics too much at all in this review because I am not a graphics nut. The game looks good and solid and I got better things to do than complain about a pixel being two inches off on Ernie Hudson’s mustache. To hit on the sound and music of the game for a little bit though, it is exactly what you expect to hear from a Ghostbusters game. However, this can be a gift and a curse. All the music and familiar sounds of the movie appear in the game, but by the time I played for a few hours I was very irritated by the repetitiveness of the soundtrack. Besides the theme song, everything else in the game gets old real quick. That doesn’t take away from the gaming experience too much, but I did notice it enough to start wondering about standardized in-game music again… Sony.
Overall, the Ghostbusters takes the crown of being the best movie related game of this generation. New enemies are always being introduced and upgrades come at the perfect time, so you won’t be tired of doing the same thing over and over like I originally thought. I’m going to keep it real with you though. There will be times that you just say ahh, I’m through with this for now and you might end up putting it down for a minute. Ghostbusters isn’t a game that I can recommend to the general public. The characters, the dialogue and the music are just like the movie in every way. You really have to be a fan or at least enjoy the movies to enjoy this game. It is the blast from the past that some might not want to relive. However, for all my old heads out there and people who are looking for a unique gaming movie experience… When there’s something strange in the neighborhood. Who you gone call?