June 19, 2009
The game picks up two years after the events of Ghostbusters II. The museum is about to unveil a new Gozer exhibit, (really? Gozer? the museum curator should be fired) when a wave of paranormal energy is unleashed, causing mayhem throughout New York. It’s up to the crew and their new recruit (you) to save the city. Good game or rose colored nostalgia glasses?
Location, Location, Location: The game takes you to familiar haunts and all new locales as you bust some ghosts. Each area is unique and well-designed offering up some interesting visuals and gameplay. The environments are almost always destructible adding to the chaos and fun as you chase the phantoms around.
Graphics: Ghostbusters is not going to win the most realistic-looking game award but the style works perfectly for it. The bright colors of the weapon streams and the glowing ghosts provide a good counterbalance to the dark and dingy worlds you traverse. A couple of voice sync issues aside, the cut scenes are all crisp and well- rendered. The particle effects are superb. It’s awesome to be able to blast a wall with your proton pack and see the smoldering embers slowly die out.
Voice Acting: The original actors returned to voice their respective characters and it pays off. The script is funny and true to the characters we’ve come to love. It’s great to walk by the desk at the station and hear Janine answering phones, “Ghostbusters, whadda ya want?”
Soundtrack: The original movie’s music returns and will be stuck in your head for days. The sound effects really add depth to the gameplay and make the environments spooky and alive. You’ll know they got it right when you slide your trap out to pull in a ghost for the first time.
Spooks, Specters, or Ghosts: The old favorites like Slimer and Stay-Puft return with a large variety of new enemies. The designs are impressive and often humorous. Each ghost has a unique style and personality.
Boss Fights: If it aint broke don’t fix it, as they say. Ghostbusters uses the time honored video game standard of boss battles and sub-bosses to great effect. Find the weakness and attack. Just as it should be.
Collectibles: Searching for hidden artifacts and scanning rooms with your PKE for more information adds a nice change from just blasting your way through each level.
Multiplayer: The multiplayer allows you to be any of the characters as you compete for cash against other players. There are a number of entertaining game types to choose from, adding a lot of replayibility.
Friendly AI: You better get used to reviving fallen team members. It becomes a part of gameplay as your cohorts constantly charge into fights with no regard for strategy. They will cause you to fail missions.
Purchasing Upgrades: While Egon testing new equipment on the rookie makes sense, the reason you have to purchase this equipment does not. It should automatically unlock after completing a task or earning experience. The upgrades don’t really bring much variety to the party either, except maybe the slime tether. The rest just feel like a different colored plasma stream.
Final Boss: The final boss fight is weak sauce. I don’t want to spoil anything but the difficulty on this guy is seriously lacking.
Repetition: I think they might have needed to record a few more lines of dialog. By the end of the game I was really sick of hearing Venkman mutter, “Oww!, that was..oww”.
Co-Op Mode: Not so much a change as an ADD. What a missed opportunity. Nothing would have been more fun than to fire up the proton pack with 3 friends.
The Rookie: This is Ghostbusters game. No one wants to play as a mute, personality-less rookie. We want to step into the shoes of Winston or crack wise as Venkman. They really dropped the ball on this one.
Ghostbusters is a very good game, but the few issues mentioned above kept it from being a great one. It’s fun as hell to play and Akroyd and Ramis wrote a great script. Having the original cast just makes it that much better. A playthrough on the medium difficulty will likely take around 10 hours and that’s without taking your time to search for all the hidden artifacts and Easter eggs. The hard setting will take longer and you will fail many times and have to load again. For you achievement whores out there, you’ll have to play through at least twice to get all 1000 points. Add in the multiplayer mode and you’ve got a lot of gameplay ahead.