With the 25th anniversary of the Ghostbusters franchise comes a brand new game which offers tons of fan servicing.
The plot, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, is set two years after the second Ghostbusters movie as a spiritual successor movie, and runs nicely alongside as a story arc rather than as a direct sequel.
To add to the nostalgic movie magickry, most of the original cast returns to voice the slightly creepy yet realistic 3D animated faces for the game. Unfortunately, Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver are not involved with this game.
You play as a new recruit, a new weapons test mule whos name has not yet been revealed, as Venkman doesn’t want to become too attached due to "what happened to the last guy". A new museum attraction has set off a shockwave through New York, releasing all sorts of horrible ghouls and terrors upon its hapless citizens.
There are 7 creative game levels which unfold as you recapture some massive baddies from previous movies that have been somehow resurrected by the shockwave. Each level contains lots of destructible objects with puzzles which become more difficult as you progress.
Multiplayer brings some more challenges and competitive modes. There are also weapons dedicated to multiplayer like ghost shrinkers and pink slime which turns enemies into allies. Things like this show how extra thought has been put into making the game better, rather than just milking the franchise dry.
As Ray teaches you in a tutorial with Slimer as the test subject, the concept of the game is quite simple; "Zap 'em, cap 'em, and trap 'em". Wielding your proton pack together with your brothers in arms, you set off on missions to capture ghosts using the particle stream (which should never cross, as "bad bad things will happen").
New weapon are unlocked as you progress through the levels and upgrades can be purchased with cash, provided you haven’t caused too much damage along the way! As upgrades are unlocked and purchased, you can become more creative with your capturing style.
Along with your proton pack, Egon also equips you with PKE meter to help detect anomalies. This provides a way to search for cursed artefacts and scan for ghosts, an optional side quest for the obsessive compulsive collectors of all sorts.
The graphics aren’t bad but they aren’t extravagant either, especially when the game jitters due to a full team blasting away during the epic boss battles. With so much happening on the screen, using the proton pack as a heads up display probably wasn’t the best decision. The idea would sound good in theory, but it was difficult to see the bars and often you will become reliant on the audio clues for information.
Controls take quite some time to get used to and aren’t exactly the most intuitive. By the end of the game I found myself fumbling around with the buttons during the heat of the last boss battle. The capturing and swinging around of ghosts is much better suited on the Wii rather than a control pad.
The music and sound effects carries the game well, ranging from comical to creepy which would make you jump while scanning with the PKE meter, although I found it absurd that the theme song is never played in full at any part of the game, not even during the credits!
So is Ghostbusters a great game with an intriguing story full of ghosts, ghouls, gargoyles and gigantic monsters to catch? Is it full of quirky little one or two liners that capture the essence of Ghostbusters humour? Does it leave excited Ghostbusters fans oozing with ectoplasm, screaming out for more? Oh hell yeah! This game delivers over the top ghost busting goodness and even adds a cute gigantic Stay Puft Marshmallow man on top!