There’s something strange in the neighborhood, you just gotta call the Ghostbusters. It’s been 20 years since the last movie, but the Ghostbusters are back and in rare form. The Ghostbusters game, developed by several companies for EVERY imaginable current gen platform. The game I will be reviewing however will be the Xbox 360 version. This version can also be found on the PS3 and PC, with all other versions not being related.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game, takes place three years after the last movie. The old crew hires you, a generic non-speaking everyman to test their new untested experimental ghostbusting devices. While this sounds dangerous, it means you get to use a bunch of cool and previously unseen gadgets as you play through the game.
All of the old gadgets from the movie are here. The Proton pack, the ghost trap, the PKE scanner, and even the Ecto-1. The game makes use of all of them, the trap less than the other two. Similarly, all three are upgraded as you progress through the game, either through spending money gained from capturing or beating ghosts, or just as through story progression.
The proton pack sports the old particle collider we all know, but quickly gains a variety of different variations to help with busting ghosts. While not projectiles, these variations are very similar to real world items. Weapons similar to shotguns, rocket launchers, machine guns, all featured on the proton pack. Each weapon has a primary and secondary effect, that are widely used in the game.
The PKE scanner is used as a guide of sorts. It leads you to hidden ghosts in the game, collectibles, and acts as an encyclopedia for all of the ghosts you scan in the game. When you scan a ghost it gives you it’s death, background, what type it is, all of which is irrelevant unless you really want to read it all. The PKE scanner does however provide information on the ghost’s weakness, which variation of the Proton pack it’s most vulnerable to.
The ghost trap works much in the same way it did in the movie. The Proton pack weakens the ghosts until they come to a certain point, at which they are vulnerable to being dragged around. When they are vulnerable you drag the ghost to the trap, and it sucks them up. The trap isn’t used extensively in the game, as a majority of the ghosts are low level minions, but does trigger nostalgic memories.
The main draw here though is the story. The game features much of the original cast, with two major characters missing. Dana Barrett, played by Sigourney Weaver, and Louis Tully, made by Rick Moranis, are both missing from the game. The returning cast however are portrayed exactly as you remember them, and sound exactly the same.
The story in the game, doctored by the original screenplay writers Aykroyd and Ramis, is very satisfying. The story brings back favorites like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man and slimer without making it feel forced. Much of the dialogue works well to make you laugh without needing to constantly refer to past movies.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game has been compared to Gears of War in the past, I would disagree with this comparison. Much of the gameplay from Gears of War focuses around a cover based system, which the ghostbusters game lacks completely. I would liken the game more to Resident Evil 4 only in the sense of it’s perspective.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a sound game with an enjoyable campaign. The game is at least worth a rental for a trip down memory lane and a great experience with in the Ghostbusters world. The game features Multiplayer, however I have not had experience with it. Call the Ghostbusters… DO IT!