If the names, Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, Zeddmore ring a bell the chances are you have seen the film Ghostbusters.
In 1984 Ghostbusters the film was released into cinema screens around the world. BY the end of 1984 it had the second hightest takings of any film released that year – surpased only by Beverly Hills Cop.
The developers of this game Terminal Reality had quite a weight of responsibility on their shoulders to produce a game in 2009 – the 25 anniversary of the fims release that would be a suitable homage to the film.
Did they succeed? Continue reading and find out.
The game is almost designed to be the third movie in the franchise – being able to boast that its script was written by Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis. Infact only two of the major principals from the original film are missing. Rick Moranis (who refused to come out of retirement) and Sigourney Weaver. Sigourney did try to sign up to the project after initially saying no – but by that stage it was too late – her part had been recast.
The premise of the game is basically a third person shooter with a twist, instead of being armed with a gun you carry a proton pack.
There is no hud , you can however view your health and weapon status by looking at the side of your proton pack. Green lights indicate you are healthy and red lights mean you are in trouble.
You play the part of a new recruit to the Ghostbusters team, brought in to be a test subject for some experimental equipment.
One thing you will notice is the game keeps to the original premise that only 4 Ghostbusters are allowed to take part in missions at any one time. After a while this jars on you as the script comes up with reasons as to why a main character is missing – often as not its Winston for example in one of the first missions Venkman says that Winston will be joining us later he is at the opera at the moment.
Unfortunately the game has a movie theme – if you have ever been on a “Disney / Universal” theme park ride the game reminds me of the scene setting you experience waiting for the ride to begin.
With the “movie” theme you end up with a fairly linear game – you follow a pre determined route – if only it could have been a sandbox style game.
Graphically it does look good and it does have some cheesey lines in the script to keep the ghostbuster fans happy. You face familiar foes – Mr Stay Puft, the librarian, gargoyles etc
MY main gripe with the game is the difficulty level seems to spike with parts of the game suddenly becoming difficult then all of a sudden it drops off again,
It has 3 difficulty levels to suit all kinds of gamers from the casual to the obsessed. It is very hard to die in the game as you can revive and also be revived by your team mates.
As you progress in the game you earn dollars and with your dollars you can upgrade your equipment. Part of your equipment is a pke meter which you use to scan for paranormal activity ie to find ghosts. It also lets you find collectible items.
To capture a ghost you follow three steps – Zap em, Cap em and trap em. ie First you shot them to weaken them with your proton pack, then when the ghost is weakened you use your left trigger to control them a quick tap slams them to the ground. Once you have them controlled you simply drag them with your proton pack into a trap.
As well as the single player mode aka “career” there is also amultiplayer. There are 6 different game types ranging from protecting equipment to survival modes to simply competing to see who can catch the most ghosts. As you earn more moeny you move up the ranks. Its in multiplayer i have a major niggle. After each game you are kicked out of the group and return to the live menu- party chat becomes essential – it would be far better that you return to a party lobby. I can only hope this will be fixed with an update.
Despite all of this there are a few disappointments, speech and animation sometimes go out of sync. As I mentioned before the difficulty spikes can be annoying.
The scenery is gorgeous and you really do wish you could be free to roam in a sandbox environment.
At first it was frustrating working out how to capture ghosts, but once you work it out its good fun capturing the ghosts and seeing your proton pack do lots of damage to the environment. Basically right trigger till it goes red then rb then left trigger to drop it on the trap.
Thumps up: – darn good fun tearing up ghosts
Thumbs down difficulty spikes, linear environment and occasion sound an animation out of syncs
Musing Rating 4 Thumbs!!