|06-29-2009, 06:07 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Twin Cities, MN
[360/PS3] Ghostbusters Review
Developer: Terminal Reality
MSRP: $59.99 (360/PS3), $39.99 (Wii), $29.99 (PC)
Editor: Loren 'AgtFox' Halek
You play as the fifth Ghostbuster, a new guy commonly referred to as “The Rookie” or “New Guy” or “The Recruit” or several other nicknames given out mostly by Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray). The name tag on your outfit even says “The Rookie” on it. For the past couple years the Ghostbusters have been considered heroes to the citizens of New York after disposing of Vigo the Carpathian with the tandem of the happy slime and the power of the positive people of New York City in the Ghostbusters II movie. The game opens with Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) continuing his quest to figure out the Grey Lady from the first movie, a ghost the team never caught, and capture a newly escaped Slimer. Slimer has once again holed himself up in the Sedgewick Hotel, eating all their wonderful food. Capturing Slimer is your entrance into how to handle the proton stream as well as the ghost traps. You find out that you can only fire the proton stream for so long before the backpack overheats, so be sure to press the right button to vent out the heat. Using a capture stream does not affect the heat expended, so as you move a ghost into the trap cone you are not gaining any heat that you need to dispense. As always, crossing the streams will give both you and the other Ghostbuster(s) painful feedback.
After capturing Slimer and bantering with the hotel concierge the team figures out there is another ghost at work in the hotel and they go to find him. You will find the hotel flooded and you separated from Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis). There will be many times in the game where you are joined with one or more of the Ghostbusters or you are left alone, so get used to it. Luckily you won’t get too lost when you are alone. It is rather odd that I can think of only one and maybe two sections of the game where all five Ghostbusters are together fighting the same enemy. After you get through this section you face the boss, one of many in this game. After that the real fun begins.
Soon enough you find out you can upgrade your equipment (for a price, you raise money as you beat ghosts and pick up artifacts) and the guys give you some new weapons to test out. Each weapon has a primary and secondary firing capability. The proton pack can send out a Boson dart with the left trigger. The stasis beam can fire out multiple blue blades that work well on smaller ghosts at close range. The slime gun can fire out a slime tether that will be used multiple times during the game to join things together. Finally the meson gun can fire a collider pulse. Each weapon will be used through the game, so don’t get too hung on just one. Each one is available on a different direction on the d-pad.
Also of note is the PKE meter that you will use throughout the game to find hidden ghosts as well as possessed artifacts. You will press the Y button to get into the PKE night vision mode and just like in the movie the tones will hasten and the arms will rise up as you get closer to a PK powered ghost or artifacts. There are a lot of artifacts strewn about the game and it is often fun to find them. The PKE screen can also be used to scan enemies via the right trigger. It will often note their weaknesses and what class and type of ghost they are. Oftentimes once you know the weapon weakness it becomes much easier to dispatch of them.
Next thing you know Gozer is somehow back on Earth and has taken residence in the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man yet again, reaching back into the first movie. First you fight him on the ground alongside the Ecto-1, now equipped with a super trap on the top. Eventually you get into a building and climb up to the roof where you find yourself falling over and one of the Ghostbusters holding your legs as you shoot at Stay Puft. It’s one of the best sections in the whole game, even though the overall fight is rather easy since all you use is your proton beam and the boson dart whenever you can. This is the start of the rest of the story and you’ll be faced with many ghosts from the first movie like the aforementioned Grey Lady as well as some new ghosts in Gozer’s army and a fleshing out of the whole Gozer storyline.
During the game good old Peck will pop up as will the mayor. Peck is voiced by the original actor along with all the Ghostbusters and the secretary, so the aura of authenticity certainly plays a major role in the game. In fact, the writing done by Aykroyd and Ramis for the game really captures the nostalgia from the movies. Bill Murray and the rest are really at the top of their game delivering the lines with only a few odd flow problems sprinkled in. Another problem is that the voices don’t match up with the mouths moving, but that could be because I installed the game on my hard drive. I could also easily see this turn into a Ghostbusters III movie down the road, especially with Jack Black showing interest recently. He could easily fit in as the Rookie. I believe Sony has hired some other writers for the third film, but they may be smart and allow Aykroyd and Ramis to repurpose the story presented here to account for the age of the actors now and make a new film even though the actors are supposedly tied to this new movie already.
The unfortunate thing is that the game itself is average at best. Sure, it’s fun busting ghosts here and there, but the movement and aiming/shooting just seems a little off to me. The addition of a lock-on button certainly would have helped because a lot of the ghosts move really fast and you can lose sight of them. Granted, a lock-on would have made the game even shorter than it already is (took me about 6-8 hours to beat, minus multiplayer), but it also may have made the game more enjoyable than the “by the numbers” feel it gives off. There is no doubt though that the graphics, as well as the story and witty banter move this game into the above average category. However if this was a game that didn’t have the Ghostbusters in it, the actual actors voicing the characters or a good story, the simple fact is this game could have easily been in the Terminator Salvation section of gaming; one with little to no redeeming qualities.
The multiplayer and co-op sections of the game were done by a totally separate developer in Threewave. The basic gameplay is still present, but this time you are playing with other people in different sections of the game and different gametypes. From what I played this section was rather fun and will probably keep people interested well after they have completed the single-player story. For a more in-depth look at this side of the game, please check out the Co-Op Review over at our sister site Co-Optimus. Jim spent much more time playing this section than I did and explains it in much more depth than I could.
My final thought is that Ghostbusters is an average game lifted up by the all-new story written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, voiceovers by the original actors and the pure nostalgic factor of seeing things like Slimer, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Peck and other characters making a reappearance in this game. I have my problems with some of the gameplay decisions that were made by Terminal Reality, but the simple fact is that I highly enjoyed myself despite those problems. This game makes me think about back when I was almost 8 years old and saw the original movie in the theater. This game should certainly be rented, if not bought in order to hopefully produce another game backed by the original actors and creators.
Score: 3.5 out of 5 CoGs
Loren says, ”An average game lifted by the story, voiceovers by original actors and the pure nostalgia factor, Ghostbusters is a game you should at least rent or even buy in order to see production of another game where the problems in the gameplay might be ironed out. Also remember to pick up the 360 version over the PS3 version if you have a choice as the PS3 version compares bad graphically to the 360 version.”
*Note - Review based upon the 360 version of game
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