Another licensed game… Many movies offer a terrific story and great ideas to build a game based upon them. The downside is most developers don’t really succeed in delivering a decent game based upon a film. Too bad for those games that are good enough since they often carry the reputation of ‘movie game’ and that doesn’t help very much. Ghost Rider is one of the latter though! Why? You’ll read that here.
The story of Ghost Rider goes a little something like this: You, Johny Blaze, a successful bike-stuntdriver, make a pact with the devil where you sell your soul to save the life of your mentor from the dreadful consequences of cancer. Too bad you’ve just been sacked by satan since your tutor runs into a moving truck the day after his healing. So Lucifer has completed his end of the bargain, now it’s your turn. He wants you to remove all demons (hell spawn if you will) from the face of the earth since they endanger the very existence of hell.
So how does it work? Ghost Rider is a Hack ‘n Slash game which you can play without thinking, turn your brains off. Just bash those buttons and look at the effect. After some time you’ve completed so many combos and killed a bunch of monsters which has caused your Spirit Bar to be fully loaded. This Spirit Bar forms the ammo for your shotgun and gives you the possibility to go into Retribution mode. The effect of the shotgun is quit logical, it shoots a cartridge at your opponents dealing a devastating blow along with it. Retribution makes you go totally berserk, you go totally wild. You move faster, hit faster, deal more damage with one blow and the demons move in slow-motion. The ideal way to kill those boss figures!
Apart from Spirit you earn other things by slaying demons. First off there’s the ‘Link Attack Orb’ you can fill up. When this is filled, you can execute an attack with a similar name. It launches an enormous energy burst at your opponents that kills most of them with one blow. Use it wisely though, the orb doesn’t fill up very fast. Last, but not least, there’s souls to gather. These souls can be used to buy upgrades like new moves, a bigger health bar, a longer spirit bar, mount rockets on your motorcycle, … A very important aspect of the game indeed!
All these previously mentioned aspects are used in two different gameplay forms. First of all there’s the regular Hack ‘n Slash where you run around in an environment and just bash the enemies. Next to that there are the bicycle circuits. The purpose here is to get from the beginning to the end of the track (which are a sort of connection between levels) while launching rockets at enemies, decapitating them with your whip, jumping over gaps and sliding under bars and walls. Although there’s not much variety within the game in total, it remains fun till the end (the most boring element however is the racing aspect).
The graphics, and mainly the Special Effects, are rather good quality. The combination of fire and movement effects enforce the action packed atmosphere which causes the fights to look very fast paced. Ideal for this kind of game! The sound, with great thanks to the soundtrack en nice sound effects, also helps the rapid action.
Ghost Rider is one of the best licensed games I have ever seen. The fast gameplay offers sufficient gameplay variety to keep the game interesting right till the end. As I said before, good job (even though there are different aspects which are recognizable from for example God Of War). I had my fun playing this one!