Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Ghostbusters: The Video Game does exactly what you expect from a moviegame: it’s fun, accessible and brings the atmosphere, the characters and the fan favorites from the movies to life in an interactive way. There’s not a lot of depth, but nobody that just wants a couple of hours relaxation will morn over that.
The biggest surprise is that this game is in fact pretty funny at times. As everyone knows thanks to the buttloads of previews, the script was written by the original writers (including Dan Akroyd) and you can immediately feel that. Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson, the cast from the movies, have given their voices to the characters and welcome you, their anonymous newbie, in their team of ghostbusters. The atmosphere is right from the start and you quickly feel like being part of this insane adventure. Old buggers like me will recognise plenty of locations and enemies.
Think of the library, a museum and for instance Slimey and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Also the gameplay won’t surprise. This perfectly brings to life what I used to play with my brothers back in the day. Instead of self-made proton packs and ghost traps you get virtual equivalents that feel as they should: a bit amateur-like, chaotic, but most of all fun guaranteed. Most of the time you’ll have to grab and shoot ghosts and knock them around until they get wuzzy enough for you to put them in their little cage. Your weapon also allows to slow down ghosts and shoot slime. The latter you’ll also use to solve a puzzle now and then.
Don’t expect too much from those puzzles as it never gets really difficult. The biggest fun is gotten from running around in the world (there’s a couple really nice levels), feeling part of the “gang” and discovering, collecting (think Pokémon) and beating aggressive appearances. The come in all sorts of shapes and forms and also some pretty decent bosses are present. Also funny is that the game keeps telling you how much damage you’re doing, which again is proof that the makers understand what makes Ghostbusters so appealing as franchise.
The graphics won’t win any awards with polygonewhores but are very charming, including the models that nicely resemble their living counterparts. Only the lipsync disturbs at times but that is made up by good and crystal clear sound effects. Just like in f.i. a Star Wars game this is proof of how important it is to use the same sounds, voices and effects for a good movie title.
As I said in the introduction the appeal is more in the whole than in the gameplay. This will become a bit too repetitive after a while for the hardcore gamer and also the mechanism where you or your pals can be revived by your friends and vice versa often works frustrating. Before those frustrations get the better of you, however, the single player campaign is finished, which probably will have taken you about ten hours.
The multiplayer part will not light up a Call of Duty 4-like revolution but is very well worked out and offers six modes that you can play with up to four people in co-op.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a good movie game. Charming, funny and bringing forth perfectly that unique atmosphere that fans will buy the game for. That the gameplay isn’t always offering as much depth is something we gladly take along in exchange. A very relaxing game for everyone!