|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Terminal Reality||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 16, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
January 2, 2009 - Ghostbusters has to be one of the most loved movies from the 80s. It featured a lighthearted story, plenty of action, and prime performances from actors Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. Although fans have been clamoring for years for a third film, the Ghostbusters franchise is branching out into the world of video games for the continuation of the Ghostbusters saga.
The story in Ghostbusters: The Video Game takes place two years after the events of the second Ghostbusters movie. The four busters seem to be in good shape and are still catching ghosts, when bureaucratic bad guy Walter Peck (whom you may recall from the first movie) reappears as a state employee charged with overseeing the Ghostbusters and making sure they do not waste public funds. Of course, as fate would have it, there seems to be a huge surge in paranormal activity somehow related to an occult ritual going down at the local library. Needless to say, there are plenty of old-school plot devices at work here, but the games story looks to preserve all the fun of the first two movies. This comes as no surprise, however, as original Ghostbusters writers Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd are on board as the games primary scribes.
In addition, Aykroyd and Ramis will also be joining series veterans Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson to complete the games voice cast. Fans of the series are sure to be elated that all four of the original Ghostbusters have been confirmed as reprising their original roles for the game, as the last Ghostbusters movie was made almost twenty years ago!
In addition to this games star-infused cast, it also looks like it is going to be very good gameplay-wise as well. As you might expect, the majority of the game will be spent using your proton pack to catch ghosts. The proton pack, which will be upgradeable, will also be enhanced with different attachments. However, the Ghostbusters series has never been solely about just catching the ghosts, and like the movies, the Ghostbusters video game will also have a heavy standard combat element.
In addition to using your proton pack, Ghostbusters: The Video Game looks to have plenty of other gadgets for you to use while bustin those ghosts. One of these will be the PKE meter, which detects paranormal activity. Although the game is presented from a third-person perspective, the PKE meter changes the visuals to a first-person view and allows you to see otherwise invisible ghosts.
Although a good majority of the game looks to revolve around chasing and catching ghosts, there will also be several puzzle elements to the game. Certain areas will only be accessible after figuring out certain room-based puzzles, similar to the Tomb Raider series. These puzzle areas look to vary the gameplay quite nicely, and they will probably provide a much-needed reprieve from all the intense ghostbusting you will undoubtedly be doing.
The combat in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will focus on a timing-based system that requires you to move your proton streams over the ghosts with the controllers thumbstics and then hit the right button at the right time to capture the problematic spirit. The system sounds simple enough, and it looks like it will balance both the combat and capture elements rather well.
The visuals here are shaping up to be very good, and early screenshots show off a very polished look. The games overall aesthetic seems to be taking several stylistic elements from the two movies and has a very dark color palette. The character models in the game sport a very nice amount of detail and look a lot like the characters from the movies.
Although the fate of Ghostbusters: The Video Game was in question a few months ago, I have to say that I couldnt be happier that this title is finally back and is indeed coming to consoles this summer. The games awesome star line-up as well as its fun-looking gameplay seems to give fans of the franchise something to stand up and cheer about, nearly 25 years after the original movies release.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor