Ghostbusters: The Video Game Review

As anyone who knows me can probably guess, I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan. I’ve loved the movies since I first saw the original when I was just a kid, and the series has remained one of my alltime favorites. Even before I saw the game in action, just knowing the original cast was back with Akroyd and Ramis providing the script was enough to make me go out and pre-order the game. (Something I almost never do.) So take it from a big fan of the series when I say that Ghostbusters: The Video Game is everything Ghostbusters fans could have ever wanted.

As mentioned, the story is penned by Akroyd and Ramis, and it picks up right where the second film left off. It’s now 1991, and once again something big is going to go down in New York City. But first, it’s time to introduce players to the new rookie.

The “rookie” in the game leads to one of my only complaints: he takes away from the story. I understand Akroyd and Ramis wanted to have the protagonist be someone vague that anyone can relate to and project themselves into, but it just feels off having this silent, nameless guy mixed in with the talkative Ghostbusters. They could have very easily just kept the game with the foursome, or even gave the new guy actual character to make him one of the crew. Instead, it’s like you’re watching the story unfold, but in the virtual world. Sure Peter may make a quip about something you mess up every now and then, but the interaction with your character always feels off.

That complaint aside, the story is very good, and comes together just as well as the films. (And it’s more on par with the first movie than the sequel!) Gozer returns in a way, the Architect plays a central role, the Librarian plays a part, Peck is all up in the Ghostbusters’ business – basically it’s the third story in the franchise. It’s a little sad not having cameos from Dana or Louis, but everyone else is spot-on. (Some people have said Murray phones it in, but that doesn’t seem like the case; he’s just old and can’t emote as widely as he did in the 80s and early 90s.)

So how’s the gameplay? Surprisingly solid. Controlling the proton packs can get hectic in some areas, but the four various functions you can utilize all have their own uses, and not just for gimmick purposes like tethering down bridges with the slime tether. Some spirits are weak against certain weapons, and others are needed to perform specific actions like close portals or pull animating spirits out of constructs. Most of the combat will be done with the old-school beam, and once ghosts are weak enough you’ll be able to toss out your trap and hold them inside the capture zone as the struggle. Weaker ghosts can be captured within seconds, stronger ones may take up to a minute. While you’re doing this, in most instances you’re going to also be dealing with other entities, so it’s a very hectic environment.

One problem I have with the gameplay is that your allied AI can be idiotic at times, to the point that it causes you to fail the mission. Multiple times playing through the single player career one of the NPC Ghostbusters would be stuck running into a wall until all of the enemies were defeated, and even if you fell and they had to come revive you, they would remain stuck until they died. Not a fun way to lose 15 minutes of fighting.

The other issue with gameplay? No multiplayer career. Really, in a game built around four characters, why can’t people join in and control them? There are some pretty fun multiplayer modes, but compared to the core game, they’re just nice distractions. Having an actual co-op career would have given this a ton of replay value – especially with how difficult the highest difficulty can be at certain parts.

Honestly, I’m surprised by how well Ghostbusters turned out. I expected a game that would have solid writing, but gameplay that got boring or was never fun. Instead, we have a game that not only has spectacular writing, but also very good gameplay. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s funny, and at times spooky. In short, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is everything that something with the Ghostbusters name should be. If you’re a fan of the Ghostbusters franchise, you definitely need to play this game.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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