If there’s something strange
In your neighborhood
Who you gonna call?
Ten years on from the original release of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, we are treated to the remastered version on current generation platforms. Ghostbusters needs no introduction; this is nothing more than a video game adaptation of the beloved, cult-classic film. Right off the bat, that might worry some folks. After all, games based on films (and vice-versa) do not have the best history. Thus, it is only fair games like this are met with a certain amount of trepidation. However, Ghostsbusters: The Video Game is proof that these games can be a success.
You start off as the team’s guinea pig as you try-out some experimental and dangerous new equipment. After an exposure in the team’s HQ, you play through a tutorial to learn the ropes of ghost busting! The tutorial runs through how to use the proton pack as well as the all-important task of actually capturing ghosts. Following on from this, the game really begins with a return to a familiar landmark; the Sedgewick hotel.
Upon arriving at the hotel you find more ghosts are on the loose and thus kicks off the events of the game. This chain of events will take you through New York City as you investigate these paranormal happenings. The gameplay most closely resembles a third person shooter as you shoot various beams out from your proton pack. The various beams and various pieces of equipment can be upgraded throughout the game with cash you earn through your ghost busting work.
Then there is the PKE meter which allows you to scan your environment for clues. You spend a lot of time looking through the lens of the PKE meter as you uncover ectoplasm left behind by ghosts you are hunting. There are also hidden and amusing artefacts scattered around levels. These collectables often hark back to the original films. Most missions will see you alongside Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston but – not always. Many times you will be forced to split up and sometimes you are even left to your own devices.
As you learn early on, teamwork is what makes the Ghostbusters work so well together. In that regard, you will have to revive downed teammates if they take too much damage. You’ll be glad to have the guys around to revive you too, since the chaotic nature of ghost busting can see you get downed yourself. In fact, with ghosts and furniture flying all around you with up to 5 different proton beams firing things can get very chaotic. This perfectly captures the chaotic yet fun way it looks to capture ghosts in the films. Be careful not to cause too much damage though as the cost will come out of your own pocket!
Graphically, it has to be said that the Ghostbusters video game has not aged the best. This is a “remastered” version but that does not bring many visual enhancements. We see a bump in resolution and the increase in frames per second gives the action a buttery look. Overall, it is easy enough on the eye that it feels justified to re-release the game as a “remastered” version. Besides, graphics were not much of a concern for me as authenticity and pure, simple fun are held in higher regard to me for a game like this.
Of course, this re-release does not have the same cultural impact that the original did back in 2009. Frankly, that would be an unrealistic expectation. However, for fans of the films this almost feels like a must-play game. The authenticity of having the original actors come back to voice their characters in the game; various callbacks to the films; returning to iconic locations; and a story based loosely on a Ghostbusters 3 script and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis themselves. This is the perfect way to get some ghost busting action before the Ghostbusters 2020 film.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*