Originally released in 2009, this title really is the video game equivalent of a Ghostbusters movie. There has long been a very uncomfortable relationship between movies and video games. Many movie franchises have tried to make the jump to video games and very few have succeeded. The good news for Ghostbuster fans is that this is one of the few movie to video games projects to have actually worked. If you ever wondered what it would be like to be a ghostbuster then this is the title for you. The game was written by the same script writers as the films, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, and voiced by nearly the whole original movie cast, with only a couple of exceptions.
I enjoyed the storyline immensely. It takes you through a number of very memorable Ghostbuster locations including the Sedgewick Hotel, the New York Public Library and lets you defeat some memorable foes, including fan favourite Marshmallow Man. The game plays similar to a 3rd person shooter. The player takes control of a new member of the ghostbusters team labelled “The Rookie”. It’s a shame that the player character has no real presence in the game and basically runs around as a combat mute while events happen around him. However, the rest of the team talk enough to make up for the player character’s silence, with the rest of the cast barely having a quiet moment.
As with the movies, the video game has plenty of humour and witty one liners. With the original movie cast on board, the voice acting, while not quite up to the quality of the movies, is still great for a game, particularly of a title released in 2009. While some have complained that they felt the storyline was weak and writing not as strong as in the movies, I enjoyed both. The game is short. I completed it in a single day with perhaps only about six hours of play, but there are also secrets to discover and achievements to unlock which should stretch it out a little for those dedicated players.
What really struck me about this title is the obvious love the game has been created with. Like it has been made by fans for fans. I loved sapping down the ghost’s strength and then wrestling them into the traps. It just feels like an authentic experience. You get to upgrade your equipment and get a running total of the value of damage you inflict on your surroundings while going about your business. True, the gameplay mechanics are fairly simplistic and there is little in the way of advancement as you progress through the game, it generally does just fall down to shoot and trap, with little variation. It is also true that the game is rigidly linear, but I think this is why the game feels so much like its movie brethren, so I won’t fault it for that.
When it comes down to what the remaster has really added to the game, after 10 years, then the answer is not much. It increases the resolution but graphics wise, it looks relatively the same to its PS3 equivalent. The multiplayer in the original is, currently, missing for the remaster, but it has been said that it will be added as DLC, at a later date. The character animation is still very much the weak point of the game, which was raised as an issue in the original, but this really didn’t dampen the experience much, for me. The fact is that if you player the original and still have it in a payable format then you won’t really gain much in buying this remastered upgrade. However, if you never played the original and loved the Ghostbuster movies then you’re in for a real treat.