While I am familiar with the Ghostbusters movies, it is far from my favorites growing up. I’m no superfan or anything of the sort, but they were enjoyable and I when I heard they were making a game that was supposed to be “Ghostbusters 3” and part of the official canon, I was pretty excited. Now, here it is in my possession and while it isn’t earth-shattering in its presentation or gameplay, it is still a very well made and enjoyable action-adventure game. And the more you like the movies, the more enjoyment you’ll get out of the game.
It’s Thanksgiving time in 1991 and you take control of the “Rookie”, the new recruit used as the guinea pig of sorts for testing experimental equipment. At the start, a large PKE wave disturbs the New York City area, and as a result all sorts of paranormal entities start popping up all over the city. So it’s up to the Ghostbusters to wrangle and trap said ghosts, find out why they’re appearing, and return the city to normalcy. To avoid any plot spoilers, I’ll just say that you will meet familiar foes and characters and it really channels the Ghostbusters vibe of the original movies very well. It’s campy and goofy but not so over-the-top that it’s disrupting or just plain stupid.
The bulk of the Ghostbusters gameplay, as you might have guessed is made of weakening ghosts, with the signature proton pack. You move with the left stick, aim with the right, and shoot out your proton stream that weakens the ghost with R2. After the apparition is weakened enough, you can then slam them while they are in their weakened state, and then trap them for a cash reward. Earn enough cash and you can, of course, spend it on various upgrades for your proton packs, the ghost traps, PKE meter, and other things. It’s very straightforward and isn’t much variety. That extends to the actual mission progression, as well. You enter an area, go from room A, follow hallway B to room C, scan the areas, and fight off x number of ghosts. Rinse and repeat. Don’t get me wrong here, while the game is very linear, it still is very well made. It is supposed to be a movie after all, so I guess this game design is understandable, but it would have been nice to have a somewhat open design.
Not all is perfect with Venkman and co., however. Whenever you get more than a few ghosts to clear at once, you’re almost always looking up at them. When that happens the camera pulls in close and pans upward. That’s not really where the problem is, however. It starts when you’re trying to move/strafe, dodge, and attack all at once. The camera will start to twitch and freak out, many times causing you to lose your target. Now, granted this doesn’t happen every time, but enough to make it frustrating when you’re trying to clear a room.
Another issue that is very apparent is what I like to call enemy spamming. There were areas of a level where I would die multiple times because of the sheer number of ghosts I would have to take down. Some would be on the ground and try to rush you, while a second and third type would be attacking from the air. I feel like it’s an artificial way to up the difficulty and it’s maddening. I thought maybe I just wasn’t good at the game, but I looked around the message boards and there were others that felt the same way.
One area where there isn’t a whole lot to complain about is the presentation. All of the original cast have lent their voices and likenesses to their respective characters. That they were able to get all the actors to reprise their roles is a feat unto itself. And needless to say it was all very well done. Even after all the time away from the franchise, you would never know it from the performances they give. That extends to their character models as well. They’re very detailed and instantly recognizable. All the faces have very expressive animations when they’re talking, however, the lip syncing doesn’t quite match up and is a little off putting. What’s even better though is the music that plays during gameplay. It’s very moody and atmospheric during the right times, and really ratchets up the tension when you’re separated from your comrades. More than that, you will have plenty of witty banter to listen to when traveling through the levels, as well. Your fellow Ghostbusters have plenty to say about the events going on around you. It’s fun to listen to and keeps you immersed in the world. Now, there is a multiplayer component to this game, however, I was only able to connect to one game of Survival. After trying to find other games to join and hosting my own, I found no one. As for my one match, it was pretty good. Survival has you facing waves of ghosts that get progressively harder each time. It plays just like the single player and for every ghost captured you get a cash reward. My match took place in the New York City Library. It is a map with two floors and is longer than it is wide. There were power-ups scattered about that give you different attachments for your Proton Pack taken from the campaign. It was enjoyable, but guessing from my inability to find someone to play with, not that popular.
If you’re still reading this review you’re obviously a Ghostbusters fan. Saying that, I can easily recommend this game to all of you. If you’re not, this game is still enjoyable and fun, but you’re not going to get the same enjoyment out of it that the first group will. Its a well done game that Terminal Reality made and you can tell they cared a lot about the source material. It doesn’t hurt that you have all the original cast and talent behind the movies, either. It’s far from perfect, especially the camera and amounts of enemies you will undoubtedly face. But if you’re able to get past that, you’re in for a good ride in the Ecto-1.
Article from Gamersyndrome.com