Ghostbusters The Video Game Review: Back in the saddle

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Ghostbusters The Video Game Remastered is out now on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.

In case you missed it on Xbox 360 and PS3 the first time around, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is now available on Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch. A third-person shooter (think Gears of War with ghosts) that instantly finds its place in two movie-strong universe, the title places you as a rookie working alongside heroes Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore. Best yet, each of the Ghostbusters has been voiced by the same actor that starred in the films.

The Video Game is a Ghostbusters fan’s dream. I mean, come on — you’ve always wanted to use your own proton pack, haven’t you? The traditional pack from Ghostbusters and the slime pack from Ghostbusters 2 both are featured heavily in the game, and are joined by status and proton shotgun (for lack of a better description) packs; each has a primary and a secondary fire mode. The multiple weapons are all great fun to use and switching between them is a must when dealing with the many unique ghosts you encounter.

To find the secret artefacts scattered throughout the game, using your own PKE meter is a must and further cements you into the world. Scanning your ghostly enemies is very Pokemon-eqsue, and helps in determining your foe’s weaknesses. Catching the ghosts is also hilarious fun as you slam apparitions into traps thrown by yourself or the other Ghostbusters (just don’t look directly into the trap!).

On that last note, the names of the title’s Achievements and Trophies are simply gold (and look to be the same as in the original); fans of the films will find themselves chuckling when certain accomplishments are unlocked. It’s a small, yet GREAT throwback celebrating the storied Ghostbusters franchise. Cameos by Annie Potts (Janine), William Atherton (Peck), and Brian Doyle-Murray (Mayor Mulligan) also help to provide fan-service.

Dan Ackroyd (Ray), said this isn’t a movie tie-in, but “[it’s] essentially the third movie” – so much so that Dan penned the game’s script with fellow Ghostbusters movies co-writer Harold Ramis (Egon). I’d disagree with Dan’s statement and instead say that this game is the two movies merged into one; without too many spoilers, Slimer, the Grey Lady, Vigo, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and several movie locations all make reappearances. While they do serve to progress the game’s plot, they help to make the title feel like a rehash of things you’ve already seen in the movies (but still just as funny!).

On Casual difficulty mode, you can basically watch the Ghostbusters handle the bad guys, and as the game says itself, “just enjoy the story.” On Professional, be ready to tear your hair out – I’m looking directly at you, “Attack of the Stone Angels” checkpoint! At some stages, the game simply becomes an exercise of reviving a computer-controlled Ghostbuster only to be knocked down to be revived yourself, to then having to revive the AI that just revived you, and so on and so on in an endless loop until one of you isn’t quick enough and you get the “Mission Failed” screen.

While the original sported an online multiplayer mode straight off the bat, the deathmatch-style mode is planned for a later release in Remastered. I’m not too fussed by that, to be honest, much preferring the opportunity to try a Gears of War style co-op story mode instead. Alas, it wasn’t to be — the mode would have ensured that cheap “Ghostbuster by himself” deaths would not happen.

All in all, Ghostbusters: The Video Game was great back in the day and remains the same in 2019. The gameplay, not without its minor frustrations, is absolutely worth the $50 AUD price tag. Fans will definitely want to pick this up, and other gamers can’t go wrong if looking for a decent third-person shooter that’s not the standard shotgun and sniper rifle fare.

 

# out of 10

The good

  • A great hit of nostalgia.
  • A refreshing shooter, but not.

The bad

  • Some crazy difficulty spikes.
  • No campaign co-op in a game about a team? Yikes.

 

Ghostbusters: The Video Game and Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered were reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox 360 as purchased by the reviewer and Xbox One as provided by the publisher, respectively. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale. This review first appeared on Stevivor in June 2009.