I was a massive Ghostbusters fan as a kid and still have a soft spot for it, so I was looking forward to playing the new Ghostbusters game complete with the official likenesses, voices and music from the film that’s dear to a lot of people’s hearts. The good news is that if you’re a fan, you can’t help but be swept along with their latest adventure with a huge smile on your face every time you laugh out loud at a joke and of course fire a proton stream or trap a ghost. The bad news is, this is more of an interactive experience rather than a proper game which leaves me stuggling to score it.
At the start of the game, a big ghostly explosion engulfs Manhattan originating from the Gozer exhibit at the museum. This lets loose all sorts of nasties so you as a rookie and the four Ghostbusters go and investigate and explore hotels, museums, sewers, office bl ocks and even a parallel universe to ‘bust’ everything.
Playing this game really is the closest you will ever get to being in the movie. You get to trap and destroy old favourites like Slimer, Stay Puft and the Grey Lady from the library, the music is identical, the jokes are actually laugh out loud funny and even your proton pack rattles as you run about. It really does a fantastic job at recreating the 1984 classic whilst keeping things fresh with a new story and some additions to your proton pack. Of course you get to trap ghosts using your proton stream but you can also fire shock blasts, boson darts, slime and blast things with a meson collider. Button combos can be a bit tricky using the d-pad to select the right weapon for the right ghost but it’s something you get used to fairly quickly.
The reason I say it’s not a gamer’s game is the fact that it’s very linear and you feel like you’re being led through the game by the other principal characters. If you’re a fan you won’t mind this and may overlook the fact that combat is actually rudimentary as you just shoot and stay on the move and there’s no real way to avoid taking damage apart from using a dodge button that’s not all that effective. You also have to use your PKE meter regularly to play ‘hit or cold’ to find ghosts and artefacts. Bizarrely, the game switches into an unnecessary first-person mode as you view information through your paragoggles and it feels restrictive at times.
There are also a few glitches in there. I had to restart a checkpoint at one point because the Ghostbusters didn’t move the story along after a boss fight and just stood there, and one of the cut-scenes had the dialogue out of sync with the picture. The frame rate is also very disappointing and even slows down occasionally when there’s not that much happening on screen.
If this game didn’t have the official Ghostbusters licence behind it, it would be a rather short, disappointing action adventure but because it’s so superbly crafted for the fans, if you’re a fan, you’ll absolutely love it and play through most of the game grinning from ear to ear. I’m a massive fan so I give Ghostbusters an excellent 8 out of 10.