If you grew up in the 80’s, chances are you have seen at least one Ghostbusters movie. I happen to be a huge Ghostbusters fan, so when I was told that I would be reviewing the game on the Xbox 360, I got excited. My excitement quickly dissipated as I worried that this game would end up like most of the movie adaptations do, the game ends up being garbage and not true to the films. I am happy to inform you that Ghostbusters: the Video Game is the best movie adaptation I have played to date.
It all begins in 1991, 2 years after the events on the Ghostbusters 2 movie. Ghostbusters: the Video Game put you into the role of a rookie joining the team as the Experimental Equipment Technician. With your new position within the team, you are in charge of testing all of Egon’s new Proton Pack modifications. A welcome sight was to see that all of the original Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson) have all made it into the game. Within minutes, the game presents you with a horde of ghosts pouring out of the library, and spreading across New York. I’ve been told that the game is supposed to be the 3rd movie in the franchise, which shows in all the elements in the game. The story then begins to unfold as you and the rest of the gang take off ghost hunting. The story is very well done with 8-10 hours of game play, but the game doesn’t do a good job presenting it to you. For example, the cinematic in between the levels feels artificial, even though the voice acting is superb.
Let’s get this out of the way now. Ghostbusters: the Video Game looks great and sounds just as good. Every element from the films has been capture in the game. Terminal Reality went out of their way to insure the game stayed true to its’ roots. From Slimer to the Proton Packs, the game feels like the movies. The proton Packs must be the best rendered item in the game. I love how Terminal Reality implemented your health bar and the equipment status meter ala Dead Space. This design choice helps to clear the screen to better replicate the feel of a movie.
The character models are also very well done with lots of great details. You can see the craters Bill Murray has in his face, and Harold Ramis’ geeky look. I was convinced that the guys at Terminal Reality had pull of the game when I shot my proton Pack for the first time at a ghost. As I would try to lower the ghost health bar by chasing him around the room, my Blast Stream was tearing up the whole place. This is Ghostbusters franchise at its best when the guys destroy the areas they are in to complete the mission. The destruction looks great and it is funny to see how different the room looks after the guys capture the ghost.
The voice acting is superb and the game inherited the essence of all the character’s styles. Bill Murray’s sarcastic and sometimes wise guy remarks are just like the movies, kudos to Terminal Reality. Wrangler the ghost is the most satisfying mechanic the game has to offer.
The controls are tight and very well thought out. Another game play mechanic that felt right was the way Terminal Reality combined the goggles and the PKE Meter. I was wondering how they were going to execute them within the game, and now I feel at ease.
Ghostbusters: the Video Game has multiplayer via Xbox LIVE, which includes a hand full of game types. The game also shipped with CO-OP, but I was unable to play it. Multiplayer Online, on the other hand, I was able to get my feet wet with. The game comes with 6 game types which it calls “jobs”. The jobs are Containment, Survival (which is like Horde from GoW2 but with ghosts), Destruction, Slime Dunk, Protection, and Thief. The game also has Public Matches, Private Matches, and Rank Matches too. While the game could have used 1 or 2 jobs, the jobs it does have are a whole lot of fun. I am still playing this game online and find myself enjoying it still.
If you are a Ghostbusters fan, run to your nearest videogame store and pick this game up! What, you are still reading? In that case, I will also tell you again that this is the best movie to videogame adaptation I have ever played. Other than the story being shorter than I would like, and the between level cinematic not telling the story as well as the narrative, this game is very good. I recommend it at least as a rental; just make sure you play this game.
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