Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Rated T for Teen
Released June 16
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC
Published by Atari
What it is: Ghostbusters: The Video Game isnt just a game. Its an unofficial sequel to the 80s classics. Like the movies, the third-person, Gears of War-style action game has a script by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, and many actors from the movies reprise their roles. Aykroyd, Ramis, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and even William Atherton (the dude who played Walter Peck) show up. Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis passed, unfortunately, so Alyssa Milano voices a new love interest for Murray. You can bet the cut-scenes will be long with all these folks on board.
Bustin makes you feel good when: Aykroyd, Ramis, and Murray start talking in the very first cut-scene. Fans of the movies will love hearing these characters again, especially with this script, which is packed full of Ghostbusters trivia and references. Those just looking for a good game will enjoy the generally solid action.
Although it looks like a shooter, Ghostbusters: The Video Game doesnt quite play like one. Sure, you shoot ghosts with your proton stream, but the goal usually isnt to destroy them but to wear them down and drag them into a trap. That can take some time, but it distinguishes the game from other shooters, treats the subject matter with respect, and also just feels good. The four-person multiplayer is also a nice change of pace for your Left 4 Dead foursome.
The containment grid shuts down when: the shockingly high difficulty spikes appear. There are a few extremely hard moments in this game that just feel unfair. Its not fun to face the same boss twenty times in a row before defeating it, especially when no discernible pattern or strategy makes any difference. The script is great for a game, but its not quite up to the level of either film. Too much of the humor is based on referencing the first two movies. The first few levels pander a bit too much with non-stop nostalgia; its nice to see the Sedgewick Hotel, and the librarian ghost at the Public Library, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but it doesnt make for an interesting or elegant narrative.
What you should do: Fans of the movie who play games will love the nostalgia, but probably wont remember this story. Still, few games are as funny or likable as Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and the actual gameplay is just solid enough to warrant a play-through.
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