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ZeitgeistReview On July - 16 - 2009

GhostBusters is one of my all time favorite movies.  It had it all, comedy, monsters, explosions, Proton Packs!  Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be a full-fledged Ghost Buster.  Hell, I’ve even dressed as them the past few years for Haloween.  Well now I finally get my shot at it!  It’s been 3 long years now since I heard the initial speculation that a new GhostBusters game was going to be made for the next-gen consoles.  After many publishers kicked the title back and forth, it finally ended up in Atari’s hands and I must say, I’m absolutely blown away!  So let’s not waste any more time.  Let’s bust some ghosts!

Story

Venkman, Ray, Egon and Winston are back at it, and this time, with their new recruit, you.  That’s right, you play as the rookie on the team as the “Experimental Equipment Tester”.  The script to the game was even written by Dan Aykryod and Harold Ramis and takes place 2 years after Ghostbusters 2.

The game begins with slimmer escaping from his holding cell inside the firehouse, and you’ve got to catch him.  Ray takes you through the firehouse chasing after the ghost as a tutorial.  Afterwards, we find that all kinds of paranormal activity is rising in the city, just as the museum is about to unveil its new Gozer exhibit.

The Ghostbusters are sent to investigate the disturbances and find that all hell is breaking loose, literally!  What’s even better is that all of the ghosts from the previous movies are back.  Vigo, Gozer, Stay Puft and even the Grey Lady Librarian Ghost are back, along with a whole slew of new ghosts; and they are all stirring up trouble that you’ve got to take care of!

As far as I’m concerned, this is Ghostbusters 3.  In fact, I totally hope they make a movie out of this video game.  It’s that good.  The story is great, the action is intense, and all around it is hilarious!

Design

Ghostbusters the video game took me about 10 hours to complete on the “Experienced”, or medium difficulty.  I actually found this game to be pretty tough, especially as I progressed to the later levels.  In fact, I probably died 15 times or so on the last level, not including the final boss battle.  There are just tons of ghosts to bust, and each type of ghost requires different tactics to take down.

Throughout the game, you’ll be taken through downtown Manhattan, inside hotels and museums, blasted into another dimension, and you’ll even explore an ancient castle!  There are 7 levels in the game and each one of them are HUGE!  The paths are for the most part linear, but every now and then you’ll run into a few side paths that can get you lost.

Achievements are pretty simple to pick up.  On my first play through I was even able to round up 500 of the achievement points, without having to go out of my way or do anything special.  There are even achievements based on how much destruction you cause to property!

The game’s campaign is unfortunately single player, as the original four Ghostbusters are controlled by the computer, which is a bummer.  Luckily there is a pretty decent multiplayer built in.  There are 6 different types of multiplayer games like survival, where you have to see how many waves of ghosts you can survive, and containment, where you have to see how many ghosts you can capture; all of which are co-op.  You can take the form of any of the 5 Ghostbusters and jump right into some instant action.  The multiplayer games take their queue from Call of Duty a bit in that your character will level up as he plays more, gaining access to better weapons and tools.  There is also a world leader board showing who in the world is the best ghost buster.  Cool!

Gameplay

Ghostbusters is of course a third person shooter, and it even has some basic puzzle solving.  Throughout the game you’ll acquire four different guns, each with 2 different firing methods.  Different guns will help you solve different puzzles.  For instance, the slime gun will either shoot slime to neutralize harmful substances that you can’t walk on, or it can be used to shoot a slime tether, to slingshot two objects together.  All of the guns were pretty cool and served their purpose, but I typically stuck with the standard proton beam because it is was so much fun to lasso and slam the ghosts all over the room trying to get them into your containment traps!

Almost everything in this game is destructible.  As you blast your proton stream across the room, a path will get burned into the wall, statues and tables will disintegrate, and plants will catch on fire.

You earn money for each ghost that you capture or kill, and for every ancient artifact that you discover.  Money can be spent on equipment upgrades, and believe me, you need them.  Once you get your equipment fully upgraded, it becomes significantly easier to capture the ghosts… Until there are 20 of them all flying around at once.

Another cool feature of the game is the use of your EKG meter to detect ghosts and paranormal activity.  When you pull out the meter, you also turn on your night vision goggles, which are a necessity as a lot of this game is DARK.  These tools help you find your way through the level and even find hidden artifacts worth lots of money.  What’s better is lots of the time when you are walking around in the dark with your night vision on searching for clues on where to go, something will jump out and scare the crap out of you!  I love that!

Presentation

The graphics in the Xbox 360 version of the game are fabulous.  The proton streams and effects look great and the sound effects are perfect.  The game utilizes Terminal Reality’s “Infernal Engine” for all of the physics that are imperative to the game-play.

Ghostbusters has several CGI videos that look very lifelike.  They really add to the story and keep you hooked.  On the other hand, the game is loaded with game-engine rendered cut-scenes that are just mediocre, especially considering how out of sync the lips are with the voices.

On the other hand, the voice acting is great.  The game stars the voices of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and even Annie Potts.  Even the minor characters’ acting is great.

Some other reviews I’ve seen have criticized the music in the game, but I just can’t.  All of the familiar music from the movies is in the game, and you’ll hear some of the same stuff a few times, but never enough to get you annoyed.  Frankly, every time I heard the music I recognized it made me feel like I was watching the movies again!

Summary

All in all, Ghostbusters The Video game is brilliant.  This is the first time I’ve played a Ghostbusters game and actually felt like I was one of the Ghostbusters.  The graphics are great, they story feels like it should be the script for the next movie, and the game-play is retarded fun.  Seriously, my only negative to this game is the lack of co-op campaign play, but as long as Xbox Live remains active with this title, this game is going to be fun for a long time!  To anyone who ever wanted to be a Ghostbuster when they were a kid, this game is 100% a must-buy!

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Categories: PC, Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

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