Ghostbusters: The Video Game was originally released back in 2009 for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and the older consoles. Since then it has picked up steam as a cult-classic due to its writing being lead by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis with the entire main cast returning for the voice acting as an answer to trouble getting a third movie off the ground. With such talent in the writer’s room, is it enough to hold this cult-classic in a newly remastered edition? Let’s take a look.
|Release Date||June 16, 2019|
|Genre||Third Person Shooter|
|Platforms||PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One|
|Developer||Mad Dog Games|
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Saber Interactive for review purposes*
Writing – Who ya gonna call?
From the very beginning, it’s clear that the team behind the game wanted to show Ghostbusters respect and have audiences treat it as a true sequel, with the game opening on a retro movie-esque intro straight out of the ’80s. Quickly you find yourselves in the shoes of a generic, white, unnamed silent protagonist new recruit, which fits its purpose nicely enough but would have been a nice noticeable touch if you would be able to customize this protagonist with different genders and races to truly feel like you’re the person the game (even though I truly am a generic white guy).
For the first time ever you are able to inhabit the Ghostbusters world and even go on adventures with the crew. The developers went the extra mile with being able to explore Ghostbusters HQ (see above photo), though it would have been nice if there was something more to do there other than listen to a couple of prerecorded things.
Soon, Slimer escapes again and they strap a Proton-pack to your back and have you run into the fray. Things almost immediately go awry as we see the return of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the first film. Quickly everything falls apart with the Ghostbusters trying to thwart an evil plan and even find themselves in a Ghost dimension. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil any more here!
These first few chapters, while trying to set the stage end up feeling more akin to just a retread, with the characters feeling one dimensional apart from their onscreen appearances (though it is incredibly novel hearing Bill Murray on the other end of a video game character). It took me until about the halfway point in the game to feel really any form of interest or investment in the story and then the last fourth finds itself quite disjointed with a twist ending that didn’t serve the story in any way.
A nice touch though was the game’s bits of flavor texts sprinkled throughout, giving you optional, yet wonderfully absurd, bits of lore.
Clocking around 10 hours, I eventually ended up being quite charmed by the writing of my adventures with the Ghostbusters and their antics, but the entire experience ended up feeling quite disjointed.
Gameplay – Gears of Smore
Gameplay is where the rubber meets the road and it’s also where, in Ghostbusters’ case, the rubber then skids off the road and leads the car into a tree.
The game successfully emulates the feeling of what it would be like to be a Ghostbuster, even increasing immersion by including a first-person scanner to look at clues and learn more about the world and its different spirits. The problem is it didn’t make the feeling of being a Ghostbuster any fun. Enemies become classic bullet sponges, dying happens all too frequently and unfairly, and the controls feel clunky at best. The game has everything it takes to create a third-person shooter: shooting mechanics, light puzzles, multiple weapons and tools, and even team revival mechanics, but none of these things feel totally cohesive with what this game sets out to do.
It doesn’t take long for the game to feel like another Gears of War clone with classic enemy rooms for stale combat broken up by haunted house like corridors for dialogue.
Where the game does shine, however, is in its environments, destructibility, some creative enemy designs, but those things just weren’t enough for me when playing its moment to moment just felt so joyless. Maybe it would have been more fun if there was a co-op function.
Overall – Leave it to Luigi
Ghostbusters: The Video Game was a clash of beautiful ideas but was so obviously a product of its time; making it a wonderful unsung game in 2009. Sadly, this remaster brings back everything of that time, including all of the problems and mechanics that the rapidly growing gaming industry outgrew, making Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered a game with some shining moments, but too much keeping it from being something I would suggest others try.
I tremendously respect Ghostbusters: The Video Game and the reputation it has gained over the years. It actively excites me to see these cult double-A games getting out there to see new audiences. But simply put, I didn’t like Ghostbusters the video game remastered. Games have come a long way since the original release of this game and it even takes a legendary game to have aged well. For a game like Ghostbusters, it would have taken a level of remake for more akin to the recent releases of Resident Evil 2 or the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake. I couldn’t help but wonder what Ghostbusters: The Video Game could have been like if it was developed today. Instead, we’re left with a husk of what this game could be, making it a hard sell even at a discounted price.
|Fun writing||Tired gameplay|
|Interesting Environmental design||Disjointed pacing|
|Do I seriously have to revive you again?|