Ghostbusters The Video Game - 360 - Preview 3
One of the best films of the eighties, Ghostbusters still resonates today amongst hardcore fans and is still one of the most revered and loved films of all time even 25 years after the original film’s release. Therefore, it’s easy to see that many gamers are anxiously awaiting the upcoming video game based on the universe set forth by the films, aptly titled Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and rightly so, considering that the game features voice work by the majority of the films’ principal actors as well as a story written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis (who also wrote the original films as well as starred in them). After playing through a preview build of the game, it’s safe to say that fans have every reason to be excited for Ghostbusters, as the game not only features some very high-production values and great dialogue, but also some pretty fun and engaging gameplay and huge fights with some truly iconic creatures from the films’ lore.
The Ghostbusters storyline takes place in 1991 after the events in the two films in the franchise. Your character is a rookie, recently hired onto the team as an “experimental equipment technician”, which is basically a term for a glorified guinea pig who tests equipment before anyone else has to strap them to their back. However, not long after you’re hired on, seriously creepy events begin to occur, including the return of the Stay Puft marshmallow man, the reemergence of Gozer, and several other instances that motion that something really big is on the horizon.
The preview build gave us a look at three different stages from the game, beginning with a ghost that escapes from the containment facility in the team’s trademark firehouse. In this tutorial, you learn the ropes of being a Ghostbuster, including all you need to know to bag your first Class V full-roaming vapor. Then, the game treads some familiar territory for fans of the first film, including missions at the Sedgewick Hotel (site of their encounter with Slimer in the first film), a battle with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and a jaunt at the New York Public Library, where the group once again must face off with Eleanor Twitty, the Librarian ghost from the beginning of the first movie. While the game’s story does well to justify the appearance of these well-known characters, it definitely feels like the developers are doing some fan service here, which really isn’t a bad thing at all.
The Ghostbusters video game does an excellent job of putting you in the shoes of a bona fide Ghostbuster. The action unfolds from a third-person over-the-shoulder perspective, and has you utilizing all of the tools of the Ghostbusters trade in order to wrangle up ghosts. While some corporeal enemies only require you to hit them with enough streams before they eventually explode, ghosts require the full service, where you’ll have to weaken them with your positron glider and charged bozon darts for extra umph, get them in a capture stream and slam them around a little bit to daze them, and finally perform the coup de grace by guiding them kicking and screaming into the trap.
The game does a phenomenal job of capturing elements from the film to truly make you feel immersed in the franchise’s universe. Walking around the firehouse yields several small touches to make you feel like part of the action, including the painting of Vigo (“the scourge of Carpathia” from the second film) that will impart a few words of “wisdom” to you should you interact with it, a toaster with a life of its own, and Janine, the team’s ever-faithful assistant, talking on the phone in the background.
Aside from your positron glider and bozon darts, you’ll also be able to use a few different weapons associated with your modified proton pack. You’ll have access to dark matter weaponry which works like a close-range, slow reload shotgun, and a slime shooter that gets rid of black slime, a particularly nasty substance that causes damage if you come into contact with it. Each of the weapons has a secondary fire option, for example, the slime shooter can also shoot a thin rope of slime that constricts to pull objects and suspended platforms closer to each other.
Other than weapons, your trusty PKE meter will enable you to search the environment for paranormal readings and special events. This is a good way to find ghosts that may be hiding in the environment, as well as secret artifacts and collectibles. Additionally, there’s a side quest that involves doing a full 100% scan on all the different enemy types that you meet throughout the game.