Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread near any of your videogame consoles? Have you or any of your family seen a spook, specter or ghost? Don’t be concerned, it’s probably just Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered! Ever wanted to strap an unlicensed, untested nuclear reactor to your back and do battle with all manner of supernatural entities side by side with the Ghostbusters? This game is as close as you’re ever going to get. Written by Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd themselves and featuring the voices of all the original cast members along with some iconic tracks from the motion picture, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is as an authentic experience as one could possibly hope for, short of a movie sequel.
The story is an original work and takes place a few years after the second Ghostbusters movie as the city suffers through a new slew of paranormal disturbances. You suit up into the Ghostbuster’s iconic tan flight suit as a new hire simply referred to as The Rookie (Venkman doesn’t want anyone calling you by your name and getting attached, just in case). During a brief tour of their now-famous converted fire station headquarters, Slimer and a few other ghosts escape from containment. You manage to catch all of them except for Slimer. The crew decides to head over to investigate his last haunt and the site of the Ghostbuster’s very first capture: the Sedgewick Hotel. It is one of the few locations from the movie that you will be revisiting. There are a few iconic baddies returning for the game as well. It probably goes without saying since he’s included in most of the promotional art but yes, they brought back the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. One of the coolest scenes in the game is climbing up a building while he stomps around outside, trying to get at you.
Obviously, you’ll be spending a lot of time fighting and capturing ghosts. Catching ghosts is more or less the same as in the movies. Hit the ghosts with your proton beam and wear them out. The ghost’s health is indicated by a green ring. Work it down to the point where it turns red and you can now wrangle with them. While wrangling, you can also slam them to temporarily stun them, making them easier to maneuver. Deploy a trap to the ground (it can be your own or one a teammate throws down) and drag the ghost over the top of the trap and it will pop open and start sucking them in. Now the ghosts are really going to panic and try to break away. You have to drag them down into the trap until they are successfully captured. It’s simple enough, but things can get really chaotic when you have multiple ghosts flying around and minions coming at you. It’s funny how you can break just about any object in the environment. There is even a damage total displaying how many dollars worth of destruction you caused. Walter Peck was right: the Ghostbusters are a menace.
Thanks to Egon’s experimenting, you unlock more weapon functionalities to your proton pack as you progress through the game. There are four “weapons” total; each one assigned to a direction on the D-Pad for quick access. Each weapon comes with two firing modes. The proton beam is your basic weapon, its alternate fire mode is the Boson Dart, which is basically a big ball that explodes on contact. The Slime Blower function sprays slime all over, which is useful against some ghosts and good for destroying black slime. The secondary function is a slime tether that can be used for interacting with environmental puzzles or for tethering a ghost to a wall or even other ghosts. Crafty players can even try tethering a ghost to a ghost trap for an instant capture. The primary fire of the Dark Matter Generator is basically an energy shotgun, while the alternate mode shoots a ghost-impeding stasis beam that can eventually freeze them completely if hit long enough. The final unlock is the Meson Collider. It fires one big bullet that deals a large amount of damage. Once you hit an enemy with the main bullet, the secondary mode fires of a machinegun-like barrage of energy that tracks and homes in on the target. Jean Baptiste Immanuel Zorg couldn’t have made it better himself.
While exploring locations, you will often be relying on your PKE meter to scan the environment for spectral masses and using it to point you to an objective in some cases. It can also be used to scan enemies, adding them to your spiritual guide. This guide gives you some background info on the ghosts and their specific weaknesses. The PKE meter is also used to track down and find collectibles known as cursed artifacts. Each find gets you bonus cash and also has some funny backstory to read. Each of your weapons and equipment can be upgraded with cash earned from collectibles and catching ghosts, so it pays to spend a little time searching carefully. One detail I appreciate is the chapter replay menu. Each chapter has a display informing you of how many ghosts and collectibles you have left to be scanned. It’s great for people who want to have an easy way to know where they should be looking just in case they want to go back and polish off some achievements.
I’m not sure the reason but the multiplayer mode from the last-gen versions has been omitted from the remaster. It’s a shame, really, for two reasons. One, it was a blast. I had a lot of fun playing through the unique missions with friends back on 360. The second reason ties in with the first: the single-player campaign is only around 5/6 hours long. That time can be extended depending on how much of a completionist you are, but I find that it’s still a little on the short side. This is my one and only gripe with the remaster. Other than that, I feel that Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is a must-play for any fans of this cult classic franchise and one of the best games ever made off of a movie IP.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 8.5/10
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