Da-da-doo-doo-doo-doo-dah-dah-dah-doo-doo.. GHOSTBUSTERS. If there’s something strange, in then neighborhood… who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!
If, like every single nerd, dork, geek, geekazoid, triple-nerd, bork, trekkie, trekker, gamer, techno-wazzle, techno-dork, dorklesnorkle and me, you’ll probably like Ghostbusters. It practically invented good writing (note: it did not invent good writing), and gave us a great movie that just kept humping characterized goodness in our faces. But then Ghostbusters II came along, and things went a bit south for a winter. The charm of the first movie became a placebo fan-fest, with the plot and acting becoming slightly handicapped. So, twenty years later and Hollywood decided to resurrect its fallen cash cows.
Dan Ackroyd and other folk return to write the third movie… sorry… videogame. It is being held with a responsibility, probably at gunpoint, as being ‘THE THIRD MOVIE’. What I got from watching all the cut scenes and stuff from this game, is that it somewhat combines both of the movies into one, which isn’t exactly a good mix. They bring back the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Gozer and pretty much every Ghostbusters cliché. I have a feeling that most of this doesn’t even count as canon, since the whole plot is so conveniently charged towards shoving fanboy glimmers in the player’s face.
I can understand why they chose to do all of this; let us relive the golden days of the busters of ghosts. If anything, I did enjoy my time seeing all of those past faces, but it all felt too artificial for my tastes. The characters’ voice actors didn’t seem to get into the spirit, although Harold Ramis kept up his monotone, deadpan awesomeness. Bill Murray seemed to nail a few lines, but the rest of the cast seemed too… spaced out. Like they were taken out of their comfort zone or Ackroyd kept pushing the context down their throats until the Ghostbusters theme tune infected their bodies. Like every time they heard the word ‘Ghostbusters’, they zoned out…
Gameplay wise, the actual interactive bit, is surprisingly great. Every charge and mashing of the proton pack, or any weapon, feels satisfying and authentic. The Slime Tether is my favourite, and the many ways you use it is ingenious, I can totally see future games stealing that little gem. Every sound and graphical intake is completely true to the Ghostbusters, I can pretty much say that this is one of the best fan services out there (if you maybe even give or take a little out of the plot/characters). In fact, I’ll push the big red button, bite the bullet etc. and say that this is up there with Arkham Asylum. Using the license not as a quick cash-in, but as a full on fan service.
Like everything though, this must all come at a price. The stumbling characters and story are redeemed by the actual gameplay and situations, but the one true put down is the multiplayer. No, not the actual multiplayer, but the fact it exists. I’m more than happy to share my Ghostbusters experience with others, in fact, this would be a perfect co-op game. Instead, we get little side-quests or missions, were we can customize our load out and were other popularized multiplayer gimmicks are. If, in the future, there is another Ghostbusters game… co-op should be the 1# thing on their list.