5 reasons Ghostbusters is the family-friendly Left 4 Dead

At first glance, Ghostbusters and Left 4 Dead are two very different games. One's an FPS, the other played in third-person. Slimer's residue does not 'attract the horde'. But there's no denying Ghostbusters shares some very welcome features with the 360 and PC shooter - to the extent that the same core gameplay that's been keeping the Radar team glued to its HDTVs for weeks could now be entertaining your entire family. Here are five good reasons why: 

1) It's got 4-player co-op over PSN and Xbox Live.
Where the Wii version allows you to play the entire story mode in a super-smooth split-screen but doesn't feature online play whatsoever, the 360 and PS3 versions do the opposite, offering a separate online multiplayer mode instead of co-op through the story. We would have liked both, but the online-specific mode looks fantastic, so we'll grudgingly forgive it for now.

Above: There's no HUD per se, with status displayed on your Proton Pack

2) You have to revive downed team-mates.
When you take too many hits, you'll end up on the floor (probably covered in slime). On the Wii, you'll be shaking the nunchuk to get the slime off your body, whereas it slowly fades away over time on the 360. While it's highly unlikely you'll have to shoot a ghoul off your mate before they get their guts ripped out like in Left 4 Dead, the feeling of teamwork and camaraderie is sure to be just as strong.

Above: Left 4 Dead (left) is gory and terrifying. Slimer, on the other hand...

3) You get to choose your scenario
Like Left 4 Dead, you can choose which section you want to play in the multiplayer mode. This extends to being able to create your own mission scenario, taking in your favourite locations and ghouls. Of course you can also let the CPU create a mission for you, so you'll get Janine yelling down the phone at you. "We got one!"

Above: Annie Potts, who returns to voice Janine Melnitz in the game

4) The weapons are the same (only 'Buster-dised)
The Ghostbusters movies only really have two weapons – the proton pack and the slime cannon. But gamers demand more than that, so Dan Ackroyd reportedly wrote classic videogame weapons into the new game, Ghostbusters-ising them all so they don't look out of place.

Imagine it this way - Egon's come up with a new technique for distributed energy projection… so you get a new, spread energy burst from the proton pack, complete with range-affected damage. Just like a shotgun. We're among the few to have tried said weapon (it's ace), along with an extremely powerful rocket-like weapon that fires flame-based projectiles. Oh, and you can toast the walls with your proton stream, so expect plenty of rude words on forums after launch.

Above: The gunk gun can also be used to tether objects together

5) You'll need to stick together to succeed
Just like in the movies, you'll often need more than one stream from the proton pack to bring a ghostie down (though we haven't been able to try crossing the streams yet - that could be bad). This is particularly noticable in the rooftop scene, where construction worker ghosts with utility belts but no legs fly around at speed. Take up position in the corners of the area, kick the trap into the middle and work together to bring in the ghoulies.

Add to this the fact that the multiplayer mode allows you to choose to be an actual member of the Ghostbusters team as opposed to the nameless 'talent' you play as in the story mode and this is likely as close as you'll get to living the dream. God, we're excited about this game…

Above: By the way, Rookie, when someone asks you if you're a god...

09 March 2009


  • Gotxxrock - March 10, 2009 4:38 p.m.

    Thank you Mr. Towell, you've instilled new hope in me about this game. Any game that seems parallel to L4D is a great game in my book. Thanks for the coverage
  • Mr.Epic64 - March 10, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    June 16th is my Dads birthday. Guess what I'm getting him for my X-Box 360. (J.K. I'm not that bad.)
  • drunation - March 10, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    This looks great, thanks for the article. I hate to expect a lot but there are so many critics out there that have played parts of this game, and say its great. I would love for this to be as easy to pick up and play as left 4 dead. Being able to pick it up and play though a level or something to that effect will be nice. I love things like Horde, but i don't always have 8 hours to devote to co op.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - March 9, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    I. WANT. THIS. GAME. NAO!!!! good article. ^^
  • erreip199 - March 9, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    i need to rewatch the movies i saw them too long ago... hopefully this game will satisfy in both gameplay and fanboyism haha
  • BodyDamage - March 9, 2009 7:27 p.m.

    Oh man. This is going to be so good.
  • smashpro1 - March 10, 2009 2:17 p.m.

    June 16th cannot come soon enough
  • NelosAngelos - March 10, 2009 12:12 a.m.

    Looks beautiful, bet it plays nicely, and you have voice talent from the movie. Maybe this'll be the movie based game that will rip the stereotype to shreds that these types of games are bad. Looking forward to more of this, and I really REALLY wanna try crossing the streams.
  • Samael - March 9, 2009 11:50 p.m.

    Color me excited. I'm very happy all the original actors are fully involved.
  • Scott1121 - March 9, 2009 10:50 p.m.

    Looks better than I thought it would be

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