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Ghostbusters: The Videogame review

Ghostbusters 3 is here - and you get to star in it

For

  • Looks
  • sounds and feels like Ghostbusters
  • Enjoyable ghost wrangling and light puzzles
  • Laugh-out-loud funny

Against

  • Being told repeatedly not to cross the streams!
  • Screen tearing and frame-rate issues
  • Unfinished feel despite the delay

The faithfulness to the original source material doesn't stop at the aesthetics, either. The characters' speech was written by Harold Ramis and Dan Ackroyd %26ndash; writers of the original films. And with the majority of the original film's cast returning (Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver are the only notable exceptions) to add their voices to the game, this is arguably better than getting a new Ghostbusters movie.

Not only does it mean the digitised cast still look as young as they did in the 1980s, but it means we get to try out a proton pack and be the star of the show.


Above: The Ghostbusters trilogy

To allow the four Ghostbusters' characters to really come to life, you don't play as them during the single-player campaign (that's saved for the four-player online mode). Instead, you're a nameless rookie who has been brought in to test the equipment.

It can be a bit daft, seeing your mute twenty-something interact with the crew in cutscenes without saying anything (Dopey from Snow White was the image that sprang immediately to mind), but in terms of the game, it does work.

Not only does it mean the scripted dialogue is more natural and film-like, but you also get a fantastic impression of character %26ndash; something the vast majority of games never achieve. When you go on a mission with Ray, you really get the feeling he's a nice guy and that you're safer because you're with him. How many other games can you say that of?

"Listen - what's that smell?"

Another thing that sets this apart from the crowd is that it's actually funny. Sure, some games make us laugh like Pain or Grand Theft Auto IV, but the Ghostbusters humour is much more sophisticated. Yes, even when Ray says "Listen %26ndash; what's that smell?"

The fact the team chatters almost non-stop for the duration of the 10-hour long campaign makes this achievement all the more impressive %26ndash; it must have taken ages to produce a script of this length, especially when it repeats as rarely as this.

The game is played from a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective, much like Resident Evil 5. It's pure fan-service too, so you'll find yourself returning to famous locations and baddies from the films. In the first hour alone, you'll get to walk around a perfectly-realised Ghostbusters HQ (complete with Janine Melnitz taking sarcastic phone calls on reception), catch your first glimpse of the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, and even get to recapture Slimer.

The green blob escapes his containment unit and returns to his old haunting ground %26ndash; the very ballroom from the first movie. Check out this comparison video to see how accurate it is.


More Info

GenreAction
Description<p>Simultaneously a new Ghostbusters movie and an enjoyable videogame. Rough around the edges, but the superb scripting and unique humor make this a breath of fresh air.</p>
PlatformPS3, Wii, PS2, Xbox 360, PC, DS, PSP
US censor ratingTeen, Teen, Teen, Teen, Teen, Teen, Teen
UK censor rating12+, 12+, 12+, 12+, 12+, 12+, 12+
Release date:16 June 2009 (US), 19 June 2009 (UK)
Available platforms:Xbox 360
Genre:Action

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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