Fortunately, it never tips over into embarrassment central. And after finishing the game's ten or so hours of story, we immediately wanted to play through it again. To collect the hidden items, scan every ghost, and upgrade all our weapons fully by smashing up loads of expensive objects. That grand piano looks like it'll fall apart nicely...
Above: You actually get rewarded with money for doing this
If the game wasn't Ghostbusters licensed, it wouldn't have the same impact. Take away the scripting and unforgettable enemies and you're left with a solid physics playground that occasionally threatens to over-use the zap 'em, cap 'em, trap 'em mechanic.
But the fact this is Ghostbusters and it's a videogame version of a third movie we may never actually see (at least not in the form we'd most like) means it's frankly unmissable. If only some more time had been taken to smooth out the presentation, nail the physics and ensure the frame-rate doesn't falter too much in busy scenes, this would probably be getting a higher score.
Above: Luckily for Slimer, there's no nasty shock coming
Is it better than...?
Luigi's Mansion? No
Despite Ghostbusters' license and technically superior graphics, Luigi's Mansion has far superior game design. The ghost-capturing mechanic is similar yet feels more varied in the Gamecube title and the ghosts themselves feel more ethereal - even menacing. While it doesn't have the brilliant scripting of Ghostbusters, it is the better-made game.
Resident Evil 5? Yes.
This is bound to stir up controversy, but having finished both games, we enjoyed Ghostbusters more. While Resi 5 can feel contrived, Ghostbusters' crazy plot and locations all fit with the story. Both games look good (though Resi is much slicker), but zapping ghosts is more compelling than shooting yet another villager in the head. Friendly AI is much less annoying... Oh, and you can run and gun at the same time in Ghostbusters. Nuff said.
Gears of War 2? No.
If we're comparing it to Resi for its similar point of view and reliance on action, then Gears of War 2 is a logical alternative. Problem is, Gears does everything so spectacularly, so convincingly, it makes Ghostbusters look a tad amateurish, at least in terms of game tech. The script may not be as good, but the gameplay is pretty damn perfect.
Just for you, Metacritic!
Simultaneously a new Ghostbusters movie and an enjoyable videogame. Rough around the edges, but the superb scripting and unique humour make this a breath of fresh air.
15 Jun, 2009