Publisher: Saber Interactive
Developer: Mad Dog Games
Release Date: 10/04/2019
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Ghostbusters is one of the few franchises out there that doesn’t get enough attention. With Ghostbusters 3 floating around for decades, most fans gave up hope completely. Then, what turned out to be the script for the third movie pretty much turned into what we have today. With all the original cast coming back to voice the game it was like a dream come true. While not the best game ever, it was incredibly faithful to the franchise and made every Ghostbuster fan happy, including myself. This was one of my favorite movies growing up as a kid and to play as a Ghostbuster was just awesome.
Here, we have a remastered version of the 2009 game instead of a fourth game, but this is great as it will spark new interest in the franchise. I highly recommend watching the two movies before diving into this game, because there are a lot of references to those movies that won’t make sense unless you have watched them as they aren’t explained including many easter eggs. You play as a rookie Ghostbuster who just recently got hired, the fifth Ghostbuster, and fight alongside the original four voiced in their original glory. It’s just amazing and gets my fanboys juices flowing hearing the original cast together. While the game isn’t exactly a movie it feels like a larger evolution of the mythos and lore of Ghostbusters taking you from the ghostly issues of New York to a global scale and bringing us into the ghost realm which most people expected in the third movie.
The game has many locales from the movies such as the Ghostbusters headquarters, Sedgewick Hotel, and the Public Library. Ghosts from the movies and news ones made it in and it’s a blast to see. You really feel like an actual Ghostbuster in this game. You have your pack strapped on with all it’s fictional science tech flashing and buzzing and you can shoot your stream at ghosts to whittle down health and finally capture them and bring them into the box just like in the movies. It looks and sounds exactly how it should and it’s pretty awesome. That is, for the first level then it does start getting old. That’s the major issue with this game is that repetition sets in early and there’s no change in gameplay outside of a few scripted events which I think there should have been more of.
Fighting and capturing ghosts aren’t’ the only enemies as there are smaller ones that can get blasted away, then you have a boss fight at the end of each level. Of course, my favorite level in the whole game is when you fight the Stay Puft, but as you progress more in the game and get to more original content it just isn’t as memorable or exciting as the first half of the game that used more stuff from the movies. Locations feel generic, the ghosts aren’t interesting to look at, and there are far less scripted events. The game even gets downright punishing thanks to the constant need to revive teammates every 5 seconds. I spent more time reviving everyone than I did capture ghosts. Once everyone is down and you go down its game over. I felt this was one of the worst parts of the entire game and brought it down a bit. It doesn’t help that shooting ghosts has zero feedback outside of a circular health bar getting smaller. There’s not hit feedback or anything and it’s not very satisfying.
Due to no cover system you run around shooting at these guns aimlessly and once you bring them down into the box it’s on to the next scene. I loved hearing the banter between the original cast, but sadly Bill Murray phoned the whole thing in as his voice acting is terrible and is a huge contrast to Harold Ramis, Dan Akroyd, and Ernie Hudsen’s excellent work. It’s still great to hear them cracking jokes and sarcasm to each other, and it breaks up the monotony of running around linear hallways shooting ghosts.
With that said, the game has aged well and is really only suited for fans of the movies, but there are things that could have been fixed like better hit feedback, the need to constantly revive everyone, and the boring later levels. I would have liked to have driven the Ecto-1 at some point, I would have like to explore more of the Ghostbuster’s personal life as these are established well-known characters that everyone loves. I don’t just want to go from scene A to Z with nothing in between. Even though there is a decent epic plot that involves the realms of reality and the afterlife colliding together, I wanted more and Ghostbusters missed that opportunity. The visual enhancements are nice, and the game runs decently on Switch with only occasional slowdown, but what this feels like is Ghostbusters fast food and not a steak dinner.