Ever fancied donning a boiler suit, strapping on a proton pack and zapping some ghosts? Well, your luck is in as Saber Interactive bring to us the remaster of the 2009 hit Ghostbusters: The Video Game! With the anticipation beginning to rise for Ghostbusters 3 which is releasing July 2020, is this a great time to resurrect the Ghostbusters and jump onto the hype train?
For those of you that can not remember the original game, yeah 10 years have passed, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered (referred to as Ghostbusters herein) allows you to play in 3rd person through a unique storyline as a 5th ghostbuster, that never talks I may add, as you battle and capture the ghosts and spooky apparitions across New York City.
When the Ghostbusters game was created to mark the 25th anniversary of the film they did not hold back when it came to authenticity. The story was written by the writers of the original 2 films; namely Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis and is based after the events of Ghostbusters II.
Within the game, each of the original ghostbusters, as well as some of the other cast, is present both in physical appearance as well as character voices giving you an overwhelming feeling of both nostalgia and belonging. This I loved. As a child of the 80’s I was very much into all things ghostbusters therefore not only did I have the duvet set but also had the trademark theme song on my walkman.
As the Ghostbusters game loads up and the first few bars begin to play of one of the most easily recognised songs in the world there is a touching tribute to Harold Ramis (Egon) which hit me in the feels. I never did fully appreciate how much he actually did away from the franchise!
Launching into the single-player campaign you are taken on as a rookie and shown the ropes through a tutorial mission at the iconic Sedgewick Hotel. Here you learn how to use your proton pack to blast and slam objects (sorry Slimer) as well as how to throw your trap out to capture the ghosts. On the side of your proton pack is a couple of tiny displays that indicate your health and also the temperature of your proton pack, if you zap for too long you need to vent it which is achieved with a quick button press. Should a ghost deal some damage to you by either throwing objects at you or even hitting you with fireballs your health will regen if you can hide for a short while, sometimes quite a hard thing to achieve.
With the proton pack being the star of the show you will be slightly forgiven to forget about another piece of kit which also plays a big part in the hunting of ghosts. The PKE meter. Within the Ghostbusters game the PKE meter is used not only to hunt for ghosts as part of the storyline but also to detect hidden entities as well as cursed collectibles and information on your foes. I won’t lie, when you have the PKE meter in your hand and are concentrating on watching the LED pattern rising as you get closer you really get absorbed into the game, leading to a few expletives when a ghost launches out of an object you have just walked upto.
As you blast your way through the various buildings and famous movie locations of the past films there is an upgrade mechanic that you need to be aware of. Everything you blast within the environment gives you a cash amount, don’t think for a second that this is your damage amount which will be taken off the bill at the end, you use this money to upgrade your proton pack as well as unlock new perks which will help you wear down and detain higher-level ghosts later on. The upgrades certainly allow the game to not get too repetitive.
The remaster of Ghostbusters looks good on the Playstation Pro featuring higher resolution graphics compared to the original game as well as better texture and lighting renders. As this is a remaster there is only so much that can be done to polish the looks however this should not detract from the iconic locations such as Times Square and the Firehouse bringing a grin to your face.
Well, what can I say, it is awesome. The soundtrack, the sound effects of the proton packs and ghosts, it is all there in nostalgic goodness. Having the original cast do their thing and reprise their roles all those years ago has immortalised their characters forever. Ghostbusters has everything you want from Egon’s dry humour to Peter’s witty one-liners that he unleashes throughout the storyline. From an interview with John Melchior, the Executive Producer on the original Ghostbuster game it was said that the chemistry was so strong between the cast that this is the reason why your character never speaks!
Ghostbusters has around 10 hours of single-player gameplay however don’t let this put you off, the game is a lot harder than you think with long distances between checkpoints at certain times. There are many collectibles to discover or walk right past on the way around so remember the PKE meter is your second best friend!
Although the remaster was released with just a single-player campaign, Saber Interactive are working on a free update that will bring multiplayer to it, similar to the first iteration, however it is rumoured to not be following the exact same format. Either way, a multiplayer element would greatly enhance the longevity.
Ghostbusters made me feel all tingly in a good way. Many remasters do not stand the test of time however I felt that with the way the game was initially written and developed as well as the use of most of the amazing original cast from the movies it is the talent that has held it all together.
If you ain’t afraid of no ghost, wanna relive that nostalgic ghostbusting atmosphere and also celebrate the 35th anniversary of the original movie you will not be disappointed.
I award Ghostbuster: The Video Game Remastered the prestigious Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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