Review Xbox 360: Ghostbusters the video game.

Terminal Reality developed this title and with many of the old cast from the movies gives this title a sense of excitement with what it could have to offer for 360 gamers and also fans of the series in general. It’s basically the third movie but it has been docked and shaped to fit this third person action video game.

Many of the original cast members from the films were involved in the game’s production. Each of the actors who portrayed the Ghostbusters in the films, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson have their film characters in this game and have lent their voices and likeness to the game, which brings a good whole original feel for the games story to be built upon. I’m not going to get into the story too much but its solid and believable from the movies prospective, which again helps this title have that big heart and humour the films had. The humour is very original and works very well, had me laughing and smiling a lot which makes a nice change from brutal humour or serious drama, it hits that friendly funny comedic genre which is defiantly what a game like this, with the background it has, should be aiming for. You are portrayed as the newbie, a recruit in the Ghostbusters ghost fighting team, which helps bring your character into the story so you’re not left out and frees the other four for dialogue and humour.

When you start you’re introduced to the gang as the rookie, after the initial starting cut scene you have your first taste of ghost hunting. You have a third person view where you can use your proton pack, and a first person view where you can look for signs of ghost and paranormal activity using your goggles and PKE meter. In the first person mode you can find signs of ghosts which get saved in the pause menu but you can also look for artefacts, random haunted objects famous through time, these are also saved in the pause menu. This view also helps to spice up game play by giving you a usable different view point, so it is basically a 3rd and 1st person game as it pulls both views off well.

The object of the game is basically play through each level dispensing of ghosts and getting to the bottom of this disturbance in your reality, which can lead you to parts of the plot and the more famous enemy characters from the movies. When you fight ghosts there are a couple of stages you must put them through to capture them but it isn’t that difficult. You must first sap the ghosts health away with your proton pack then, when your ghost is on low health you must lasso it and slam it off walls to stun it, then drop a trap with the X button and move your ghost over to the trap and wrestle with it until it is sucked in, it’s not that hard and you can become rather good at it capturing many ghosts quickly but after a while does become a bit old constantly capturing ghosts, but the fact you can collect information on them if you can scan them helps keep you focused on collecting information than constant ghost bashing.

The levels are nicely layered out some with limited space to fight and some levels in the street with a lot of space to fight in, you can also damage everything around you and the damage you do is totalled up in the pause menu when you look through your stats, it’s always nice to see how much or little destruction and havoc you cause in a game. The game has a lot of fun detail as well from funny banter not just between the four famous characters but they also joke with you as well, you rookie character become one of the team and you do see it and feel it. Levels have a good lot of detail especial when you can destroy just about everything you can also pick objects up and move them with your proton pack, adding a small puzzle element.

The bosses are epic but either are seriously hard or pathetically easy, which gives the game inconsistent level endings, which is a big shame that the levels flow well and are consistent, to then have a hit or miss boss. The bosses are entertaining especially when you encounter one from the movies and there is a lot of good humour between the bunch. There are also a good variety of enemies to capture and kill as not all enemies are ghosts, which is a must as you collect data and helps keep the game entertaining.

Your proton pack come with a few perks as well, you can upgrade your proton pack with points you collects from artefacts, ghost data and just from capturing ghosts (with your trap not a team mates). You also unlock other types of steams with your proton pack, from slime (which is brilliant for covering your friends with) to stasis streams. These different streams do a number of things, a stasis stream is made up of dark matter and can slow down or even freeze enemies, which is good for super fast ghouls. You also have slime tethers which are exactly what they sound like, slime string, which they use in game very well. You must use a variety of weapons not just on ghosts but in your surroundings too, adding depth to the levels, and you have a secondary attack for all four different streams, which again helps to keep it fresh and take out multiple enemies when over whelmed. The only problem I have with this whole system is it can get very confusing having four characters in one level with proton packs, especially in smaller areas. You can often knock yourself down or hurt others, so you have to run over and save there Ghostbusters rump from peril… again… and again. Also your main proto stream is very bright, again especially when you cross a friends stream but Iam not entirely sure how they could have got past this problem except for all levels to be huge, which wouldn’t have worked with the story. No game is perfect unless you love it to bits but this problem will become more apparent when you progress through the game, big shame.

The game looks better than I was expecting it to be, I was expecting some quality to be cut somewhere but all is above the normal 360 standard. In fact the faces of all characters including your rookie character have great emotion detail, making the jokes even funnier! This makes all the characters feel real and almost movie like which adds a good overall quality to characters and the story line. The level quality is good but you can tell a lot more work has been put into the more important story and character detail, which is nice to see as game play and feel should always come before anything else, I game is supposed to be enjoyable overall not a chore to play.

Voice acting is brilliant, and I’d like to say as someone who has enjoyed this title, thank you. The humour really does add a lot of Ghostbusters heart to the game which fills me full of joy as I loved Ghostbusters when I was younger and was a little hesitant to buy this as it’s a game of a movie and that genre hasn’t particularly held up its side of the deal with rushed and empty games, but with your favourite loved characters making (maybe) a last appearance on our screens just makes you glad you bought/rented it. To go out in style in a computer game is a brilliant way to say thanks to all the fans, which you will pick up on playing this title even if you weren’t a fan or haven’t seen the films.

Like most 360 games sadly Ghostbusters doesn’t really take that long to complete on normal so it doesn’t have a long life a head of it, but that doesn’t mean I will be trading it in, I won’t be. I was really hesitant with this title and was very hard on it but it has given me so much joy and fun I have seen what it truly offers, fun, laughs and some good action. The fact it has four play co –op over Xbox live gives it an even better twist, Xbox live its self breathes community like life into all 360 titles and shouldn’t be underestimated. Story is very enjoyable and is the backbone of this game (makes a change) but along with steady and challenging combat and bosses, leaves you satisfied, not ecstatic but happy. It has a lot to offer to a lot of people but doesn’t come without its flaws, Ghostbusters however could please a much bigger child friendly market, I can see groups of kids enjoying this over Xbox live with four player co – op and with no hint of violence, which the 360 need more off as not all its customers are over 18. Ghostbusters shouldn’t be missed even with its flaws as it offers something that people have been asking for, entertainment!

Gamer Rating: 8

Buy, Rent or Pass: Rent

Published by: Atari
Developed by: Terminal Reality

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