try some different
GHOSTBUSTERS!!!!! the video game
on 16 june 2009
see the trailer
details and features
Although its publishing status may be in flux at the moment, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is still in development over at Terminal Reality. The team recently sent us over a one-level demo to give us a taste of what to expect from this paranormal action game.
We're put smack dab into the middle of the New York Public Library, where your fellow Ghostbusters, Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson), recognize a few strange activities happening throughout the library. You play the role of Hoss, a newcomer recruited to the Ghostbusters for extra support. (Bill Murray's character, Venkman, is nowhere to be found the demo, but he'll be in the final game.)
You start outside the library, where two class-five ghosts break out of one of the lion statues. They immediately rush into the library, with the Ghostbusters giving chase. The others break from you, leaving you to capture one of the ghosts by yourself. Right off the bat, you're introduced to your tools of the trade – a PKE meter and a particle beam cannon. The beam is used to capture and vaporize spirits, while the PKE gets a read on spiritual energy. We spotted a pile of goo on the first floor, following its trail to a glass case, where the spirit broke free into another area. We chased it into a huge book room, leading to a boss battle.
The ghost forms a physical body around itself using nearby books, shelves and benches. This creature can actually do damage to you, running up to perform a smashing attack and swinging its fists. To bring it down, we had to collaborate with our non-playable Ghostbuster allies using our particle beams. Stantz and Spengler find its weak point – its head – and concentrate its fire on it. After about a minute or two of evading its attacks (by pressing the B button and a direction on the analog stick) and laying continuous fire on it, it eventually exploded.
From there, we went into the back annals of the library, through the faculty entrance into the back book room. The remaining spirit hits the lights, jarring you for a moment before you flick on your flashlight. Books begin flying everywhere and a spirit darts across the room. We also found ourselves "shushed" by the ghost librarian, the one first seen in the first Ghostbusters film. After working out way through the book room, we eventually came across another ghost, lobbing fireballs at us. A few seconds with the particle beam, and it became nothing more than a memory.
The final part of the level put us in a storeroom, where the second and final spirit awaited us. After lobbing smaller ghost particles at us (which, again, are toast with the particle cannon), he sprinted across the room, lobbing whatever he could find at us. Stantz lends you a hand, temporarily catching it as you set up the ghost trap. From there, it was a matter of targeting him and using a capture beam to drag him over to the trap and seclude him. Following this battle, the demo came to a close.
So what's it like? Ghostbusters has excellent controls, carefully balancing point-and-shoot action with the team's numerous utilities. The particle cannon is easy to aim and handle, the traps can easily be thrown with a press of the X button, and the PKE meter tracks your targets with no problem. Once you're in PKE viewing mode, you can spot vapor trails left behind by the ghosts. Terminal Reality has also done superb work capturing the Ghostbusters "vibe" from the films. The library looks just like it was yanked right from the movie, right down to the eerily high stacks of books and the smoothly floating librarian. Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson do excellent voicework, hopping right back into the character roles they played in the '80s. It would've been nice to hear Murray in his Venkman role, but we'll get to soon enough in the final game.
Why Activision would drop this title from publishing is beyond us, but we're confident that someone else will pick up on it shortly. After all, who hates the Ghostbusters? Well, besides the ghosts and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, anyway. Look for it in late 2008 or early 2009.
The gameplay in the game varies depending on the developer and the console. Terminal Reality has described the gameplay of the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions as "Gears of War Lite", with a large emphasis on action.<sup id="cite_ref-ArsGOW_11-0" class="reference"></sup> In contrast, the Wii and PS2 versions developed by Redfly will make use of puzzle elements. <sup id="cite_ref-GSPuzzle_12-0" class="reference"></sup>Another difference is that the Redfly version will have optional offline multiplayer for the entirety of the main game whereas the Terminal Reality version will include online multiplayer content separate from the main story. <sup id="cite_ref-WiiCoOp_13-0" class="reference"></sup> Both will make use of Terminal Reality's proprietary "Infernal Engine" for advanced in-game physics that will be integral to gameplay. <sup id="cite_ref-Engine_15-0" class="reference"></sup>Players will not be penalized for destroying objects in the destructible environments. There are two money counts that are independent of one another - one for destruction caused and one for money earned. Special achievements or trophies will be awarded for certain types of destruction.<sup id="cite_ref-Achievements_16-0" class="reference"></sup>
The DS version developed by Zen Studios will be completely different from the other versions and has been compared to Activision's old Ghostbusters computer game Making use of the DS's touch screen, this version will feature isometric action as well as driving sequences and elements of resource management.