Whilst we were initially concerned, playing as the fifth Ghostbuster gives you a snapshot view of the interaction between the team and turns out to be an inspired design choice.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game has a single-player campaign that takes around seven hours to complete, however online co-op is included to flesh out the experience.
From almost every angle you look at it, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a perfect extension to the franchise. With a plot contributed by original writers Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, aswell as a majority of the original cast on-board for vocal talent - the story will raise many a smile from fans. It's not just the delivery that's been nailed though; the look is also perfect. From the facial animations, to the behaviour of the proton packs - the game is a real labour of love and it shows.
Sitting somewhere in between Gears Of War and Dead Space, Ghostbusters: The Video Game provides you with the ability to tether and subsequently capture ghosts. The proton pack is controlled with the R2 trigger, which reduces resistance from the enemy and gives you time to lay a trap and capture it with precise control of the right-stick. There are times in the campaign where you'll find yourself alone, but Ghostbusters is essentially a co-op game where you'll need to work as a team to wrangle demons into their metallic living quarters. The AI is pretty helpful at capturing ghosts, but when it comes to recovering team-mates, frustration at its stupidity will occur.
Unlocking slowly as you progress through the game, there are a range of weaponry upgrades for your proton pack. These range from a slime spewing hose to the more conventional shotgun and machine gun alternatives. They're all fairly fun to use although switching between them with the D-Pad can be a tad cumbersome. Regardless, switching becomes essential as each enemy has specific weaknesses. The game also incorporates some puzzle-like elements that take advantage of the various weaponry. For example, shooting "slime tethers" will allow you to turn cogs and break open doors.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game feels like a roller-coaster at times. It's totally linear, but the developers use that to their advantage. Filling the world with constant twists, turns and memorable moments makes the universe feel alive. It also helps you to forget some of the game's more tedious moments.
By trying to keep the tempo high, Ghostbusters skips over explanation quite quickly. That means you're thrown into the action with little clue of how to progress. Learning the game's mechanics won't take long, but that initial period of confusion can be a little frustrating - particularly when everything feels so natural once you get the hang of it. Consigning the HUD to the player's proton pack is also bemusing — Dead Space worked because the HUD was rather simple, which isn't the case here.
When you're not sucking up the undead with a menagerie of science fiction goodies, you'll be left exploring the rather linear world. Exploration occurs by using the PKE meter, a simple device that puts you into a first-person perspective and points you in a rough direction. These sections, while true to the fiction, can really break the pace of the game and end up coming off a bit dull. Thankfully, spontaneous and witty dialogue from the game's characters help to break up the monotony.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a tad rough. The graphics aren't the best and there are a number of glitches. Compressed cutscenes, long load times and pretty darn silly AI constantly remind you that you're playing a game - despite the excellent script writing trying to convince you otherwise. We also had a problem with objects (even characters) floating a few feet off the ground - and no, before you ask, they were not supposed to be floating. Although we guess such a glitch is not exactly detrimental to the game's context.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game has a full online multiplayer component which we'll cover in detail when we've had more time with it.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game may not play quite as well as you'd hope, but if you're a fan of the franchise, you're going to find more than enough to make you smile throughout the game's campaign.