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Ghostbusters The Video Game Preview

Chris_Hudak By:
GENRE Action 
DEVELOPER Red Fly Studio 
E10+ Contains Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Language

What do these ratings mean?

We're ready to believe you.

Get ready to strap a nuclear reactor to your back and bust some intangible ass. After almost a year's worth of delays, including losing it's original publisher and getting picked up by Atari, Ghostbusters The Video Game is just around the corner and ready to hit the shelves. There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this one, after all, it’s not everyday a film gets turned into a game 25 years after its theatrical release. Nope. A movies gotta  be pretty special for something like that to happen. And while this isn't the first time there's been a Ghostbusters game, it's the first time technology seems to be good enough to actually keep up with the Hollywood-fabricated fantasy of my bygone childhood years.

click to enlargeWhat’s really incredible is just how many folks behind the film are involved. Not only do Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis reprise their roles as Ray and Egon but they also helped edit the script. In fact, almost the entire cast will reprise their roles, well the really important ones at least, all the original busters return, including Bill Murray as wise-cracking Peter Venkman.  A certain academy award winning actress who looked ridiculously hot floating above a bed in a loose red dress 25 years ago, chose not to return. Instead Alyssa “Samantha” Milano voices the new female lead, Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn, a doctor who specializes in all things Gozer.

About five years has passed since the events of Ghostbusters 2 and business has picked up. In fact, things are going so well, that the fellas are hiring new recruits to use as lab rats for all their new gear. That's where your character, known only as the enthusiastic “Rookie” steps in. If Egon makes a shotgun laser, or a slime blaster, or a boton laser, rest assured that you'll get to play with it before anyone else, just in case it blows up. You also get the privilege of joining the crew on missions, as they'll need someone to touch all the scary looking stuff, like doors to alternate dimensions and things covered in goo.

In the 360 and PS3 versions, everything looks like it came straight out of the film. From the old converted firehouse with the greatest car ever, the Ecto-1, parked right behind the giant french doors to the eerie corridors of the Sedgewick Hotel, that sense of spookiness that's just a little bit light-hearted comes through. The Wii version has more of a “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon look, and looks to be a more family friendly version with the same plot. That means the Wii version is the one you'll play with your 5-year-old cousin so as to avoid getting urine stains on the rug, or worse, he could slime the couch.

click to enlargeAs you would imagine most of the action revolves around saving New York once again from the paranormal. Gozer the Gozarian is up to his/her/its (do gods have genders?) old tricks again. Manifesting as the Stay Puft marshmallow man once more, early on in the game.

But that's just the start. Slimer, the ghost librarian, even Viggo all show up in some form or another, along with a cavalcade of entirely new creatures. There are some that can posses objects or people, others that chuck slime at you, and some very burnt marshmallow demon dogs that will cover you in more white goo than getting the lead role in a bukkake film. [Way to optimize for key words, Blake! ~Ed}

All three versions will play in third-person. The Wii, as you would expect, will have you trapping ghosts with motion controls, while the 360 and PS3 controls will be more of a traditional shooter set-up. Sometimes you'll have to blast creatures to dust until there's nothing left, other, more ethereal ghosts will require you to wear them down and then throw them into the classic shoebox style traps. Ghost wrangling involves getting them into a capture stream than slamming them around until they give up. On the 360 you use a trigger to execute the slamming, while  the PS3 will allow you to use the six-axis to swing them around the room. 

This one is right around the corner and it's looking to resurrect the franchise in an exciting new way. So much has been done to cater to the needs of even the most hard-core of fan boys that it's hard to imagine that it's going to disappoint at all. Even the little slowly powering down “pew” noise of the proton packs is in there.
Be prepared for the unexplainable to hit store shelves June 16th for 360, PS3, Wii and DS.


More GR previews for this game:
Ghostbusters The Video Game preview posted on 07/25/08.

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