The Ghostbusters franchise is one that started the year I was born. I grew up watching the films and Cartoons and loved every minute of it, and I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of times I have watched the films, especially the second one, which in my opinion was the better film.
27 years after the second film was released and we finally have the 3rd instalment in cinemas, and with this comes the latest instalment in the Ghostbusters game series.
The game has a really nice cartoon design to it with a top down style, which reminds me a little bit of Diablo III.
The first thing that you will notice is that the game which launched with the film doesn’t include the characters from the film, therefore showing that it’s not a tie in to the film and more likely just a cash in.
Secondly, when you start playing the game, you will notice just how linear it is. To get through the game, all you have to do is just follow the paths around and eventually you will find or run into something. There are a few off shoots within the levels for you to find extra ghosts to battle, but if you wanted to you could just plow through the level to get to the end and get your reward.
At the end of each level you are rewarded skill points based on how you did in the level and these can be used to upgrade things such as movement and weapon cool down. The overall system is very simple to get to grips with and kind of flows through from the levels, to after level report and then onto the next. So you could really say that the game is designed pretty similar to the levels. No getting lost of confused here.
Each level consists of a different area, the first one you visit is a very short tutorial level letting you know the buttons and get used to things. You then move onto other areas, which to be honest if you plow through them you could probably do them in around 15-20 minutes. It took me about 30 minutes to do each one as I was looking for some of the extra Ecto to collect. The levels are nicely designed and the cartoon style compliments them well, the problem that I had with them was that they were too easy. There were no puzzles or mysteries about them, it was just simply walk through the levels, fight ghosts until you got to the end and then happy days, level over. This is where the game is let down a lot, the depth to it just isn’t there, you can just plod along take care of the ghosts and the job is done.
There is no sense of achievement about it, I never once finished a level thinking that I had been made to work to get there, no once! Even the pace of the level for me was off, it was all or nothing, you either had hundreds of ghosts spawning at you, or there was nothing… There also didn’t even seem to be any atmosphere to the game, the graveyards felt tame, museums felt non existent, and the main culprits didn’t seem to give up much of a fight. Rolling out the way made it too easy to avoid any of there attacks, and this wasn’t because they were poor, it was because there attacks were slow, and the only way anything got slightly hairy is when you got over run by them due to poor AI not attacking properly and stupidly using grenades and standing there, or characters not doing anything because they glitched up against a wall….
Another bit that kind of annoyed me was the whole catching ghosts bit. I felt that there was a lot going on there for something that could have been so simple. First your pressing LB to get your proton wand ready, then your firing with RT, then you have to hold the right stick in a direction to build up a meter which you then have to slam the ghost with LT and do this 3-4 times, before pressing A to release the trap…. I’m tired just writing all that out… There is no need for all that, they could have done it by using your proton wand with RT, build the meter up and then release the trap… No need for all this slamming…
There are 4 Ghostbusters to play as and each has there own individual skills that bring to the table. I’m going to be honest here, and admit that I’ve only played as one character as I wanted to see how effective the ranking up system was. Ranking system was OK, the amount of points you accumulated was dependant on how you did through the level you just finished, so this would have been calculated by whether you needed reviving, the amount of ghosts busted, and team assists. (Team assists are basically when someone throws a grenade, blinds, slimes, electrocutes a ghost and another team member gets the kill)
I mentioned a little bit above about the AI and I have to admit that most of the time, I found them rather redundant. When it came to the stats at the end of the match, I found that I had gotten 3 to 4 times the amount of kills that they had got, so I seemed a bit pointless them being there to an extent.
There is some chemistry there and there, but there isn’t much of it for me. Bland dad jokes fill the cut scenes between calls, and I will give an example – There is one person who is asking for help and one of the ghost busters goes back and says ‘Don’t worry, we’ll lift your spirits’…. Ugh…. Painful.
To be honest, I really wanted to like this game, I really did, I love the franchise and wanted this to be something that kept me going back for more, but really I don’t think I will. The lack of depth to the game, how linear the levels are, the cringeworthy chemistry to the characters, and the fact that the only link to the series was the original theme tune being played at the end of levels.
Ghost busters gets busted with a 4/10