I remember seeing Ghostbusters for the first time as a kid and wanting to have my own Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. What was the problem with Ray’s wish in conjuring him up anyway? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, shame on you. Ghostbusters is a classic, and I’m pleased to say that the game, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is now out on the PS4.
The original was a title on my PS3 list, but I never got around to playing it. I’m glad that I have the chance now to see what it’s like firsthand. I recall that the game had good reviews, but in fear of being corrupted by outside parties, I dived straight into it and experience Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered for myself.
I won’t lie; the opening sequence got me really excited. It was like playing the film, only it’s a new story set a couple of years after Ghostbusters 2 (1991, fact fans). Interestingly, the cast is the same as the originals – not the reboot. More so, the characters are voiced by the original actors. I’m talking Dan Ackroyd, the late Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Bill Murray himself – not that Lorenzo bloke who did the voice for Garfield.
You play the cadet, a nameless newcomer only referred to as the new recruit, rookie and all those other types of titles. He doesn’t speak, and Venkman says early on that having a name will be difficult as new members never last. The Ghostbusters are steadily rebuilding their reputation from the second film but early on, the proverbial hits the fan. Settings and characters from the original movie are reintroduced: Slimer, the hotel, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the library, with that bloody librarian telling everyone to shush.
Revisiting previous locations and antagonists are actually very welcome for those of us who loved the original films, hoping to be a Ghostbuster. It’s a good setting. Not only do we have the original cast doing the voices, but they were involved in the script too. I’ll say now, the dialogue, music – the whole audio shebang – is marvellous. It really does feel like an extension to the Ghostbusters universe, not just a companion piece.
Now you might be wondering what you actually do in the game other than hunting ghosts. Well, that’s what you do, but it’s all done in a third-person playground. You strap on (heh) your proton pack and blast the ghoulies, bringing them into your traps, or you can destroy some of them outright. There’s no ammo to collect or health, just stay out of danger for a bit and you’ll regenerate your health again. If you do die, your team can revive you – likewise, you can also bring back your AI counterparts who are on the brink. You also need to cool off the proton pack after successive blasting; otherwise, you’ll be getting blisters.
Equipment can be upgraded by collecting money and upgrading in the menu system. Where do you get money from? Ghost wallets. When you accumulate enough, you’ll get a quick notification to say an upgrade is available. There are four weapons to choose from, each with their own perks. For example, a stasis gun to slow down rogue spirits, and a slime gun that creates tethering to bring objects, or ghosts, closer to you. Think ‘snot gun’. There’s enough to keep you going, but it’s quite easy to max out early on. Besides, you can effectively use the standard proton gun through most of the game.
Navigating around each area is by default, in third-person. You can don your PKE meter to sniff out the ghosts, and it switches to the first-person mode via some night vision type goggles. I found myself to be in this view for the majority of the game as it provides hints and you can pick up artefacts (collectables really) along the way. You can’t shoot in this mode, but pressing triangle switches back to third-person, followed by a corresponding direction on the d-pad to select your weapon.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is quite a short game. Levels themselves are relatively large, separated by checkpoints, but you could complete this in one sitting if you’re dedicated and think you’re a real Ghostbuster. You’ll miss all the achievements though and do you really want to speed run it? It’s pretty hard to go too far ahead, though, as you need to wait for the team. Sometimes they will sprint with you (hold down circle to do a mock Gears of War dash), but most of the time you have to wait for them for the story to progress. This can be a little irritating at times.
While the overall presentation feels like you’re playing a movie to some extent, the graphics didn’t exactly pop for me. The game does feel like a PS3 title. Sure, it’s from a ten-year-old PS3 title, but considering The Last of Us Remastered is in the same camp, I expected better. No doubt the visuals are a step up as this is a remastered version, but the lighting and facial animations were a little choppy at times. It certainly doesn’t hurt the gameplay, but when the game slowed down to an in-game cutscene, I couldn’t help but notice.
As mentioned, some of the levels are quite large. The hotel, in particular, is the biggest I’ve ever been to. Endless corridors and colossal reception rooms – though you need these at times as the art of capturing a ghost can be quite clumsy. Point the cursor with the right analogue stick and hit R2 to shoot, with L2 to slam a spirit into an object to render it dazed. You can then drag them into the ghost traps that are placed on the floor. The problem is the damage caused as it costs money. If you want to unlock a particular trophy, you’ll need to keep damages under $100,000. Alternatively, if you like to break things, you can get another trophy by causing $3,000,000 worth of carnage. Your choice.
Once you’ve gone through and completed the story, there’s not much else to do other than replay to unlock trophies. Other than changing the difficulty level, there’s not much of a challenge – it’s pretty easy. Apparently, the original title had a multiplayer, but unless it’s a hidden feature, I didn’t see this as an option, nor much else for that matter. I’m not interested in an online multiplayer, but a co-op could be fun. However, I would prefer to play Venkman or Spengler, rather than a nameless buffoon who doesn’t speak.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered PS4 Review
- Overall - Very Good - 7/107/10
As a homage to the original film, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered ticks all the boxes. In terms of gameplay, it’s a little too short and at times, unexciting. The graphics let it down oh so slightly, but not enough that it should put you off. If you enjoyed the films, you’ll like this, for everyone else it’s an above-average shooter.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.