Title: Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered
Developer: Sabre Interactive (Remaster)
Publisher: Mad Dog Games (Remaster)
Genre: Action Adventure
Available On: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Official Site: http://www.playghostbusters.com/en/
Release Date: October 4th, 2019
Where to Buy it: PSN, Xbox Store, Nintendo E-Shop, & anywhere you buy games
When Ghostbusters: The Video Game released back in 2009, it acted as the 3rd movie. Stuck in development hell, Ghostbusters 3 never saw the light of day, with Bill Murray being a big issue as he didn’t want to do sequels. I’m guessing he felt differently about the second Garfield movie, the absolute work of art that it is.
The fact Murray came on board for a game that continued the story was a big deal, especially as at that point in time it seemed we would never be treated to another Ghostbusters movie. Since then, we’ve had the female reboot and another continuation due to release in Summer 2020.
Needless to say, the remaster of the game doesn’t come with the same level of unexpected joy as it did a decade ago. The question remains though, without the surprise, without the hype, how does it hold up on modern consoles?
In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, you play as a nameless 5th member of the team. A voiceless everyman who is brought on board as a guinea pig to test any new equipment that Egon dreams up. Referred to as rookie by the main cast so they don’t become too attached, you can guess the kind of value is placed on his life.
The game itself is a third-person shooter that basically plays in the same way as Luigi’s Mansion only with a proton pack instead of a vacuum. Stunning ghosts enough with the pack will allow them to be wrangled and forced into a trap. It’s a mechanic that’s fun, even if it may get repetitive for some players.
The pack does get some upgrades along the way, which allows for more variation and puzzle-solving exploits. The standard fire mode will allow you to hurt ghosts, slam them against walls, and fire projectiles. Some of the upgrades will slow enemies down, pull platforms together, clear slime, and other things like that.
Along with the pack is the classic PKE meter. Pulling it up switches the action to a first-person view and is used to hunt ghosts and find hidden artifacts. The artifacts themselves are a nice addition and can be quite humorous with their descriptions in the main menu, collecting these increases money earned and allows upgrades to be purchased.
Speaking of money, Ghostbusters will keep track of all the damage the team does and will show you the monetary cost of it. I enjoyed seeing how much damage I had caused when the game was over. I won’t share how much, but let’s just say it wasn’t pocket change.
I was playing on the Switch, so graphically it wasn’t on par with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One versions, however, it does look nice enough and runs smoothly. I didn’t have any real issues with slowdown or pop-ups. Being a remaster and not a remake you can definitely tell Ghostbusters is from another generation, but it looks good enough.
The load times don’t. Thankfully, many of them are hidden behind cutscenes so it reduces the issue, assuming you don’t want to skip them. If you do, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck.
During my playthrough, I did have a good time, although it was marred by several issues. First off, let’s just discuss difficulty. This game can be really difficult and not always due to my ineptitude. There was a point early on where I was attacked by several monsters made from candles. They swarm you and shoot fireballs. All fine.
What wasn’t fine was getting caught on bits of the scenery whilst I was being spammed with fireballs. Top that off with hit detection that didn’t seem to be working and I managed to die a lot.
Having calmed down, received my replacement Switch in the post, and replastered the hole in the wall, I had another try and got through. It was annoying as the failure mostly wasn’t my fault and that wasn’t the only issue I had.
I had another moment where a ghost got trapped inside a wall. I couldn’t capture it and I couldn’t move on. I was stuck and had to reload the checkpoint. Keep in mind that I have a tendency to break every game that I play, but also keep in mind that you may experience similar issues should you chose to answer the call.
Another prominent issue appears in the cutscenes. The lip-syncing is abysmal and is much like watching an old Chinese martial arts movie that has been dubbed into English. I would understand this more had the actors been speaking a language other than English. It doesn’t affect gameplay, I know, but it is laughable.
The best part of Ghostbusters: The Video Game is the story and loves it has for the franchise. Most of the original cast returns, including the 4 Ghostbusters and receptionist, Janine. Unfortunately, there’s no Rick Moranis or Sigourney Weaver. Moranis is enjoying his retirement and Weaver passed on the opportunity to reprise her role until she realized Murray had agreed to it. By the time she wanted in, it was too late.
The actors we do have seem to have phoned their performance in a bit, but the story is still enjoyable. I won’t spoil it for you but will say it caters to fans of the franchise. Classic ghosts and locations return including the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the Sedgewick Hotel.
There are plenty of easter eggs and nods to the older movies as well as nerd culture in general. There was a nice little nod to Aliens and I really enjoyed finding these. I could list more, but go find these for yourselves, that’s half the fun.
I also really enjoyed the music on offer. Everyone knows the Ghostbusters theme and it’s pure joy when that kicks in at the start. The rest of the music follows cues from the movies and is very enjoyable.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game doesn’t have the same impact it did 10 years ago. It’s still a fun game even if it may only appeal to fans of the franchise. It has issues but is still one of the better games based on a movie franchise. I feel it would have definitely benefited from a complete remake rather than a remaster. Playing this with today’s graphics and physics could have been something special.
As it is, fans will enjoy it, even though the story is quite short and the originals multiplayer is no longer present. That will be coming in a future update as it’s being rebuilt from the ground up, but for now, it’s missing. I’d recommend anyone giving it a try, however, it’s a case of busting makes me feel OK rather than good.
Verdict: Ghostbusters: The Video Game remastered is a fun game that caters to fans of the franchise. One of the better-licensed games available but not without its issues.
- Great fan service
- The 3rd movie we never had
- Original cast return
- Phoned in voice acting
- Bad lip-syncing
- Plenty of glitches
Steve is the resident Englishman, just don’t hold that against him. He’s been playing games for the best part of 3 decades and will continue to do so for as long as his thumbs hold up. When they no longer work, he’ll still find a way to play Resident Evil 2. Lover of most things nerdy Steve also likes sports. Go sports!