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Saturday | December 10, 2016
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Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Preview)

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Preview)

 

Some of the more mature gamers will remember seeing the original Ghostbusters movie then playing the video game on their Commodore 64 many eons ago. Later this year developer Terminal Reality (via publisher Atari) are releasing a new Ghostbusters title which is set to bring a whole new generation of fans into the spirit of the franchise. We recently had some time to sit down with a beta version of the code and to share our thoughts on how it has been developing.

The new crew of Ghostbusters looks great, and we get to see them messing around in the firehouse as our rookie character enters. You then get a proton pack and Ray and Egon explain that you are the guinea pig to test the newest and baddest gadgets and hardware. We then get some time to wander around in the building and see the pool table before shooting back down the fire pole to the locker room on the main floor. The talking Vigo painting makes itself seen and then we head off into the basement to see the reconstructed containment unit which while similar to the original film is a little larger.

As we experience all this, Slimer breaks out of the containment unit and releases a couple of the specters which the team chase down and chase into a darker and scarier part of the basement. Slimer is still devious and flies around the building stealing food and other objects while all this is going on. This sequence is basically a cool interactive tutorial for the player and shows you how to use the Proton Pack as well as blasting with your trigger and sending out a capture stream with a shoulder button. You lastly put the ghost into the traps yellow cone of light to seal the deal.

Capturing the ghost is a fun thing to do and takes a bit of practise. You slam it into the ground a few times to weaken it then you pull it into the capture station. The animations are solid, well defined and the experience is extremely enjoyable, especially as the code is not yet apparently finalised. When capturing the ghost you have to pull the right analog stick in the opposite direction he is pulling to center him in the beam.

After we completed this bit, Slimer escaped the environment and the team worked out that he was headed back to Sedgewick Hotel, which was his source of appearance in the first movie. Following him to the hotel we then entered into a fight with the spirits of some hotel staff. This was cut short as the demo code moved to a later part of the Sedgewick battle when a pirate ghost had taken over an upstairs floor. The staircase joining the floor to the rest of the hotel was destroyed and this left our player on his own looking for a way to join up with the rest of the crew. The remains of the floor were covered in water and littered with spooky ocean type debris. Equipping the PKE meter means the point of view switches into a first person pair of Ecto glasses, to follow the pirate as he moved through the hallways. Other ghostly objects tried to cause problems on the way, such as possessed chandeliers. After a little tracking and defensive proton moves I followed the pirate into a dining room and the team met up with me here. The pirate then absorbed a lot of furniture to turn himself into a weapon. Using the dodge button we wore him down before capturing the spirit and leaving the scene.

This is our introduction and first sequence for the rookie character, and it was nice to see him getting complimented on his actions by the rest of the team.

The game then jumps to a cutscene and the team moves outside and regroups with WInston and the Ecto-1 – we then see the famous Mr Stay Puft in the distance. The game then hands over control and I follow the team through the streets, moving between cars towards the massive enemy. As we move, some ghosts appear which we need to be quick to deal with and its up to me, Peter and Winston to dispose of them and make progression down the street. Gargoyles then enter the fray and the team has to attack them and slam them to the ground for capture.

The touches to detail are great and we see some 90’s artwork in action, such as the old fashioned Doritos logo. As we battle more ghosts and ghouls we encounter ‘black slime’, a substance so rotten and evil that Ray and Egon have yet to work out a way to destroy it. Finally reaching Times Square it is hard not to notice that Stay Puft is destroying everything in sight and is currently focusing on a building someway in the distance. Ray and myself break off from the team to make our way to the building just as Puft sees us and starts throwing cars and his fireball style minions at us. Blasting the little guys while dodging the cars is a tricky thing and making some time to fire the occasional Boson Dart (proton blasts that do damage on the boss characters) at his face wasn’t easy.

Stay Puft brings back so many memories of me being a kid and seeing the movie for the first time and he is rendered with much love and affection on the next generation consoles. He has a variety of facial animations which range from angry to annoyed and his fluffy white feet pound the ground in front of him to try and kill you. He even moves like I remembered from the film which gave me a nice fuzzy feeling inside. I did notice a little slowdown but I was told that the code had yet to be fully optimised and this would be rectified before the release.

We eventually reach the building and the game skips forward some more and we get reunited with Alyssa Milanos character as well as Dr. Illyssa Selwyn to fight the construction worker ghosts on the roof. Stay Puft was still involved in the action and was climbing the side of the building only to be slowed by our proton blasts. Crawling over the side of the building and held in place with a tether around my waist I was able to unleash some blasts as he continued to crawl up the structure. Dodging the cars being thrown at me I eventually nailed him and he fell to the street and obliterated himself on the force of the impact.

This is when our demo for Ghostbusters: The Video game ended and it was great to see the progress the developers are making for the June release. The action sequences are fun to play and the characters are still full of life and great fun to interact with. I was also excited to see how the story was progressing as there is rumour that this will be making its way to a new film in the future as well.

Stay tuned on Gamingheaven for a full review of the game before it is released, we are excited about this one and hopefully it breaks with tradition and becomes one of the few games based on a movie which is actually worth playing.

 

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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