Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Ghostbusters: The Video Game - PS3

With Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd in charge of the script and plenty of quality source material to rummage through, Ghostbusters should be a highly polished, well-crafted, all-action romp.

While it largely succeeds in delivering the goods, this European PS3 exclusive title is far from the finished article, with a series of niggles preventing it from achieving greatness.

Set a few years after the second Ghostbusters film, you are cast in the shoes of a wet behind the ears, ghost bustin' rookie. You join proton pack-wearing favourites Venkman, Spengler, Stantz and Zeddemore just as another cross dimensional rift opens up in New York City.

Essentially a third-person shooter, the player is led from one point of interest to the next, encountering and trapping ghosts in areas which tingle the old nostalgia senses, such as The Hotel Sedgewick and the New York Public Library.

The ghost trapping element is at the core of the game and it works well for the most part. Choosing between one of four modes of fire, the player targets the specter, depleting it of energy, before guiding it into the the golden light of an awaiting portable ghost trap.

Other hulking trans-dimentional foes - hello Mr Stay Puft - simply require the player to chip away at their health until destroyed.

While this pattern repeats throughout the course of the game, it never feels repetitive due to the variety of ghosts, the variying locations and the quality of the banter between your fellow ghostbusters.

Ramis, Akroyd and Bill Murray all feature here, and their witty, tongue in cheek narrative keeps the story flowing.

The player is usually accompanied by at least one comrade while searching for Full-Roaming Phantoms or Class V Telekinetic Animators, and their one-liners really help immerse the player in the game world.

However, it's this game world which is also one of Ghostbusters weaker points. While the locations can be impressive - especially when the player crosses dimentions and enters the crumbling ghost world - the sloppy textures on display are a sorry sight.

While I don't expect every surface and object to be fabulously rendered, I do expect a PS3 game to look better than what is essentially an upscaled Wii game.

Another niggle is also the game length - it took me roughly six hours to see the end credits, which is incredibly short for a single player experience. However, the player can go back and uncover hidden objects, while there are plenty of optional ghosts to scan and catalogue.

Unfortunately, the multiplayer servers weren't up when I was playing my review copy, but hopefully this will add some much-needed longevity to the game.

Ghostbusters might not be perfect, but it is certainly one of the best movie-based games I've experienced. With a bit more love and attention on the visuals, a few more chapters, and a little less lineararity, Ghostbusters could have been outstanding. As is stands, it's still a fun way to spend a couple of evenings.

1 comment:

Kiara said...

I used to watch this Ghostbuster whether it is a movie or a cartoons. This is actually the first time to hear that there is a Ghostbuster video game. I am truly excited to see this. I hope to have this as Download Games. I seldom come online so I prefer storing games.