Twenty years since sucking up
ghosts while speeding along the street with a vacuum cleaner on top of a
Cadillac on my old Amstrad CPC is a long time waiting. With a new film in the
works, everything Ghostbusters is back in again and the PS3 is the first
platform to get the latest Terminal Reality release.
The moment the familiar Ray Parker Jnr tune kicks in the hairs will stand up on
the back of your neck. Not only is the game awash with the licensed music from
the soundtrack, together with incidental music and original cast members doing
the voice acting, this game is 'canon'. That means the story runs hand in hand
with the films, no offshoots or alternative realities here.
Its now 1991, two years after the events of Ghostbusters. The busters, now a
city-funded operation like the police and the fire department, must track down
the source of the newest surge in supernatural activity that's crippling the Big
Apple. Your part in all this is that of the fifth member of the team now that
business is picking up. Unfortunately no face import or customization is
offered here for the 99% who don't look like the new star player of the team,
but most of the cut scene and CGI action is on Dan Akyroyd, Bill Murray and
Harold Ramis throughout.
From the word go the game play is damn good fun. This is no stale shooter.
Ghosts often require a different approach and weapon to fully achieve the
objectives. For example a long range slime rifle was required to purge the ghost
from a possessed person, before we could catch the cretin with the nukes. There
are also puzzles along the way before you even locate the ghosts and care needs
to be taken on the status of your partner as they are your wild card who can
quickly resuscitate you if you drop. They ghosts try and to some degree manage
to scare while your hunting them. Many of these are genuine, others a meant to
be corny and make you laugh all in traditional Ghostbuster taste.
The graphics are impressive. The character models share the likenesses of their
on-screen counterparts excellently and the damage to both the environment and
the larger ghosts looks great. Hitting the Marshmallow man covers you in goo,
wallpaper, tables, curtains all flame up as the beams make contact, goo and burn
marks mess up the player uniform, its all very well polished. Another great
aspect is the collection of ghost data on the PKE meter allowing you to download
it to the in game Tobin's spirit guide. PKE meter acts the same as a weapon, but
instead scans for ghost and ectoplasm. Target the anomaly long enough and
history, scientific data and other info on the ghost is added to the database
for you to read up on. Its also great fun to be able to explore the station HQ.
When a game brings in the original voice actors not a lot can go really wrong
and they fit in here perfectly. The story more than holds its own and every
sound you would want and expect is here in amazing clarity making for a great
gaming experience. All the original music from both movies are present and it
really helps create dread and suspense. If you are a fan of the films you are
going to love this and if your not, well, Ghostbusters humour and storyline will
at least make you smile.