Preview of Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters Box art


by Stephen Cameron

August 6, 2008

First off, there might be some confusion about the release of this game. Activision Blizzard made an announcement at Comic-Con telling people it was on the chopping block. A week later, I receive a preview build. WTF? From what I’ve been told, the game has been pushed to 2009. Why? No idea. I guess we just need to sit tight and hope they release this title before it gets old and stale. In any case, nothing new here, on with the preview.

Back in the 80’s theaters were lit up with the craze of Ghostbusters. With an all-star cast of fellow Canadians Dan Aykroyd and Rick Moranis, people went nuts for this movie. I personally must have watched both films hundreds of times.

As we all know movie video games tend to…well, flop. Why? Poor execution, rushed deadlines, and whatever can go wrong…usually does. But, unless Columbia Pictures intends on making another GB film or some funky Blu-Ray release, they really don’t have any reason to rush this game out the door. They hopefully can take their time.

The game takes place two years after the events of the Ghostbusters 2 film, you play as a new recruit (a.k.a. guinea pig) hired to test Egon Spengler and Ray Stantz's new equipment, and just in time to see a rise of paranormal activity.

The classic signature GB equipment is all there…the trusty Proton Pack and Neutrona Wand (who makes up these names anyways?), the PKE Meter, and various containment traps and gear to get the buggers!
Blasting ghosts in the game is surprisingly intense; you have to grab them with a Photon beam, and slam’em around a couple of times around the room without causing too much damage. The more stuff you break, the less money you’ll make with the extraction, hence, the point of the game. Once, you’ve battered your ghost, set your trap. BAM! Job well done.

Personally, I had a lot of fun playing the demo. It was a bit short but, the graphics, the authentic voices of the cast, the sound effects, and the locations were all absolutely incredible. Great fun! (Here it comes) But, in the back of my mind I kept thinking that something was missing. But, I really couldn’t really put my finger on it.

Then it hit me. A key gameplay element was missing from the game, story co-op multiplayer. Why is this so important? Do I really need to explain? I personally think this goes without being said. It would be like Dan Aykroyd going into the movie with robots, and the jokes and fun just wouldn’t be there. I was quickly informed that the game will have “competitive co-op” multiplayer, but nothing via the storyline. It’s so close to being perfect.

Let me explain further. Most of the hardcore fans of this intellectual property (I.P.) are your garden variety Generation-X folk. These gamers have played deathmatch and capture the flag games since the Doom, and Quake days. A lot of new games are steering into a new direction of co-op story mode gameplay, Gears of War 1 & 2, Rainbow Six Vegas 1 & 2, Army of Two, Marvel Ultimate Alliance and the up and coming Call of Duty (too many to list). Look at World of Warcraft, it’s the ultimate co-op game. Nothing beats kicking ass with a buddy.

I ask as a teen of the 80’s. I beg you, no, WE beg you. Please add story co-op multiplayer to GB. It took this long and to be so close, please do it right. Everything else is great!

Despite the fact the game currently doesn’t have any story co-op multiplayer modes, when the game hits the streets sometime in 2009, be sure to check it out. I had a blast playing this preview build. Even if you are not a 80’s fan, the single player experience will surely be a lot of fun. Guaranteed!

Oh ya, forgot to say it! "Who you gonna call?" GHOSTBUSTERS!

*** Talk about Ghostbusters in our forums here.


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