First Impressions: I still ain't afraid of no ghosts!
I could have sworn that there was going to be a third Ghostbusters movie released in conjunction with the turn of the millennium. You know, the whole ?world ending? thing and all. But Hollywood disappointed us all and let the perfect opportunity slip away. Well, the game industry is trying to make up for this lost opportunity with one of the most anticipated titles of 2009, Ghostbusters: The Video Game.
With a release scheduled to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the film, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is essentially the sequel that we never got (whereas Ghostbusters 2 was the sequel that we did get?). Written by comedy veterans and original cast members Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters is putting us into the role of a nameless intern in the Ghostbusters organization (hey, why learn the name of someone with a 15-minute life expectancy). And what do interns do? They do the jobs that no one else is willing to do, like test new equipment and take care of the dirty jobs.
A third-person action game, Ghostbusters is going to use the flavor of the original movies to set it apart from the rest of the action mix. Do you remember the damage that the Proton Packs caused in the library at the beginning of the movie? It is going into the game. Do you remember the ?witty? banter between the characters as they busted ghosts? It is going into the game, too. Essentially, Ghostbusters is being crafted as an extension of the movies. When it is successful it will change the way that people make licensed games.
Of course, Proton Packs won't be the only tool available to you in your quest to rid New York of poltergeists. As the intern, you will be testing out all of the new toys that the Ghostbusters are developing. Different add-ons to the Proton Pack, a Slime Gun (not dissimilar to the one from Ghostbusters 2), and other ghost catching tools will become available as you progress through the game's 10-plus hour campaign.
In addition to the single-player story, Ghostbusters is going to sport a cooperative multiplayer mode. While details are still scarce, videogamer.com reported that, ?One dev suggested that it will be not entirely dissimilar to Gears of War 2's Horde mode.? Only time will tell how this will translate into gameplay but I am optimistic that we will be looking at some pretty extensive replay value.
While the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions will all be essentially the same game, the Wii edition of Ghostbusters: The Video Game is getting a slightly different treatment. While it will follow the same story as its brethren, this version is taking a different graphical direction, abandoning the realistic visuals of the other versions in favor of a cartoon-like representation of the ghost busting team. The early screens show that this change works looks pretty good and it caters to the Wii's strength, the motion sensing controls. Using a combination of the Nunchuck and the remote, Ghostbusters is really working to give Wii owners a unique experience. Early hands-on time with the different versions sounds promising for Wii. Joystiq.com sings the praise of how this works, making the bold statement that, ?At this point, our pick for the best-playing version goes to the Wii, hands down.? I don't know why it never occurred to me before but replicating the Proton Pack seems like the perfect fit for the remote.