A while back I wrote a review for Ghostbusters, the video game. I was playing a PC copy on my system and was really disappointed by how badly coded everything was. If you don’t remember my review of it, I invite you to read it again before moving on with this entry.
All done? OK.
Since writing that entry, I’ve had the chance to play the game again, only this time on an Xbox 360. I’m very impressed with the game overall now, and would like to revisit some of the points I made earlier.
- Gameplay is still awesome. Those swarming insect-like objects are still a problem in the first level, but your system won’t crash under the strain of rendering all of them at once. Don’t get me wrong, there are a LOT of them, and you will still probably die a few times. This way, however, it’s your fault and not your system’s. You will eventually learn how to beat them and get on with the game. After that level, you are granted your first upgrade to the proton back (the boson dart) which will render these pests a non-issue. Even though you only end up with four main weapons (each with a secondary mode), and are essentially doing the same thing over and over again, the gameplay really doesn’t ever get old. Thanks to the varied locations, story, dialog, and enemies, things manage to stay fresh till the end of the game!
- Story is probably this game’s real strong point. The story is well written and thought out. Characters are exactly as you’d expect them to be in an actual movie, and the cut-scenes are downright hilarious. Speaking of cut-scenes . . .
- Graphics are still gorgeous on the Xbox 360. Since I don’t have an HDTV, the Xbox renders everything in 720, then downscales the whole shebang to 480 for the TV. This gets around the issue I was having before when the FMV would pop up, then a prescripted action would happen, then another FMV; since the system was no longer trying to jump from 1200 resolution to 720, back to 1200 all the time, things really smoothed out. Thanks to the multiple cores found in most modern consoles, physics and graphics were able to play along side each other nicely.
- Design and Development are still a mixed bag. Overall, the design of the game is awesome. Buildings, vehicles, ghosts, and characters all look incredible . . . but only if you’re on the Xbox. The PS3 version has 30% less textures than the Xbox, and we already know how the PC one fairs. Technically speaking, the PS3 is more powerful than the Xbox 360. The only real reason why the PS3 version should perform the same task, minus 30% of the workload, at a slower pace is that it simply wasn’t designed for it. This points straight back to my earlier assessment that the game’s code is only half baked; one version of the game is missing multi-player, one version of the game can’t run at full speed, one is missing nearly half its textures! The most glaring omission from the packaging is that it reports it only needs a 3.7 system in Windows, but it turns out the PC version of the game requires “at least two video cards” to even play correctly!
The game is still enormously fun. It’s done so well you’d swear it’s the Ghostbusters 3 we’ve all been hoping for. In an interview with Dan Aykroyd, he actually revealed that the video game should actually be considered cannon for the series! However, the fun is short lived; once the game is over, there really isn’t much of a reason to go and play it all over again! The multiplayer is flat and uninteresting and the structure of the game is so tied into the story that playing your favorite part again would be like putting a movie in only to watch 10 minutes of it over and over.
In the end, I’d say the game is definitely worth renting or getting for cheap. You will have fun playing it, laughing at the lines, and you’ll be sad when it’s over. And then you’ll sell it.