For years, fans have begged for a third Ghostbusters movie – but they actually had a “threequel” sitting right under their noses. Ghostbusters: The Video Game was essentially the third chapter they were seeking, even if it wasn’t on the big screen. Initially released in 2009, this Terminal Reality-produced game found its place within the Ghostbusters universe. Featuring stars from the original films and a script by Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis, it was a real treat.
Saber Interactive made the call to bring the game back in Remastered form, just in time for its tenth anniversary. And we’re happy to report that most of the magic from the original game is still intact.
The game follows the events from the first two films, with a terrifying new entity threatening to tear apart New York. Players take control of a “rookie” who joins the Ghostbusters ranks, in the hopes of stopping it. This includes visiting a number of the films’ locales, as well as going up against familiar foes. And, yes, this includes an epic battle with the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
Let’s see how the game fares in its transition to Remastered form.
Debuting the title on current consoles (including the Nintendo Switch – an ideal version for on-the-go-play), Saber Interactive did a fine job with Ghostbusters’ transition. The visuals pop to life better than ever before, with beautiful environments, great creatures design and electrifying effects. The classic Proton Pack weaponry shines when in use, and it’s great to see the ghost trap back in action.
What’s more, the game features a number of actors from the films. Along with Bill Murray, there’s Aykroyd, Ramis and Ernie Hudson, as well as Annie Potts as Janine. There are also a couple more great returns here, but we won’t spoil them, as they’ll be a treat for fans. Brian Doyle-Murray and Alyssa Milano join the cast as new characters. They all look and sound terrific, accompanied by music taken straight from the film. (Yes, this includes the title song.)
Though there are times the frame rate chugs, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered looks like a charmer overall.
Yes, ghostbusting is still a lot of fun. Part of that magic comes with actually getting into battles with ghosts. You’re required to use your Proton Pack to keep them trapped within the beam, “slamming” them and weakening them enough to set up the trap. Once that’s done, it’s a simple capture, then onto the next thing.
For that matter, the boss battles are a blast, too. Taking on ol’ Stay-Puft and other menaces is quite satisfying, requiring you to keep on your toes as you bring them down.
The introduction of gadgets is pretty cool, and being able to upgrade from money earned on jobs is a nice touch as well. You can even earn an Achievement/Trophy for keeping the damage to a minimum. But as Peter Venkman might say, “What’s the fun in that?”
Saber Interactive has retained all the fun gameplay that made the original game work so well, even though the enemy AI can be a bit unpredictable. Hey, that’s ghosts for you.
One issue that’s hard to overlook with Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is the lack of multiplayer. That means you can’t team up with buddies in co-op to bust ghosts, as you could in the original. It sounds like the developer will add this to the game in a future update, so it’s not the end of the world. That camaraderie will eventually return.
Outside of that, however, there are still hours worth of fun here. That includes hidden secrets, fun dialogue between the characters, and a few cool story twists.
The game is definitely worth diving into, but here’s hoping Saber Interactive considers an update to bring back the multiplayer.
After ten years, Ghostbusters the Video Game remains a joy to play. Ramis and Aykroyd put together a story that still works. And even though some players may be disappointed they’re not playing a veteran Ghostbuster, the “kid” fits right in.
The real fun comes from being able to use the classic Ghostbusters tools, like the proton pack and the tracker. The developers really thought things through when it came to battling ghosts, instead of just zapping and bagging them. And the boss battles truly make a difference too.
Saber Interactive did wonderfully with recapturing the magic of the game and sprucing up the visuals. Again, the frame rate stutters, and not having multiplayer is a sore spot. But the game still retains a heavy amount of its slimy magic.
So if you’re a fan of the franchise, or just want to ready yourself up for the 2020 movie sequel release, there’s no reason to be afraid of these ghosts.
OVERALL RATING: 4/5
(A review code was provided by the publisher.)