Exclusive: Ghostbusters Gameplay Impressions

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (click for larger image)Do you remember the first time you saw the infamous opening “library scene” in the original Ghostbusters? Remember how you felt when you watched that old woman ghost flip out while the pages of countless books flew everywhere?

What if you were the guy in the next aisle, watching the whole horrific scene play out? Better yet … what if you were the guy who could finally take that old hag down and make her beg for mercy? This, ladies and ghouls, is how Ghostbusters: The Video Game felt from the moment I picked up the controller at the New York Comic Con to the time I (reluctantly) put it down.

While staring at a “Slimer” ice sculpture in the demo area, I knew the stage was set to delve into what would turn out to be the most awesomely fun trial experience in recent memory. Ghostbusters: The Video Game was almost too much fun for words. Needless to say, this game 100% captures the spirit of the films without a hitch. Imagine running through a building when all of a sudden the power blinks out, only to see the daunting figure of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man looming alongside the windows, staring you down with those porcelain-like eyes, grinning that stupid marshmallowy grin! You’re left standing there knowing that if you stay put one second longer, you’re going to become a S’more faster than you can say “OMG! This game is so pretty!

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (click for larger image)Then there’s the “holy crap” sensation that came when I finally grabbed a ghost, only to find out that I didn’t have the strength to capture this freakish thing by myself! Could this be the end for me, the newest Ghostbusting recruit?! Suddenly *gasp*, pixel perfect renditions of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd leaped into the fray! Lasers blazing, we entered into a three-man tug-of-war match with the ferocious spectre while it’s spitting ectoplasm everywhere! *pant pant* Ok, I’m back.

Oh! Lest I forget — here are a couple of tidbits for those of you looking to learn a bit more about the epic battle with Mr. Stay Puft: During my play-time, the game’s developer, Atari, explained that during this particular portion of the game, the ghosts flying around are actually made of, you guessed it, marshmallow! As you blast them, they will burn and smoke, covering you in marshmallowy goop! Sticky!

Even better, all the areas in Ghostbusters: The Video Game are almost completely destructible! This makes every level a sandbox of mayhem riddled with explosions and rubble. So good!

As the newest recruit you need to be constantly on your toes while keeping a few things in mind. Such as you’re supposed to be helping people while your Proton pack is wrecking things in the name of catching ghosts. During a fight, a good Ghostbuster needs to be mindful of the NPC’s running around in fear, and at times you’ll even have to rescue a few here and there, when … say … a giant marshmallow hand comes exploding through the wall. PSH! All in a day’s work!

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (click for larger image)As they say, “the devil is in the details,” and Ghostbusters: The Video Game is the most devilish devil of them all! For example, while you’re blasting Mr. Stay Puft in the face, he will pout as you leave a smoldering scar on his ugly (yet tantalizingly delicious) mug. It’s these types of little character details that will make this game not only a classic, but a guaranteed “must-own” in every gamer’s collection — fanboy or n00b.

It should be noted that, thankfully, the developers of the game have had a good amount of time in between comic conventions to tweak the overall look and feel of it. What was on display at the New York Comic Con was NOT the version we’ve been drooling over for the past year. Instead we got a tighter, smoother-playing, faster game that was even better than the one we experienced at last year’s San Diego Comic Con.

Fans will be pleased to know that the game takes place a few years after the events of Ghostbusters 2, with the full cast (thank gawd) returning to voice their respective roles. Die-hards and critics could be a little skeptical about the idea of “playing” through their long-awaited Ghostbusters 3, but for this ghost hunter … *twitch* … Excuse me, I just had a game-gasm.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game ships on June 16th (pre-order below), and you can bet your sweet ecto-plasmic arses that I know what I’ll be doing on that day. Do you?

Who ya gonna call?

Adam McCabe

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  • Chainsaw

    All I needed to see was the word “playable”. I’m all in.