|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Terminal Reality||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sierra||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Fall 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: TBA||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
December 3, 2007 - When I was younger, the Ghostbusters summed up a lot of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to study all things paranormal, wanted to work at a fire station, and of course I wanted a small nuclear pack strapped to my back to take on any and all ghosts that I happened to come across my neighborhood. The phenomenon of the Ghostbusters has become a fan-loving favorite for a few generations. Of course there have been various Ghostbusters games in the past, but none of them have ever truly captured the beauty of the comedy, science fiction, and the horror of the mythos of one of our favorite quartets in cinema history.
For those out there who are unfamiliar with the busters themselves, they are all scientists of paranormal and psychiatric studies, Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond Stanz, Dr. Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddmore. In the films, they were portrayed by some big names in Hollywood at the time: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. A few people have redone their portrayals of these characters over the years in animation and other various forms of media. While some of those were solid performances, none of them captured the beauty of dialogue by the actors. Thankfully, this is one thing that will not be hindered by the forthcoming game. All of the actors will be reprising their roles in the game. Even Annie Potts who played the semi obnoxious secretary to the Ghostbusters, Janine Melnitz, will be reprising her role. This huge element will undoubtedly make fans of the Ghostbusters happy and maybe even a little anxious; it certainly has me.
Another factor that will generate extreme levels of excitement is the fact Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, who wrote the original two films, have returned to pen this new adventure for the paranormal investigators. Dan Aykroyd has said on several instances this story arch could easily be considered Ghostbusters 3. Set in 1991, two years after the last film, the Ghostbusters have been through quite a bit to get to the point they have finally reached. In the beginning of the second film, the group was practically broke and barely making it. Now after defeating the evil Carpathian Vigo, business is doing so well that they are thinking of franchising out so they might be able to cut back on the 60-hour work week. Unfortunately, this is one of the disappointing pieces of information, but also enables the ability to preserve the characters. Instead of picking and choosing a seasoned Buster, you will portray a completely new character hired on as an "experimental weapons technician" or guinea pig. In order for the Ghostbusters to be granted a license to franchise, they will have to pass through a new commissions board set up by the mayor. However, this is not going to be easy for them to do since the head of the commission is none other than EPA man himself Walter Peck with actor William Atherton returning to provide the voice.
Shortly after your hire, the city is enveloped by an ancient evil causing a surge in ghost activity. This surge will provide a lot of Ghostbusting for players to play around with the equipment we all know and love, including the PKE Meter, Ghost Trap, and of course the Proton Packs. We will be traveling to brand new locations, facing off against new ghosts and returning to favorite locales from the films, including a certain hotel to recapture a little butterball green ghost known as Slimer. Fortunately, Slimer won't be the only ghost we will encounter. Though no definitive words about what other ghost we will encounter, one has been confirmed and that is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Having this level of nostalgia mixed with new elements will definitely increase the need to bust some ghost and possibly revisit the films just to prepare yourself for the coming experience.
While there has only been shots of single player action shown, the developers understand how important teamwork was in the films and how well this worked, and we can only assume that there will be some level of multiplayer involved as we get closer to the release date of the game. Potentially and ideally, we will be able to have four man teams to come together online to bust various paranormal level five ghosts. However, on the PS2 and Wii versions of the game there will be the option for multiplayer gameplay definitely. Also on those versions of the game players will be able to choose which Ghostbuster they want to be instead of playing a new recruit.
While the game is further along in development than most might assume, we are still a ways off from seeing the final product. With a brand new story, returning actors to vocalize the characters once more, revisiting old locations and old ghosts, it makes next fall potentially look like Christmas for anyone that has ever wanted to answer the question "Who are you gonna call?" with themselves happier than Slimer in front of a buffet.
CCC Project Coordinator