Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 06/16/09 | Genre: Action
The writers and developers faced a challenge with this game that is faced by anyone creating a spin-off of any kind: creating a game that provides a fun and original experience without compromising the charm of the original, genuine article. So many developers have failed at this particular task that licensed games have earned a reputation of being shovelware for people who don't know any better.
Ghostbusters is a perfect example that nothing less than the artists responsible for original work will make for a fitting continuation of the license. If this game had been made without the involvement of Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray--then I have no doubt that it would be one of a thousand terrible licensed games. Their involvement allowed for a few more hours of the same style and humor that made the movies (well, maybe just the first one) so popular and classic. I have heard some people say that the voice acting in this game is not as good as it should be. To this I will say that no 3D modeler or animator is ever, ever, ever going to match the physical movements, gestures, and humor created by the original Ghostbusters actors or, for that matter, any good actor. The voice acting, however, is just as good as it should be. At the very least it is very entertaining and funny which for videogames is about as common as a meteorite hitting the white house.
That said, the gameplay side is too weak to praise but it doesn't get in the way of the game and fulfills its role well enough. Crossing the streams remains a very bad thing to do, and capturing ghosts looks just like it did in the movies. This is all pulled off while being fun and challenging. I played this game on the hardest difficulty but I would recommend to almost anyone that you keep to more casual modes so that the rather shallow gameplay doesn't get in the way of your enjoyment of the best parts of the game.
Since the game plays more like an interactive movie I would stick to renting it and playing once through with any friends who enjoyed the movies. There are cooperative modes available in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions. Sadly, the PC version, which I am reviewing, does not have this mode available. Even with a cooperative mode, there wouldn't be much more replay value added to the game because once you've seen all the jokes and scenes the core game will probably start to get annoying.
Ghostbusters is Rated T for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, and Mild Language. As long as you don't have any issues with players participating in a world of ghosts in a fantasy world, this title should be appropriate for just about any player.