Activision licensed the Ghostbusters property to make a tie-in movie game only loosely related to the 2016 film reboot. Unlike Sony, however, Activision has tried keeping a low profile with promoting the game (or what could barely be considered as promotion), avoiding the shamevertising that Sony and director Paul Feig have used by throwing around “isms” to guilt an audience into seeing the new film. Instead, Activision rolled out the new game silently for $49.99, almost as if they were ashamed of it.
While the publisher sent out a press release letting us here at OAG know that Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 had a new DLC pack called Descent, they completely avoided letting us known that Ghostbusters had launched this past week for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. No worries, though, we have Activision’s back and decided to do a review report on the new isometric shooter.
Simply titled Ghostbusters, the game sees players commanding four new recruits in a story that takes place after the events of the upcoming film. The game is played like a twin-stick shooter, not unlike Atari’s 2011 outing Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, which was a rather boring and repetitive shooter with no gameplay mechanics scaling or interesting level designs.
Much like Sanctum of Slime, this new Ghostbusters game features four-player local cooperative play (sorry, no online features this time around). The game features various weapons and four all new Ghostbuster operatives, two guys – one big and one average – and two girls, a white and a black girl. You can see a trailer for the game below.
Even though the movie and game have both been getting downvoted on media content services, what did actual paying customers think about this new Ghostbusters game? Not much, if the user reviews are anything to go by.
The appropriately named The Movie Encyclopedia explained in an Amzon review of the PS4 version…
“ Outside of an introductory cutscene that establishes that ghosts are running rampant throughout the city, most of the game can be summed up as “Get a call, fight the ghosts, defeat the boss, rinse and repeat for six hours.” I’d be willing to forgive the repetitious nature of the story if I cared at all about the characters you can play as, but considering they didn’t even bother to name them, that should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. They follow the archetypes of tough girl, smart girl, fat guy and jokester to a tee with overlapping and continuous dialogue to remind you that these are their only traits.
“With a bland story, cookie cutter characters, uninteresting albeit competent gameplay, no online multiplayer and a myriad technical issues holding the game back, Ghostbusters wouldn’t be worth it if it was $15, let alone full retail price.”
He does note that the controls are solid, the weapon variety works well enough and there are a few options on how to capture a ghost thanks to the developers giving each of the Ghostbusters something different in their arsenal, but the technical issues involving pop-in, frame-rate issues and texture loading problems all prevent it from getting more than one star out of five.
D. Tanner mentioned that the lack of online co-op and the less than thrilling graphics had him trading the game in the same day he bought it after his kids got bored and got up and left, writing…
“The graphics aren’t good but they have a appeal to them the cartoon themed look is kinda cool I liked it probably the part of the game I do like.”
“Don’t waste your money unless it’s on a killer sale $20 or less. My guess this one will be a freebie for PS Plus members before long. You can live without it until that day comes trust me.”
“ I tried playing with my kids but they got bored with it before I did. I love the old movies only reason I actually bought the game was hoping it’d be like the last Ghostbusters movie game not even close though”
On Metacritic, The_MDT explained that the lack of an on-screen map made the levels hard to navigate due to samey designs and repeatable monster spawns, which originally gave him the impression that the level was repeating. He further explained…
“If there’s people who think that the new movie is a soulless cash grab, then they have yet to play this game, as there are no redeeming factors. Also, the menu music is just Ray Parker Jr.’s theme song on loop so while typing this and leaving my game on the main menu, I’ve listened to it about three times.
“Honestly, it feels a lot like that one game that came out on XBox 360 and PS3 – “Sanctum of Slime?” But there’s no online play, so I can’t load up and have friends join me. On top of that, it feels cheaper than that. It looks terrible. This is a next-gen only game and I don’t see why, there’s nothing here that looks like PS3 or 360 couldn’t handle it. “
The comparisons to Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime certainly didn’t help raise the profile of the game, but some users were quick to defend the game.
On Metacritic user Oscarhobs stated that this is “perfect” for the younger generation of Ghostbusters fans and that it was better than Sanctum of Slime, writing…
“A super fun, short game that is great to play on the same couch with your friends and family. It is definitely not a sequel to the great 2009 game, but it never claimed to be.
“This one is definitely skewed a bit younger and seems perfect for the newest generation of GB fans. IF you are a diehard fanboy of the old movies and have already passed judgement on the new movies, it’s most likely not for you. However, IF you like a fun, arcadey experience that takes place in the Ghostbusters universe, give this is shot.“
A similar review from Truthful Reviews appeared on Amazon, where the animations and graphics were praised along with the gameplay, but even in praising the title they acquiesced that Ghostbusters wasn’t worth the price of entry…
“The cut scenes are decently animated, however the dialogue and characters themselves leave a little much to be desired. The animations in the game are a different story. They are quite cool and fun to see. The effects of using ghost grenades, and proton packs are great fun, and the effect of getting slimed never fails to look cool. Finally, the ghosts themselves are just a spectacle to behold.”
“As it stands, we have a fairly competent twin stick shooter set in a world we love with music we love and characters we don’t recognize or care about. yet, it is still pretty fun. Does it deserve a full retail price point? No way. Should you pick it up used when the price drops? Absolutely.”
Let’s Play footage of this new Ghostbusters game is difficult to come across. However, Kotaku did a video up showing 11 minutes of gameplay that you can view below.
Nasos advised people to wait until the game was free as a PlayStation Plus title, stating that it wasn’t worth the price of entry for only six hours of gameplay, writing…
“The game looks like it was ported from mobile. Even cheap indie games looks better than this 6 hours of gameplay for 50 dollars.
“When you play it just know that you actually pay 10 cents every minute for this crap
Avoid this game until it gonna be released as free bundle on plus”
Sw1tch over on Steam noted that the game has pretty decent animations and visuals as far as the art-style is concerned, but that there were problems with mouse integration and that it wasn’t worth purchasing at full price…
“This is obviously a console port, while they do let you use the mouse for firing and aiming, they left it completely out of navigation, which makes it extremely annoying if you don’t want to use a controller.
“The animation and visuals are all good, but all together I agree with the other reviews, it’s not worth $50, pick it up on a steam sale for $5-15 and at least you’ll be getting your money’s worth.”
And finally, BigBarazi managed to thumbs down the game, give props to the old films, and give the movie a plug all in one sentence, writing…
“Go watch the new movie, it’s probably better and less sacrilegious!”
Only 43% of Steam’s users felt that review was helpful.