Back in 2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game established itself as a uncommon exception. It was a film tie-in of uncommon excellent an earnest and affectionately assembled adore letter to fans of the legendary film series as an alternative of a low-work license slap. A decade on, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is nonetheless a wonderfully genuine trip back to early ’90s New York and the haunted heyday of these skilled paranormal eliminators, but the list of improvements actually starts and ends with a handful of visual tweaks and a resolution bump. The flaws of the original nonetheless cursed my playthrough, which meant that although it is a joy to let its genuine slime wash more than me once again this remaster feels like a missed chance.
Ghostbusters (the game) requires location through Thanksgiving 1991, two years just after the events of Ghostbusters II (the film). Prior to confirmation in January this year that a direct sequel to Ghostbusters II would be released in 2020, Dan Aykroyd had previously referred to the game as primarily becoming the third film, and it is simple to see why. It characteristics the likenesses and voices of Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, and the late Harold Ramis, and the script was massaged by Aykroyd and Ramis themselves to make certain the dialogue matched the tone of the films. With a exciting story linked to the prior exploits of the Ghostbusters – and set in the increasingly distant early ’90s – in terms of story, at least, I’m truly struggling to assume of approaches this upcoming, extended-gestating third film could truly be a greater stick to-up than the game in the end was (specifically with the painful absence of Ramis).
I assume it is incredibly clever that Ghostbusters casts us a rookie recruit, burdened with spending his Thanksgiving weekend understanding on the job as he assists Egon, Ray, Winston, and Peter investigate a current rise in paranormal activity in the city. The on-the-job tutorials and exposition really feel a great deal a lot more organic when they’re becoming imparted upon a junior ’buster I do not assume understanding the fundamentals would’ve pretty worked as effectively playing by means of as a single of the current pros.
Original developer Terminal Reality’s utmost commitment to detail is nonetheless vividly evident in the remaster and I enjoyed spotting quite a few of the compact touches I appreciated back in 2009 all more than once again. From opting to kick off proceedings with the old-college Columbia Images logo from the ’80s to actually seat the game in its time period, to the way Venkman has a distinct, laid-back walking animation that sets him apart from the rest of the group (a single that matches the type of swagger I associate with Murray’s portrayal of the character), Terminal Reality created it abundantly clear that this game was created with genuine passion and respect for Ghostbusters, not by people who skimmed by means of a synopsis on Wikipedia.
The Ghostbusters firehouse, in certain, is completely filled with fan service – from a massive and apparently nonetheless-haunted speaking portrait of the previously vanquished Vigo the Carpathian, to a cute explanation relating to Tully’s absence from the story. The library level is also nonetheless fantastic mix of ghost combat and ooky environmental shenanigans, although I will not spoil any of the particulars right here for these of you who haven’t played the 2009 original. I do want some of the spending budget for this remaster had been allocated to securing a lot more than a stingy 30 seconds of Ray Parker Jr.’s infectious theme song, although.
I’m a huge fan of the clean HUD strategy, with every thing we want to know – wellness, weapon heat level – displayed on the Rookie’s Proton Pack, à la Dead Space. Sometimes objectives seem as text at the major of the screen but most directions are verbal, so often I discovered myself guessing our subsequent move if I missed a piece of dialogue. This was a criticism I had of the original release and it hasn’t been rectified in the remaster.
Similarly, Ghostbusters feels a small creaky by modern day requirements but trapping ghosts is nonetheless a highlight, and there hasn’t been something like it considering that. Just after sapping a ghost’s power with your proton stream you will want to wrangle them towards your trap, close adequate so it can suck them in. The spectacle of sizzling red proton streams and the cone of intense light drawing in ghosts – which distort and stretch as they’re slurped into the trap – is a brilliant recreation of how it seems in the film. There are other modes to the Proton Pack which emulate a lot more regular third-individual shooter weapons (and they have imaginative, egghead explanations for the power-primarily based versions of what primarily equates to a shotgun or an LMG) but I actually do nonetheless adore the classic, crackling proton stream. For mine, it is the portion of the game that has dated the least it is nonetheless a glorious cocktail of impressive lighting and sound effects.
What has aged poorly is the occasional cutscene the remaster crew clearly couldn’t come across the supply material for and had to go with the original version. Aside from the pre-rendered clips, which are a small grainy but decent adequate, most of the cutscenes are in-engine ones displayed at up to 4K, so they match the moment-to-moment gameplay. There are a bunch that are not, on the other hand, so sometimes every thing requires a dive for a minute or so as every thing reverts to its prior-generation look. The outcome is a bit of a fractured aesthetic all round, which is a shame. The shoddy lip syncing that was a common occurrence in the 2009 original is once again an situation, also.
It is a bit of a warts-and-all remaster, in that regard. I hugely enjoyed Ghostbusters back in 2009 but if you can assume of a thing that bugged you, it is most likely going to bug you once again. At about eight hours it is not specifically a marathon, and it most likely could’ve performed with slightly shorter levels and a lot more of them, but there’s not a good deal a remaster can do about that. Having said that, the loading occasions nonetheless look extended, finding impeded by half-broken objects is nonetheless a moderate annoyance, and the frustrating difficulty spike involving these stone cherubs towards the climax is nonetheless present. The original’s multiplayer element hasn’t been integrated at all, but I do not recall it becoming enormously memorable.