The new Ghostbusters game from Activision didn’t go over well in our offices, but that doesn’t mean the game is complete garbage. Although I felt it was a passable game at best, a ‘younger’ member of the team thought it was outstanding, and logged so many hours into it. Like the TMNT release a few months ago, the new Ghostbusters title is definitely geared to a younger audience, and super fans.
The premise of the new Ghostbusters game is pretty straight forward. Don’t be confused by the fact this launched almost alongside the long awaited reboot of the movie, because these are two separate experiences. Things progress like you would expect: ghosts have overtaken the town and you must travel to various locations to exterminate them. Whether you destroy them outright or capture them, once you’ve completed a few levels in the game, it is a rinse-and-repeat cycle from that point forward.
Ghostbusters is your typical dungeon crawling experience, where you move from room to room – or area to area – destroying what is in your way to move forward in the level. Some of the Ghostbusters levels are extremely long, which was a bit of a disappointment for myself. In small spurts, I actually really enjoyed this title; over longer play sessions, however, I was less enthused. Here is a brief note from Activision,
“If you’ve played dungeon crawlers before, you should feel right at home here. The camera follows your team overhead in third-person, and as you move through each stage, there are enemies to defeat, power-ups to pick up, collectibles to discover, and challenging boss encounters to conquer. There are four heroes with unique personalities and attributes from which to choose, and each can be upgraded with new gear and abilities as you progress.”
You definitely won’t want to play this alone, as it quickly becomes apparent that this was definitely created with multiplayer in mind. When moving through the levels with friends, it is a bit more enjoyable of an experience; the lack of online multiplayer, however, is a huge missed opportunity. Whether traveling through each world with friends, or alone, there is other tasks to complete to alter the destroy enemies, move forward, destroy enemies, move forward mechanics.
While most enemies can be dispatched with the use of special grenades and an decent arsenal of weapons, some ghosts require more work. When finally captured, these ghosts offer a wealth of rewards and upgrades that can be applied to your character, as well as experience that will unlock more items and make your ghosbuster more powerful. It is a nice blend of dungeon crawler and RPG, and the ability to level up any of the 4 characters adds a little something extra to this repetitive experience.
I’ve been fairly hard on Ghostbusters and as an adult gamer, I’m not sure it’s worth the fairly expensive entry price. However, if you have kids in your home, Ghostbusters might be the perfect, end of summer treat for them. My six year old son Logan LOVED his time with the game, and has easily logged more than 15 hours.
Like TMNT, Logan is absolutely LOVING this Ghostbusters game, and I have to say, playing the game with him is actually more exciting than playing the game itself. I get to see what excites him, which frankly, is what excited me about Ghostbusters back in the day. This has become the perfect way to introduce the next generation of my family to something that made my childhood so enjoyable.
But Logan doesn’t just love the idea of Ghostbusters; he actually likes what he is playing. The difficulty level is high enough for him that there is some challenge, and repetitive movements and mechanics just don’t phase him. In reality, I don’t think repetitiveness phases many six year olds, regardless of who they are. Whether it was collecting each levels various hidden items, trapping larger ghosts, or mowing down round after rounds of other enemies, he seems to be really enjoying the entire experience. It’s impossible to wipe that happy expression of his face.
While I was basically done with the game a few hours after starting, he’s still going strong and moving through the game at a fairly decent pace. When asked how much he likes it, I get the usual “This is the best game ever.” While I’m not sure the game is worth the 50-60 dollars it costs at retail, for a child…it might be worth it just to see the sheer enjoyment they have. And as one of the few couch cooperative games on the Xbox One and PS4, its a nice way to share some of your childhood with your children.
Overall, it’s hard to give Ghosbusters anything more than a 6.0/10, but if you have a younger gamer in the home, that experience quickly gets bumped to a 7.5 or an 8. When it comes to spending time with my son, this game has offered the perfect platform for that.