Steer well clear of Ghostbusters monstrosity

By Chris Hayes - Game Review

Published 30/07/2016 | 00:00

As far as rushed tie-ins go, Ghostbusters is up there with the most generic and unchallenging. Activision's latest twin-stick shooter has been released just in time for the seemingly doomed movie reboot, but if it is only half as bad as this game is then it would be doing well.

This new Ghostbusters has none of the redeeming qualities of its predecessor - Sanctum of Slime. This adventure takes place after the events of the new movie. You don't play any of the that film's Ghostbusters though, instead taking the role of a squad of rookies (just as in the previous game). They're a bit more diverse than usual, at least--two women and two men fill the team--but they're standard archetypes for a multiplayer twin-stick shooter: the big guy is a mini-gun carrying tank, while his buddy is the assault rifle-carrying smart guy. The two ladies offer up proton pack versions of a shotgun and dual pistols.

With a full compliment of human players at the controls, they make a fairly well-rounded team, even if their personalities fail to make a meaningful impression. The game takes you all over New York City and, eventually, beyond. There are treks through a graveyard, cruise ship, hotel, and other haunted locales across 10 stages. Each level plays out the same way: you fight a bunch of the same, smaller ghost baddies, then some larger ones who require switching to the traditional proton beam to weaken them further so you can trap them, and eventually a pattern-based boss ghost. This formula is passable at first, but it doesn't take long before you start to feel like you're merely going through the motions, completing uninspiring chores.

One of the most baffling aspects of Ghostbusters is how your AI teammates are treated. Characters that aren't under player control don't retain any of the experience they earn. Simply put, this means that if you focus on improving a single character only, you will end the game with one ghost buster who is well-equipped for the later game and three laughably bad Level 1 characters. That's not to say that this causes any problems other than exasperation at terrible game design. Ghostbusters is easy, so easy in fact that you will easily be able to clear the game with one well-equipped character only.

Ghostbusters has about as many redeeming qualities as a wet towel. A totally cynical bit of licensed nonsense that feels more like a €10 downloadable title than a €50 full release. Steer well clear of this monstrosity.

3/10

Ghostbusters

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