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Ghostbusters

Keymaster Martin Korda takes the world's first look at the new Ghostbusters game

There's nothing quite like a comeback story to capture the imagination. In 1989, the Ghostbusters were down and out, broke and about as popular as a council health inspector about to rupture a spirit containment system.

Forced to suffer the ignominy of making guest appearances at the parties of ungrateful snot-nosed brats in exchange for a few bucks, the boys in boiler suits were about as low as they could get without actually being scalded by the Earth's core.

Gone were the days when they stood proudly atop skyscrapers battling giant sweet icons with their nuclear-accelerated proton packs in a last-ditch bid to save the world. The dream was over. Obscurity beckoned. Bankruptcy was knocking at their door like a restless poltergeist.

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And then, everything changed. One pug-nosed painting with a god complex, a dancing toaster, and an animated iconic US statue later, and the boys were back in vogue. The film was a bit shit, and Slimer drove Rick Moranis around in a bus for no apparent reason, but the 'busters were back in business.

SO SHE'S A DOG...
You rejoin the 'busters in 1991, when they find themselves busier than ever, since New York has adopted an unhealthy interest in Gozarian law. Now Gozer was the lady with the '80s hair who pranced around in the altogether at the close of the first film having many aeons ago been 'very big in Sumeria'.

But now, horror of horrors, the short attention span of New Yorkers has led to the opening of a Gozerian museum. This coincides with a worrying, if inevitable, spike in paranormal activity, so the 'busters are forced to employ a new recruit (you) to deal with the workload.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Ghostbusters (the game) - apart from the fact that you'll be able to slide down the firehouse pole - is that it has the potential to be a real sequel to the two movies, thanks to the involvement of screenwriters and cast members Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis.

The duo has jumped onboard to write the script, to ensure the game remains true to the Ghostbusters films and reprise their roles as the hyperactive Dr Raymond Stantz and acerbic Dr Egon Spengler.

"Dan and Harold have always bounced around the idea of doing something else with Ghostbusters," explained the game's executive producer John Melchior during our recent visit to Dallas-based Terminal Reality.

"We made a prototype and took it to Dan and Harold. As soon as they saw it, it was perfect for them. They were at the point where they were willing to discuss Ghostbusters again. Harold and Dan have come up with the overarching storyline. They gave us the framework, characters and locations and then we made them and went back to them. Harold and Dan are extremely involved in the production process."

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OLD AND NEW
While Ghostbusters is very much a continuation of the movies, Terminal Reality is keen to ensure that the first few hours of this third-person shooter will be instantly familiar to fans, with numerous well-known faces making an appearance in the opening few levels, including floating green pustule Slimer and the intolerant librarian from the start of the original flick.

Creative director Drew Haworth explained that he and his team were using these reappearances as a chance to delve more deeply into the background of each ghost. "One of your tasks will be to scan ghosts," explained Drew as he fired up the game's library level. "You'll have to scan the ghosts with your PKE meter to be able to access information about them in Tobin's Spirit Guide."

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