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Ghostbusters: The Videogame

Don't it make you feel good?

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These have the satisfying effect of blasting the Minions into sticky white gloop, which coats everything. Mostly, you'll have to carefully manipulate ghosts into your trap with the proton beam. That's the reason you'll be buying the game in the first place. Well, that and waiting for the immortal line: "Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!". Alright, that was just me.

Essentially this is a third-person shooter with a heavy back-pack connected to an energy-spewing rifle rather than guns and ammo. There's no reloading here. Instead, you must vent the backpack regularly to prevent it from overheating - when this happens the pad starts to shake and you won't be able to get a shot off, leaving you vulnerable to attack or letting the ghosts escape.

Trapping spooks
Trapping spooks is the star of the show - Terminal Reality has nailed it, obvious even in this build. The proton beam is used to latch onto a ghost, using a combination of the R2 trigger and the analogue sticks, and it's a very slick operation. The beam is responsive and simple to get to grips with - once you've got the ghost fixed in the beam, the L2 trigger allows you to knock it into nearby objects and walls to soften it up and make it easier to trap.


Hitting Square slides the trap out into the fray, with a clearly visible beam of light showing its position. Once you've dragged the ghost into the beam of light it opens out into that familiar cone - this acts as a funnel through which you must force the ghost into the trap, wangling the analogue sticks as you go so it doesn't escape. This can be done multiple times as you carry a few traps with you, so the odd trap lost in the carnage doesn't matter too much.

The highlight of the section was easily the confrontation with Mr Stay Puft. Still set in this office block, it sees you racing to get to the rooftop, occasionally spotting a huge eye staring at you, or avoiding a massive marshmallow arm smashing through a wall and scrabbling around for you.

Rooftop confrontation
Once on the rooftop, you're then suspended over the side as you attempt to halt the giant Michelin Man's climb up the skyscraper. Contrary to what you might be expecting - it's not terribly challenging. You blast away at him and the occasional marshmallow boulder he throws at you - but it's very definitely something you could imagine doing in the original film.

In the background the lights of Times Square twinkle and occasionally flare and dazzle, while down below police lights flash in an urgent heartbeat of twisted morse code. It's Eighties' New York, just as you remember it from the movies, right down to the fire hydrants and crowded sidewalks.

Character models too are superb: Stanz's slight waddle is faithfully captured, as is Venkman's laconic stroll - will Ackroyd's Stanz pop a cigarette in his mouth and start puffing away? The jury's out on that one for the moment, but it's more than likely. And yes, the core mechanic of the game - trapping ghosts - is spot on. What more could you want?


From the small section I played however, it's hard to know how these standout events are all interconnected. The chances of it morphing into Oblivion with spooks is pretty thin; Gears Of War with proton guns is a more accurate description, and no less welcome. Is it cutscene, trap ghost, cutscene? Or is it something more coherent than that?

I hope so, because no matter how satisfying trapping ghosts is, it could quickly become tedious if there's not much to support it. Still, Ghostbusters is practically guaranteed to sell by the bucketload: twenty and thirty-something gamers with fond memories of the mid-Eighties will be sure to lap this up regardless of quality. Thankfully, it's not looking too shabby.

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