Ghostbusters (2016) Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Ghostbusters. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
This isn't going to be a conversation about the new Ghostbusters movie. As of this writing I haven't seen it and I don't want to weigh in on the controversial reboot. You should know though that I'm a diehard Ghostbusters fan and there's not much that represents my childhood more than Dr. Egon Spengler's hunt for mold, spores and fungus. That being said, the upcoming movie can't be much worse than the new game from Activision. It's a repetitive piece of licensed slop that is yet another poor excuse for a game that' an embarrassment to the franchise. I wanted a new Ghostbusters game, but not like this. Sadly, bustin' does not make me feel good, it makes me feel bad, oh so very bad.
Regardless of which side of the new Ghostbusters movie debate you fall in to, Ghostbusters the game plays it embarrassingly safe. The game is set in the universe of the new movie but the four ladies who have donned the Ghostbusters suits? Yeah, they're busy. They're on another call so you get the JV squad; a group of new recruits from a neighboring division. So right away you get the idea that you're doing busy work while the main characters go do the actual important stuff. Really though this all wouldn't be so bad if any of these new recruits had any sort of personality what so ever. While I haven't seen the new one yet, the original 1984 movie was so great not because of the ghosts (they didn't hurt though), it was built on the chemistry and personality of the leads. The new characters, two of which are male and two of which are female really like ghost busting.....that's about it. They quip during the missions about how much fun they're having taking out the ghosts but apparently they're the only ones.
That would all be null though if the game was any bit of fun; which I assure you it is not. At it's heart Ghostbusters is a twin stick shooter; if you're playing with most gamepads, you'll move with the left stick, aim with the right and fire with the right trigger. It's a formula that's basic enough to work but it doesn't. Ghostbusters moves too slow to make anything enjoyable and instead of a run and gun, you're left with a chug and complain. There are different ghost types that will require different weapons and techniques but in all reality you'll be able to take out most by just firing your weapon at them until the last few seconds. When I play a run and gun types game, I want quick, fun action and this does not deliver.The fact that Ghostbusters messes up such simple gameplay ideas is just plain sad.
You can play Ghostbusters on your own with three AI teammates or you can recruit three of your friends but it's a lose, lose situation. Play by yourself and you'll see even more of why the game is broken, play with your friends and well...you'll have three less friends. As you play through the game your character will earn XP to unlock upgrades to their gear but if you're playing solo you'll soon realize how broken that system is. While you'll get XP and level up quickly, any AI controlled teammates do not...at all. So while you turn into the hulking ghost busting machine, your teammates are stuck at level one for the entire game meaning that when you get to the end stages of the game you're going to spending heck of lot of time running around and saving them from the sweet embrace of death. There are ways around this, like taking advantage of the drop in, drop out feature and signing in on other controllers right at the end of a level but come on, it's 2016 and I shouldn't have to do that.
I really wanted to at least like this new Ghostbusters game but it's sloppy drivel that merely exists to cash in on the brand's popularity at the moment. It could be forgiven as a quick lackluster way to spend a weekend but they're asking for $50 for this POS; I wouldn't even play twenty. By contrast, the Ghostbusters game from a few years ago, which itself isn't perfect (Link) but at east tries is only $10 on Steam. Go Play that, not this mess.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.