Developer: FireForge Games
Release Date: July 12, 2016
I picked this game up on a whim because it has 4 player couch coop, and played it a bit this weekend with my kids. Here's what it's about:
You play as one of 4 characters that have zero connection to any previous Ghostbuster characters. At least, I'm pretty sure. You can name your character, and there's an option to change their clothes, but that's as in depth as character customization gets. As you progress through levels, you earn points to level aspects of your character- weapon damage, speed, etc. Each character has their own personal weapon, and a unique grenade. They can also use the traditional zappy proton pack thingy, and they're all upgradable.
As you progress through the levels, you will alternate between guns. The personal weapon is the best way to kill quickly, but the proton beam is the only way to trap larger ghosts. You wear them down, slam them into the ground, then send out a trap. Rinse, repeat... again and again and again.
The game is a top down "dungeon crawler," and as such the graphics are pretty basic. It feels like a cross between Left 4 Dead and Diablo, and the most enjoyable part of the game is the competition for points between you and your coop partners. Unfortunately, there is only one screen and you are all rubber-banded together. Don't try to play with people who don't want to explore if you're a completionist, and don't play with a 6 year old who gets so distracted by watching what's going on with the other players that he walks into a wall and gets stuck behind a gate, and then the whole group has to go back because seriously, Matty, is it so hard to just stay with the freaking group????
He also had a hard time finding his character on the screen since all the colors blend together after a while...
The 6 year old's interest was gone after the first level of the second area, and the 13 year old dropped out soon after. I quit around then as well, because I kept dozing off while playing (not sure if it was the game or the fact that it was after 1 am and I'm old). The 15 year old enjoyed playing single player much more than playing with me and her brothers, but the AI is incompetent at best. Most of the time when you play solo, you will be catching the ghosts on your own, as the AI stands around and looks in the other direction. The gameplay is very easy, though, and completely manageable on your own.
The levels are overly long and extremely boring. They're repetitive, and more than once in the second level I asked, "wait, have we been here before?" There's an attempt at a story, but it's like- people call in and need ghosts busted and you go bust the ghosts. What can I say? Busting makes me feel good.
I'll mention the sounds- obviously the Ghostbusters theme song features heavily, and that's fun. The voice acting, though... it's really bad, guys. Unlike the previous game which featured the actors reprising their roles, this one uses voice actors from cartoons and other games. You'll catch yourself recognizing the voices sometimes, and it kind of takes away from the game. That wasn't the bad part, though. The bad part is all the puns. Each character has a couple of lines to say, and they talk almost constantly. This means you'll hear "We could have been soulmates," about 100 times in the first level alone. I know, I know, puns are a part of Ghostbusters, campy, corny humor is something that Bill Murray ensured would be a part of the legacy. But these aren't clever, and it's overdone. Sometimes I actually forgot it was a Ghostbusters game, and started thinking it was Scooby Doo.
So all in all, I'm giving it a 6. It's a pretty easy game, and fun to play if you want something to play with family, especially kids. It's a decent movie tie in, but doesn't rely on people seeing or even knowing about the 2016 movie, so that's a plus. But it uses archaic coop devices like single screen and rubber banding characters, as well as the cardinal sin for couch coop for me- only one gamertag will get the achievements as you go. The first person who signs in is the main player. The data is saved under their profile (so you can't level a character with friends and then go play solo), and ultimately you'll have to play through it 4 times if you have some kind of sick achievement suicide pact.
I picked it up used at GameStop and I'm torn as to whether to keep it or trade it in towards Overwatch. That's less a statement of quality, though, and more knowing Overwatch is MP only so the 13 year old will be the only one who plays it.
Have you played Ghostbusters? Let me know what you think!