When it was initially released in 2009, Ghostbusters: The Video Game brought a smile to just about every franchise fanboy in existence. The game was steeped deep with fan service (not the adult anime kind). It was written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, staring a new recruit, and picked up only two years after the events that transpired in Ghostbusters II. For all extensive purposes, it was the sequel that everyone wanted, and even all of the Ghostbusters were portrayed by their respectful actors (Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd). A decade later, the game has finally been made available for current generation consoles (and PC), Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
Playing an unnamed generic looking character (who strangely resembles me), you are regularly referred to as rook, rookie, newbie, and cadet. While there are moments where you are alone, generally, you'll have one or more of the original four main Ghostbusters beside you. Sadly, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis don't reprise their roles, and instead, the game revolves around Ilyssa Selwyn, an expert in Sumerian and pre-Sumerian cultures. More importantly, she is the curator for the World of Gozer exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, opening just in time for Thanksgiving. When Gozer and Ivo Shandor are involved, you know the city of New York is going to be in trouble.
It's not long when the Ghostbusters' favorite ghost Slimer breaks free and makes his way back to the Sedgewick Hotel. The disgusting green blob isn't the only ghost haunting the five-star location. Ghostbusters: The Video Game plays closer to Gears of War than anything else, using a tight third-person camera view. Instead of lancers, you'll be slinging proton packs, along with some additional new attachments. Even the roadie run, when you crouch run and the camera follows close behind you exists in the game. Your proton beam serves as your primary weapon against ghosts, weakening them enough to trap. Of course, they won't be confined that easily, either by trying to escape, fly right through you (sliming you in the process) or by tossing objects across the room from a safe distance.
Once ghosts are weak enough, you'll switch to the capture stream, allowing you to slam ghosts against walls, ceilings, and the floor to prepare them for your muon trap (ghost trap). While caught in the traps pull, the specter will try and free themselves, as you attempt to wrangle them into the center of the trap. You have an unlimited amount of traps, and you can even capture multiple apparitions in the same one. You do have to worry about overheating, which can be upgraded, making ghost capturing slightly more complex. The rest of each level is populated with smaller and generally faster lower level apparitions, which don't need to be trapped, like floating books. These can be cut down by merely weakening them enough that they disapparate. As you progress through the narrative, you'll unlock additional attachments, such as a shock blast, the slime blower from Ghostbusters II to dissipate black slime, and the meson collider.
Each one also comes with an alternate firing method. The boson dart is an extremely volatile burst of boson particles, which can quickly overheat the proton pack. The stasis stream can freeze ghosts in midair those to the use of dark matter. The slime tether can help solve environmental puzzles by bringing objects closer together. Don't forget; there is an achievement for tether a ghost directly into a trap. The composite particle system (meson collider) works best when using both firing methods together. Using the meson collier, you can hit your target, serving as a homing beacon for projectiles launched when using the overload pulse. Besides your proton pack, you can activate the PKE meter, which is used in a first-person perspective for finding collectible artifacts, and scanning for hidden passages. Make sure to scan every single ghost type for additional lore and a list of weaknesses.
The game is the same as it was back in 2009, except now features a smooth 60fps as well as support 4K on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. The visuals do look much better than the previous release; however, all of the pre-rendered sequences in the game look very blurry due to the lower resolution from Xbox 360 and PS3. The Nintendo Switch version isn't as well off than its counterparts, looking like a straight port of last generation's game, running at 30fps, and at a much lower resolution. The developers have commented that the game's multiplayer component won't be included with the launch of the game, but it will be added sometime after release.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered may be the same game it was ten years ago, but I couldn't help but smile while playing through it once again. Running around the Ghostbusters HQ (the firehouse) and interacting with Vigo the Carpathian, listening to voicemails, sliding down the pole, hearing the banter between the other Ghostbusters, everything is such a joy to experience. Even though the gameplay feels largely borrowed, it works beautifully within the confines of the Ghostbusters IP. Not to mention, the game's narrative was written by Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, essentially making this game the closest thing to a third movie (not counting the 2016 reboot).Note: Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered was reviewed on Xbox One. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.