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Ghostbusters, Too little, for Too Much

July 21, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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GhostbustersWhether you are a fan of the contentious Ghostbusters reboot or not, Activision’s new arcade-style game introduces some fresh characters in some very familiar situations.

Not nearly as good or as complex as the stellar Ghostbusters: The Video Game from 2009 but infinitely better than that infamous Ghostbusters game from 1984 with its ghost vacuum and …CONGLATURATION!!! YOU HAVE COMPLETED A GREAT GAME…ending, Ghostbusters 2016 lands squarely in the middle.

Taking its cue from the Ghostbusters comics from IDW Publishing, the game features a mixed team of poltergeist pursuers, granted none of the characters have bios or even names. There is Super Model – Action Star Ghostbuster with his proton rifle, Tank Hero Ghostbuster with his proton mini-gun, Tech Girl Ghostbuster with her proton shotgun and Goth Girl Ghostbuster with her dual proton pistols.

GhostbustersThe aforementioned weapons actually destroy regular apparitions but the proton pack streams must be used to capture greater and boss ghosts. Like Ghostbusters: The Video Game, you must knock the ghost’s health down, catch it in a stream, wrestle with it, slam it several times to the ground and then throw out a trap to catch it. While the ghoul is being slowly sucked into the trap, you hit the A button like crazy person to fill a metre and gain the precious bonus. You are also equipped with a P.K.E. Meter which reveals the location of not only the spectres but other bonuses.

GhostbustersGhostbusters borrows its format from Diablo with a top–down, dungeon exploring configuration. From a creepy cemetery to a haunted asylum, the levels themselves are quite long and made even longer by repetitive gameplay which amounts to just trudging around and blasting ghosts along the way to the final boss. Casual gamers probably won’t mind but the hard-core set will tire of the mechanic faster than it takes Slimer to goo someone. Yech!

The option of playing four-player local co-op is great but if you cannot fill up the spots no matter as the friendly and actually helpful AI will join in. You can improve your character at the end of each successful mission but all that micromanaging is not really necessary because it is almost impossible to die in Ghostbusters. Any downed character or player can be easily revived with a press of the A button. It is almost like having infinite lives. Only once did I lose two of my AI companions but they both magically returned when the boss battle activated. Bonus!

GhostbustersGhostbusters’ atmosphere is very gloomy with lightning strikes lighting up the screen, ravens flying off tombstones and lots of eerie and hair-raising sound effects. The few cut scenes the game has are quite funny. One wonders what developers FireForge Games could have done if they had a bigger canvass to paint on and not a console title that would've been better off released on mobile devices.

For what Ghostbusters is bustin’ definitely made me feel good and I would have felt a whole lot better if the price wasn’t $64.99. That is just far too much to ask considering what you get in return. Who you gonna call? I suggest someone else until there is a flash sale on Xbox Live and that price comes down, way, way down.

Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Activision
Developer: FireForge Games
ESRB Rating: E10

Official Site:

Rating: 3 / 10

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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see