Ghostbusters: The Video Game, released in 2009, is basically what happened when Dan Aykroyd couldn’t get Ghostbusters 3 off the ground. The game was spearheaded by Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as writers, while bringing along most of the actors from the film franchise. It was imagined as the canonical “third film,” but bigger, bolder, and slimier. Too bad it wasn’t all that great. However, that hasn’t stopped Saber Interactive. Earlier today the developer revealed Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered, an HD re-release set to hit PC exclusively on the Epic Games Store this year.
The remaster celebrates the 35th anniversary of the original Ghostbusters film. Oh god, my mom was pregnant when she saw that film (oh, god, I’m going to be 35 this year). As expected with remasters, every aspect of the game has been given that HD makeover. Textures, lighting, and even the cut scenes will be given the modern treatment. Naturally, this means better frame rate, and resolution options up to 4K.
The redone cut scenes are especially good news. According to Engadget, one of the original game creators happened upon a hard drive containing all the cut scenes for the game. So, all the videos will remastered like the rest of the game, which means they can also go up to 4K resolution.
The gang’s all here
If you don’t know much about the game, have no fear. Ghostbusters: The Video Game placed you in the shoes of the rookie, a new recruit and fifth member of the Ghostbusters team. Action spoke louder than words for the rookie (i.e., he had no speaking lines), who got to work capturing ghosts and ghoulies in New York City. You wrangled ghosts with the stream from your Proton Pack, knocking them around to do damage. Once ghosts are weakened, you throw down a trap and imprison them in a shoe-box-sized hell from which there is no escape. That’ll teach them to read books at a library all to themselves.
In the game, you’re equipped with more than proton beams and traps, however. The rookie is able to utilize all kinds of gadgets from the films, such as the P.K.E. Meter, which analyzes targets, and the Paragoggles, which look goofy. I actually can’t remember what those do.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game brought its all-star cast back to the stage. The game featured voice work by all the Ghostbusters, including Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Bill Murray. Alongside them were Annie Potts, William Atherton, and Max von Sydow, reprising their roles as Janine Melnitz, Walter Peck, and Vigo the Carpathian, respectively.
Bustin’ makes me feel…alright, I guess
For fans of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, this is all great news. However, the game itself isn’t without its critiques. It’s hard for me, even as a huge Ghostbusters fan, to get excited about playing through the game again. I played it years ago, and I felt that once was enough. While there is a lot to like for fans, it seemed a little too pandering at times. The game felt less like a new step for the story, and more of a highlight reel of the films. Many scenes, monsters, and characters were dragged back out onto the stage, as if the game was asking “hey, remember this guy?” Yes, game, I remember Slimer. And yes, I remember the Stay Puft Marshmallow man. I just don’t know why we have to fight him again.
The game had other issues which I doubt the remaster will address. For one, you played as the rookie alongside the Ghostbusters team. The other members were controlled by AI, which probably had a fair share of shoddy code. They were idiots, to put it lightly. Your team constantly would go down after losing health blindly charging enemies, asking for your help. Enemies only go down after being lassoed by your beam and smacked against walls — which, at first, is cathartic. But having to do it for every single enemy got old fast, and it doesn’t help to have your fellows yelling for help every two minutes.
Almost a comeback
Ghostbusters: The Video Game had its moments, but all too few. It was written well enough, as it was penned by the original writers Aykroyd and Ramis, and there were many laughs to be had. But the repetition and dim teammates made it too frustrating to play for long.
This is all my own opinion, mind, and there are plenty of fans out there with a soft spot for the game. Naturally, I’m sure they’re excited. I just wish I could join them. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered will launch on PC via the Epic Games Store later this year.