Won’t make you feel good

SFX - - Reviews - James Nouch

RE­LEASED OUT NOW! Re­viewed on Ps4

Also on XO, PC Pub­lisher ac­tivi­sion

It was once ac­cepted wis­dom among gamers that movie tie-ins were al­most al­ways ter­ri­ble. But in re­cent years, the rep­u­ta­tion of li­censed games has recovered some­what.

The Ghost­busters videogame, how­ever, rep­re­sents a re­turn to the bad old days. While its cen­tral twin-stick shoot­ing game­play might be best de­scribed as flavour­less but func­tional, this worka­day core is dragged down by shoddy, thread­bare pre­sen­ta­tion.

Your four-per­son spook squad is dis­patched to a stage with a man­date to purge the para­nor­mal. In prac­tice, this means shoot­ing light­weight pro­jec­tiles at swarms of pal­ette-swapped spec­tres, as you bat­tle through each over­long level. Oc­ca­sion­ally, you’ll have to whip out your Pro­ton Pack to dis­patch an es­pe­cially fierce phan­tom.

This game­play loop – which of­ten re­peats dozens of times within a sin­gle, in­ter­minable stage – never proves es­pe­cially thrilling nor re­motely funny. In fact, the grenade-spam­ming, cir­cle-straf­ing ac­tion is so ba­sic and un­tax­ing that we were left with enough un­oc­cu­pied grey mat­ter to dwell on the dis­ap­point­ment gen­er­ated by a game that so sin­gu­larly fails to re­pro­duce the spirit of its source ma­te­rial.

The first Ghost­busters game, in 1984, was made in six weeks by adapt­ing a part-de­vel­oped game called Car Wars.

Tar­get­ing the in­ter­net or spooks?

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