Most of all, however, this is a game about teamwork. You’re nearly always working with the other Ghostbusters, sometimes playing a supporting role, at other times the reluctant lead. If you don’t play your part well, then things go pear-shaped, but you rarely feel like you’re being asked to do all the hard-work by a bunch of supporting NPCs. What’s more, the game makes teamwork the cornerstone of its health system. Take more than a little damage from sliming or aggressive ghosts and you’re knocked flat on your back, your proton pack sparking, but within seconds your fellow Ghostbusters will come to your aid and revive you. The thing is, they get knocked down too and need reviving, so if you want to survive, you need to ensure your team-mates stay in action.
Let’s face it: most licensed games are technically and visually a joke. Not Ghostbusters. The environments are authentic to their filmic or real-life equivalents and richly detailed. The characters are convincingly modelled and well animated, with some great facial expressions that help you look beyond some odd moments and the lack of what you might call photorealism. Even the eighties hairstyles are believable. More impressively, the developers have combined cool particle weapon effects, great looking ghosts, destructible scenery and a decent physics engine to create some fantastic scenes of sheer mayhem and destruction. Nice shooting, Tex, indeed. The soundtrack, meanwhile, is everything you might expect, with the original theme tune and a nice mix of original and sympathetic new incidental music. The overall result has enough of the look, sound and feel of Ghostbusters to suck you in and swamp you with good, old-fashioned nostalgia.
It’s also worth noting how hard the game works, like Fallout 3 or Bioshock, to keep you within its fictional bubble at all times. The back of the proton pack works as a health and status display, while an electronic guide device handles all the tutorial, info and upgrade options. It all looks mildly dangerous, unstable and home made, and the language used always ties into the lingo used in the movies. This is exactly how it should be done.