Back in 2009, publisher Atari Games and developer Terminal Reality teamed up with Sony to release the highly praised Ghostbusters: The Video Game to the masses. Featuring voice work by all four members of the original Ghostbusters team – along with some notable supporting players from the films such as William Atherton and Annie Potts – and telling an all-new story written by Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis, the game essentially functioned as the third Ghostbusters movie fans always wanted but never got. With Paul Feig’s movie reboot heading to theaters this summer, Sony and Activision are now set to bring fans on another interactive trip into the Ghostbusters universe, albeit the one from the new film.
Sony and Activision are putting out two games in fact, with one designed for consoles and the other for mobile devices. The console title is simply called Ghostbusters, while the mobile iteration has been dubbed Ghostbusters: Slime City. While one would naturally assume that both games will offer players the opportunity to play as Feig’s all-female reboot squad of Ghostbusters led by Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, that is surprisingly not in fact the case. The games are set after the events of the upcoming film, and focus on a team of rookie paranormal hunters put in charge of watching over the NYC headquarters – while the main group of four is on a country-wide tour busting spooks in other locales. Naturally, unsettling spectral events force the aforementioned rookies into action.
The console game features four-player co-op, and the available characters include both male and female Ghostbusters. The gameplay itself is of the third-person action/RPG style, and offers players the opportunity to level up their chosen character’s equipment and abilities by completing objectives, discovering collectibles, and of course, busting ghosts. In line with the RPG component, each Buster specializes in different things, making each one a vital component of progressing in the game.
As one might imagine, Slime City’s mobile experience is basically a less expansive version of the one offered on consoles, with less focus on story and cooperative play – although the option to team up with others is still there – and more on individual customization options and racking up high scores that might end up on the posted leaderboard. There is also more of an open-world aspect, with players having the freedom to cruise around New York looking for jobs to complete, thus enabling further upgrades in one’s personal weaponry and headquarters.
Whether deserved or not, Ghostbusters and Slime City are probably going to be written off by those that have already chosen to write off Feig’s reboot, just by the sheer fact that they share the same world. Perhaps that outcome was anticipated by Sony and Activision, leading to the seemingly odd decision to not allow purchasers of these new games to play as the marquee characters from the new film. Although it’s just as possible that the cast didn’t participate due to their busy schedules. Here’s hoping consumers choose to judge these games on their own merits, instead of basing their opinion on what they think about the movie that spawned them.
Ghostbusters arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PC on July 12, 2016. Ghostbusters: Slime City comes to both iOS and Android-based devices sometime in July.