This remaster doesn't correct any of the game's design flaws, but it remains the best Ghostbusters video game ever made and a must-play for fans.
In 2009, Ghostbusters: The Video Game answered the prayers of anyone who ever daydreamed of wearing a proton pack. Not only did it successfully capture the essence of being a ghostbuster, but it boasted an original script penned by Dan Aykroyd and the late Harold Ramis, plus performances from nearly all of the main actors. In short, it was a playable Ghostbusters 3. Ten years may have magnified the game’s original flaws, but this remaster reaffirms that no other Ghostbusters title has made busting feel this good.
If you missed it the first time, Ghostbusters: The Video Game takes place in 1991, two years after the events of Ghostbusters II. Instead of controlling one of the four main heroes, players take on a nameless, mute rookie - a game design decision that felt questionable back then and still feels disappointing now. It’s the recurring RPG problem of being surrounded by a colorful cast with your blank slate of a character contributing nothing to that dynamic. Still, as cool as it would have been to play as Venkman or Egon, it’s a real treat to hang out with the crew and bask in their signature banter.
The story itself stands as an entertaining romp that takes players through familiar locations, such as the Sedgewick Hotel, and more otherworldly destinations. Using the PKE meter to uncover cursed collectibles offers an enjoyable diversion thanks to the objects’ entertaining backstories. On top of that are the myriad of fun shoutouts to Ghostbusters’ history that can be seen and heard throughout. Whether it’s battling Stay Puft in a titanic rematch or uncovering easter eggs around the firehouse (which include chatting with the still-possessed Vigo painting), there’s a strong reverence for the source material that sweetens the entire package.
This remaster sharpens ups the presentation for a cleaner look. Proton streams appear more vibrant as do the ghosts they ensnare. Lighting also receives a noticeable bump up. The game’s destructibility tech may be less impressive now, but it’s still a nice touch that highlights the ghostbusters’ penchant for demolishing the places they’re trying to rescue. The cinematic cutscenes, however, have an unpleasant graininess from a generation ago, which makes for jarring transitions between them and gameplay.
Busting ghosts remains a blast albeit with the same caveats as before. Firing proton streams and wrangling spirits into traps creates a childhood thrill that still feels as close as any experience has come to emulating the “real” thing. Three additional weapon modes such as a slime gun and the shotgun-esque stasis gun are fun in their own right and get put to good use in both combat and puzzle-solving. Manually cooling weapons when they overheat is still a mild annoyance that feels largely unnecessary. Weapons upgrades offer decent improvements but can be obtained fairly quickly. You’ll spend the last half of the game with a full purse and nothing to buy.
Certain battles do become a little too overwhelming, especially because of how easily teammates fall in battle. Everyone possesses the durability of wet paper, and having to constantly revive the other characters remains Ghostbusters’ biggest annoyance. When you go down yourself, praying that the crew survives long enough to aid you is more terrifying than any spook, specter, or ghost. That’s because the checkpoints, while not horrible, are less accommodating than what you’d expect from today’s offerings.
The more things change the more they stay the same. When Ghostbusters: The Video Game first arrived a decade ago, fans had been screaming for any new, quality Ghostbusters media. 10 years, more bad games, and one so-so but forgettable reboot film later, and this remaster has once answered the call for good, modern Ghostbusters material. This is practically a must-play for fans as it’s easily the franchise's best video game, not to mention one of, if not the final time all four cast members reprise their iconic roles together. It’s a totally solid nostalgia romp that effectively checks off “become a ghostbuster” from the childhood bucket list.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Screen Rant was provided a digital PS4 code for the purpose of this review.