Ghost Rider Preview

The devilish stuntman's first major motion picture will hit theaters in February, accompanied by a new action game. We take a look.

Next month will begin a marketing blitz around Columbia Pictures' action flick Ghost Rider, which is based on the demonic antihero of the same name from Marvel Comics. One of the chief elements of this effort will be a new Ghost Rider game from 2K Games and developer Climax. Recently, we got to check out a nearly finished version of the game on the PlayStation 2 and PSP to see how they're coming together, just a few weeks before release of the game and the film.

Rather than re-creating the movie in video game form, the developers have set the Ghost Rider game's storyline after the movie and turned it into a fan service package of sorts; it will contain characters and elements from the comics not seen in the movie. But for the uninitiated, Ghost Rider is a stuntman named Johnny Blaze by day (played in the movie by Nicolas Cage) who sells his soul in exchange for the hellish powers that turn his head into a flaming skull and let him look all badass riding around on a motorcycle and wearing a lot of black leather.

In addition to Mephisto, who serves as the main bad guy in the movie, fans of Ghost Rider can expect to do battle with other villainous mainstays from the series, such as Scarecrow, Lilith, and Blackout. Comic writers Garth Ennis and Jimmy Palmiotti (the former of whom has worked on the Ghost Rider book in the past) collaborated with the developers on the game's story, which will hopefully lend the game the authenticity that diehard fans crave.

The gameplay itself centers on hardcore combat in the vein of Devil May Cry. Ghost Rider will start out with a selection of melee moves, and you'll collect souls from defeated enemies that you can cash in at any time to unlock quite a few more combat maneuvers. You've also got the hellfire shotgun, which can be used to take out enemies at range when you're in a pinch. But this shotgun is powered by the same retribution meter that you can use to send Ghost Rider into a rage mode, which gives him extra power. So based on the combat situations you're in, you'll have to balance the use of these two abilities judiciously.

Look for comic book mainstays, such as Scarecrow and Lilith, to make Ghost Rider's life difficult in the game version.

Comic fans will know Ghost Rider's penance stare, which he uses to make enemies relive all the pain and suffering they've caused others in the span of one brief moment. You'll have this ability in the game as a finishing move too, and it will be visually depicted in a manner consistent with that of the movie (though we'll let you wait and see how it's done). Ghost Rider's motorcycle is as central to the popular image of the character as his flaming skull, so between the on-foot melee levels, you'll encounter racing levels that have you tearing through the streets on the iconic chopper. You can attack with a projectile shot that can be upgraded to fire three homing shots, as well as a chain melee attack for enemies that get too close.

The game will feature a host of unlockable content that comic fans should appreciate. Once you've finished the main story mode, you'll unlock the half-vampire character Blade (who we hear had his own series of popular movies a few years back). You'll play through the same missions and boss fights with Blade that you did with Ghost Rider, but at least Blade will have his own unique move set. And in addition to the expected production art that you'll access from the main menu, you'll be able to unlock a number of issues of the Ghost Rider series that you can flip through and read in their entirety.

Ghost Rider will also hit the PSP with the same basic content and unlockables as the main PS2 version, though the presentation will be tailored to the portable format. The levels will be broken up into shorter subsections, and each of these segments will present three "skull challenges" to complete. Two of these challenges will involve finishing the sublevel within a time limit and with a minimum number of souls, respectively; the third will be a wildcard that varies by the level. Unlike on the PS2, you'll unlock new combat moves with these skulls, so if you get to later levels and find yourself struggling, you'll want to go back to earlier levels and complete more of the skull challenges to gain enough currency to bolster your combat abilities.

The inclusion of entire Ghost Rider issues and Blade as an unlockable, playable character will hopefully tickle the fancies of comic fans.

Finally, the PSP version will see an exclusive multiplayer mode that will let four players choose from 10 Ghost Rider characters and hit five tracks in a Mario Kart-style combat-oriented race game. In addition to such expected power-ups as projectile weapons, we saw a few more interesting powers, such as a power that turns the screen upside down (and naturally inverts the controls) for all other players. Three modes will be on offer here: vengeance, which is the default race type; eliminator, which knocks out the last-place racer after each lap; and survivor, which causes your health to tick down over the course of the race. You'll also be able to play this race mode by yourself against three computer-controlled opponents, if you don't have any friends.

It's a little disappointing that Ghost Rider isn't hitting next-generation platforms, but the game does appear to be doing the right things for fans of the property. The fairly involved combat model, involvement of some of the comic's creative forces, and the bevy of nice unlockable content are just a few examples. Look for Ghost Rider to hit the PS2 and PSP just a few days before the movie in mid-February.

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119 comments
Leonhart1995
Leonhart1995

w00t i m gonna buy this game immediately before stock out !!!!!

wendy11256
wendy11256

i grew up reading the comicbook,im a ghostrider fan,so i definately going to buy this game no matter what......

pdo4545
pdo4545

OH SWEEEEEEEEEEEeT!!!!!!!! I cant wait to play this!

sadikovic
sadikovic

Bah Bah Bah what am i doin i like games. Hey leave fat guys alone they also have feelings somewhere beneath their fat duvey sized belly rolled bodies. But hey stop talking doo doo like me and write real comments (like me) XD w00t w00t im a real n00b. 0_o I want god of war for the PSP! X0

MartinRiggs15
MartinRiggs15

I can't wait for the movie. Nicolas Cage is great.

marioman50
marioman50

"YouOkay?" "Yeah, I just feel like my skulls on fire"

marioman50
marioman50

I read in a magazine that the director/producer whatever, started writing the script for the movie 3 years ago. It would be a shame if the movie sucked.

mammyboy
mammyboy

jakshot is tottlay right another fantastic four rip off man that game sucked

anarchicgoth
anarchicgoth

BEHOLD!!! the END of Nicholas Cage's career!

sj_rider
sj_rider

it looks like God of War to me ;)

DaredevilFan
DaredevilFan

The movie wont be very good because the guy who directed Daredevil will also direct this movie as well (Mark Steven Johnson) and his track records with movies is horrible but i hope im wrong but i know im not. As for the game man this just gets me angry, why dont they just make it comic book based, and open environment just like the Hulk Ultimate Destruction. Why do they bother with movie games....

YOSly12
YOSly12

three words: God of War....... rip off( ok five words)

Jakshot
Jakshot

Can you say "next Fantastic Four game/movie?".....you know how horrible both things were.

Filimonki
Filimonki

Well, he`s not going to get far with burning wheels : /

GreenGoblin2099
GreenGoblin2099

well, in my (presumptuous) opinion about this, the movie is going to suck (i hope i'm wrong because nicholas cage is a good actor), and the game will suck (but it may be better than the movie). Who cares about Nick Cage?? (besides you that is) I hope it doesn't suck because Ghost Rider kicks ass... one of my fav demons out there. As for the game, it looks pretty weak and aweful graphs, which I hope get fix'd cuz I'd hate to see a kick ass hero turn into crap.

mobius5010
mobius5010

well, in my (presumptuous) opinion about this, the movie is going to suck (i hope i'm wrong because nicholas cage is a good actor), and the game will suck (but it may be better than the movie). and it makes me curious that the game is coming out just for ps2 and not the next-gen consoles. why? because it probably means the game is already not good enough material to meet the standards of new games (especially in 2007).

megadisc
megadisc

whoa ! games with comiccs ! ! ! that is so enticing ! ! ! wah ! si beh jia lat man !

vaejas
vaejas

Here's hoping. They could do great things just by copying the best elements from other games. Add a dash of flair and it could be a winner.

darkgoddess666
darkgoddess666

i will reserve my judgement until the game comes to the shelves, then i will judge to my hearts desire. i do predict that it will not be the best though, enjoyable but not enthralling. however, if there is a good storyline then all will be good ( i'm a sucker for a good storyline )

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

Considering how most games based on movies suck (with the exception of the spiderman movie games) i don't think the ghost rider game will be that good. in fact i expect it to be average at best. But i'll probably rent it just to give it a try lol.

Legacyoftain
Legacyoftain

Game of the Year...nuff' said...Nicholas "Luke" Cage will no doubt be give nothing short off an oscar worth performance (much akin to Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck)

Mandalore_15
Mandalore_15

I personally think that this game will be aweful. For a start, the gameplay looks like some kind of unholy cross-breed between Devil May Cry, God of War and Onimusha, which in it's self wouldn't have worried me so much if a) I hadn't seen this video, and b) I hadn't played Spawn: Armageddon. Also, the sections on the motorbike look terrible. It's like they were ripped straight out of the Jak games and given a "modern day, yet for some reason completely empty city" feel. All this leads me to conclude that Ghost Rider will suck in a way that only a cheap cash-in to a cheap, plot-light and mis-cast movie game can.

danof76
danof76

You can "rip off" a gameplay, but not many developers do it very well since there's so many finite details to consider that make the originals as good as they are. A successful "rip off" is held in it's own regard anyway no matter what game may have debuted the gameplay aspects first. If this is successful and reminiscent of God of War and/or Devil May Cry it won't detract from either game, it'll just be added to the libraries that already harbor the two games which is a good thing. The game sounds like fun, but I'll wait and see until it comes out to make a decision of course. Ghost Rider is awesome, and it'd be nice to have another comic-book (anti)hero game that's genuinely good. We're due for another good licensed comic book title.

ZhugeMarc
ZhugeMarc

sicness10...of course Ghost Rider is going to have 'bladed chain type weapons' in this game. That's what Ghost Rider always used. Saying it's a GoW rip because of that is like saying that the Punisher is a rip of any third-person action game ever because he has an assault rifle.

acuigamespot
acuigamespot

Great game and still... for PS2... who need next gen console HAHAHA.... don't stop man....

-supercharged-
-supercharged-

Already got it on preorder :D can't wait to get my hands on it!

truevibe
truevibe

i wonder who the voice in is going to br...cuz i dont think nicolas cage usually does game voices

TJchief
TJchief

its like a Devil May Cry-God of War-Road Rash hybrid and it ddoesnt look that bad

termadoyle
termadoyle

WTF?! not next generation?! booo. >_

sizzlemebacon2
sizzlemebacon2

I don't know why people think it's such a huge God of War rip it sounds more like a Devil May Cry-God of War hybrid if you ask me. It even has the little style meter in the top right-hand corner! ( why would they copy styles from other games if that specific game is already far superior to them if especially God of War) and... ...midway_nights said "finnally a good looking game coming on ps2 this year." I'd let this one go and save money for God of War 2 (wow reading this I sound like a fanboy... whatever)♦♣♠♥

pearlpunx85
pearlpunx85

first of all, sicness10 go to english class. secondly, why is this not on the xbox 360?!?!?!??

sicness10
sicness10

what, are we looking at here, ghostrider of god of war. my god. i realise god of war was basically a slash em up which has been done a million times, but at least it has original weapons, this game rips it off beyond belief. same chained blades type weapons, and it even has the same damn combo's. the slash, slash, slash, double chain ground pound. complete rip, and a crap one at that. god of war 2 will **** all over this, hell, god of war 1 ****s all over this.

DeMarsVolta
DeMarsVolta

this one looks good i hope this one doesnt goes to the movie-based garbage games club

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

Hmmm... this preview is mostly about how the Ghost Rider game will please fans of the comic book. I think that's interesting considering this is a video game site. Usually people on a video game site care whether or not a game will please fans of video games... Or maybe the only good thing they could say about the game is that it stays true to the comic book?

mYslead
mYslead

dosent look good ... like the movie actually.

GuyverV
GuyverV

why no xbox 360 version, cost of development?

renegade_magnum
renegade_magnum

Whether it borrows from GoW or not, I'm reserving my judgment for the final game. It doesn't matter what they borrow, for as long as what they borrow makes the game better. They'd better not screw this up though, Ghost Rider has got to be the best character in the comic books, bar none, IMO.

kajtrooper
kajtrooper

Finally a game that is not a movie license cliche beat 'em up. This game actually seems like its gonna be good.

_Zodiac_
_Zodiac_

Wow hahaha mrcooltown like God of War didn't base everything but its story off of gameplay elements done first by Devil May Cry and Onimusha. That kind of blind fanboyism towards GoW almost makes me mad as it was a great game but only above average and not the end all be all action game that every other action game is copying from. GR is just using a proven formula that GoW itself copied off of Capcom's two action series.

mskittykat
mskittykat

Have to wait and see. If they aren't basing the game off the movie...there's a chance that there may be hope. How ever, looking at the screen shots from a "nearly finished" game.....I'll have to wait and see when it comes out. So far, I'm not impressed.....this may have something to do with me having a hard time picturing Cage as a bada$$ biker demon.

gamesfreak4ever
gamesfreak4ever

looks some what like spawn armmegedon and we all know what that turn out to be (if you dont here is small review of it...it sucked)

MrCooltown
MrCooltown

Complete God of War rip off. Climax is a disgrace.

DontEatCream
DontEatCream

Ghost Rider is too badass to be in a movie. Or a sub-par game. He should just stick to what he does best, like ghost ride his choppa.