Ghostbusters First Look

Sierra and Terminal Reality spook us with the upcoming Ghostbusters game.

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The upcoming Ghostbusters game from Sierra and developer Terminal Reality is a sequel of sorts to the beloved movie franchise that starred Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson as ghost hunters. The game is set in 1991--a few years after Ghostbusters II--and is being written by Akroyd and Ramis, which should guarantee a respectable dose of fan service. Reps from Terminal Reality were on hand at Sierra's recent press event to show us various tech demos and a short gameplay sequence, which were all designed to give us an idea of what to expect from the game.

This new Ghostbusters game is set a few years after the events of the last film.
This new Ghostbusters game is set a few years after the events of the last film.

Before hopping into the demos, TR reps walked us through a general overview of the game. The story finds the four main characters living a pretty respectable life as busters of ghosts, now that they've been officially sanctioned by the city. You take the role of a new recruit to the organization and join the team members as they investigate a dramatic spike in paranormal activity that's tied to their old enemy, Gozer. Specifics of the story weren't easy to come by, although it was noted that you'll see many of the familiar faces from the series in the game, most of which are being voiced by the original cast. From the sound of it, everyone except Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver has signed on to reprise their roles.

When the top-level stuff was over and done with, our demoers moved on to a series of demos to show off what Terminal Reality is aiming to put in the game. Ghostbusters is using the next generation of TR's Infernal engine, which allows for all manner of cool stuff to happen on the fly. The first demo showed off physics interactions with a ton of boxes that dropped into the middle of the room. Once they had all dropped, our demoer moved the character--decked out in full Ghostbusters gear--through them and even knocked them around with his proton stream. The gravity in the room then changed, which caused the glut of objects to hit the sides of the room at odd angles. Our demoer noted that physics are set to play a large part in the gameplay because of the various supernatural forces you have to deal with, but one of the team's goals is to ensure that they don't get in the way of having fun.

The next demo focused on environments and destruction and followed our ghostbuster as he made his way inside the New York Public Library. Before popping into the familiar locale, our demoer showed off the exterior area, which had crowds as well as Ecto 1, the Ghostbusters' slightly ramshackle ride. The city street and the masses of folks moving around had some self-shadowing, which looked promising. When the demo moved inside the library, a lighting buzz word was tossed around--"radiosity"--as we checked out the various shafts of light coming through the windows. A bit deeper in, we got a look at the reading room, which had been stuffed full with 2,000 objects, according to our demoer. There was also some rag-doll demoing, but once you've seen one body flail about randomly when dropped, you get the picture. The more interesting showcase for the rag-doll physics was with the slime tether gadget, which is used to rope bodies and objects together and suspend them in odd places.

The tether and many other cool new enhancements to the proton pack are the latest inventions from resident brainiac Egon, who has spent years crafting new gear for the team. In an amusing twist, you, as the rookie, are essentially a guinea pig for the new gear. The tour of the library moved to the basement where TR showed off water and general debris, which could strangely become menacing at times. Some innocuous books would morph into large ghosts, which required some blasting to sort out. The tail end of the demo showed off a sequence where Slimer, the lovable green ghost from the films, had to be snagged. We were told that in the final game you'll be able to knock the ghosts around to stun them for easier trapping. The PS3 will support motion control for that in a method that sounds like the capture method seen in Folklore.

Once all the tech demos were over, we got a look at a more traditional gameplay demo that saw the new blood running with Ray Stantz (Akroyd) as they faced off against a resurrected Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The sequence showed off a variety of different gameplay elements as the two made their way to the top of a high-rise. You'll rely on the PK scanner, an analyzer that some will remember from the films. The scanner lets you track ghosts, which makes it easy to flush them out and capture them. Before you can capture them, you'll need to smack them around with your proton beam, but this time out, you have a few other options, such as a dark-matter generator, a stasis beam, and the aforementioned slime tether. The standard proton beam has now been enhanced to fire off a powerful pulse to help knock around ghosts when you're in battle. This will give the game a more action-oriented run-and-gun feel. All told, you'll have four main weapons, each with primary and secondary firing modes, and roughly eight pieces of equipment to help you in your struggles.

Further on in the demo, the duo was attacked by demonic bits of Stay Puft, which required some blasting. Later in the level, the duo faced random inanimate objects that were possessed by ghosts. The journey through the building and up to the roof included a few flashy moments showing the Marshmallow Man going by windows and causing trouble for the adventurers. The climax, when the duo reached the roof, included a fight against assorted teleporting ghosts and the deadly fluffy menace. The level showed off interactive cinematics as Stantz and the new recruit made their way up a stairwell, and it featured an interesting take on the heads-up display. Basically, the game doesn't have life bars or the standard readouts that you'd expect in a game. All the information you need is laid out on your proton pack, with your health and weapon displays showing up as meters that are always visible to you. The unique display method seemed to work out well in the demo we saw.

As for the assorted ghosts you'll be facing, Tobin's Spirit Guide, the essential reference book from the films, will be central to helping you keep track of the spectral masses. While some of the ghosts you'll face will be in the book, you'll also come across ghosts not in the book and will add to it in a Pokemon-esque twist. There will apparently be more than 40 ghosts in the game to catalog. Besides the single-player game, Ghostbusters is slated to include a multiplayer mode with competitive and cooperative modes. Last but not least, for anyone pining away at home, reps on hand also confirmed that the game would use the classic Ray Parker Junior theme song from the films.

That pesky Slimer is back.
That pesky Slimer is back.

Based on what we saw, Ghostbusters left us cautiously optimistic. There's neat tech on display to be sure, and the gameplay is certainly interesting. We're curious to see how everything works together in the final game. More importantly, we're super anxious to see how the story comes across. A strong narrative and humor will be key to giving the game the personality it will need to live up to its name. Look for more on Ghostbusters in the months to come with its release on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, and DS.

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iceeman

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i hope they add the multiplayer for the pc in a patch...haha

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CRYSIX

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FUN.

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starduke

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Sing it with me now! There's somthin' strange... In the neighborhood... Who ya gonna call? GhostBusters! I can't remeber... The rest of the song... Who ya gonna call? GhostBusters! Anyway, it looks like it may be a great game. Ghost Busters rox!

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protector_malek

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what?!?! no PC??? Fxck you!

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Chronologo

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well the atari one sucked, the only one I recall funny was the genesis one that had SD sprited ghostbusters, and this one looks promising, and finally a one with the 4 ghostbusters, the genesis one had only 3 (guess what was the one missing...yeah, those racists), aykroyd writing it with ramis will be a good thing, hope it stands up for the expectatives

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Phoenix602

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Hehe, it's been a while now since I played the ZX-Spectrum game :) Time to catch some ghosts again, I guess... ;)

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RazorBlankGiga

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Someones ass is getting kicked if they screw this game up, because I wants it. o.o

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Pyro77

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I am so crossing the streams in multi player.

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uwlbpwnd

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sux that they couldn't get the other 2 voices. Sigourney's prbly like: "If Rick sign's up I'll sign up" and Rick's like: "If Sigourney signs up I'll sign up" But now we won't have either! Oh well, Akroyd is my favorite anyway. Blues Bros. ftw!

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Riot85

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there's somethin strange doodoo on my xbox doodoodoodoo

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widdowson91

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There should have been a 3rd film, but a game will be good enough.

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Nick_Cave

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As long as Bill Murray is in , I'M BUYING BABY!

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Vasot

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At first i found the idea of making a new ghostbuster game as old and lame... But seeing it now it looks pretty good actually. That's a nice surprise

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sgt-hawkins

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cant wait this game might be tight as hell

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nemo_x2

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AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!! god those movies were classic. love the seiries as well!!!!!! Please let this game rock as much as the movies and series did. let it be good enough to be placed as an all trime classic. Really looking forward to it

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no_cultureicons

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Hmm they reckon it's coming out for PC too... I hope so! I wish they'd made the gameplay more varied though... I'd like a little driving around in ECTO-1 for instance

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adridell

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WE CAME, WE SAW, WE KICKED IT'S A**!

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CapedCod

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Hopefully they don't hit the Wii version too hard; I think the motion control will be perfect for this.

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bigd575

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Should be a great game, Really looking forward to it.

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sctviper2

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plz ohh pls don't let this game suck!!

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DeadlyOnez

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I'm hoping for the best. I won't be expecting anything innovating about this title but really people what can you expect from a game which all you do is shot ghosts. I want them to bring back the spirit of GB.

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lowkey254

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I hope that they take their time in pushing this out. We need more quality games, not just more games.

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Bpg3D

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This sounds promising. Hopefully Akroyd and Ramis will put a lot into this to make it a great game, because lets face it, everyone is too old now to pull off a Ghostbusters 3 movie, and I'd hate to see it fall under the category of sequels to great movies that should've never been made.

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xMADxDOGx

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probebly to short,looks googd on the wii ,mabe easy but fun i think , hope this is no crap !

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rharrigal

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hopfully it wont suck because it looks awesom im keeping my fingers crossed

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snakes3425

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I loved the Ghostbuster Movies and Cartoons when I was a kid, hopefully this game won't dissapoint.

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KingOfOdanata

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I hope the Wii version will be worthwhile. I'm a big fan of the films and a third "movie" is a great idea.

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megamaster32

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This game might be fun I hated that one part in the first movie the ghost library she scared the crap out of me.

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JReefer1

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This game seems better than coming out with an "updated" movie.

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edwardorito

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lol so old i remeber playin the nintendo one idk i hope this does'nt suck i

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markimsoad

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good times... heheheh

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VenkmanPHD

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...Has gamespot not been informed that the Wii and ps2 versions are significantly differant than the ones on x360 and ps3? I mean... they are NOT the game they are showing here.

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pidow

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Await and see!.

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DastardlyD

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I was a little guy when the movies came out. Although I can't say much for the movies now, it will be a bit nostalgic to see all the old characters come together again. The Stay-Puft fight looks to be a helluva lot of fun. "Who ya gonna call?" "HE-MAN!" That's probably the only part I remember from the second movie...

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bamfer3

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this makes me wanna watch my old tapes of Ghostbusters (the series)!

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thehip81

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I remember playing Ghostbusters 2 for NES, not a bad game :) Curious to see what they can do 20 years later :) Loved the movies, but was pretty young (~7-9)

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Sunrie

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I certainly hope the game ends up kicking ass.

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chaoscontrol489

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promising

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imperial_agent

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looks awesome. can't wait!

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dejavuman22

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Looks good, and the basis of the game may be entertaining. (I finally get a Proton Pack!! :) ) Being a rabid fan who has been dissappointed by movie games in the past, however, I am going to eagerly await a review of the game before I run out and buy it.

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ravengeist

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man i hope this game is as cool as it looks!

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BlackHawk340

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Lol, looks fun

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motti2thesecond

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looks alright

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termadoyle

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looks like a PS2 game. and I doubt i will get higher than a 7.

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AvtoC

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I do hope they can work on poly counts cuz now it's kind of bad

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Lorick_vs_Vash

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WitterKraai read the second last paragraph, last sentence. They are going to use the original theme song

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thenephariouson

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Looks much better than my old ZX Spectrum 48k version.

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WitteKraai

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Worry not Ash, PS2 ~is~ s current-generation system. PS3 isn't in so many homes that they have beaten out their previous iteration. This game looks awesome, I hope they get licensing for the original theme song.

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Ash16

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the first thing I'm gonna do is cross the streams lolol. I'm really glad they're releasing this on PS2 as well. I don't have any next-gen systems yet.

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never-named

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nickelarcade i wonder what happens when you cross the streams? -It'll probably end up with a game over screen or give the player some sort of weird power-up!

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