nDreams Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord

Review: Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord

I feel like I got slimed

I have been playing Ghostbusters video games since 1984, so I was excited when nDreams announced a Ghostbusters game for the PSVR2. Ghostbusters is such a storied franchise, yet for some reason, most developers have had difficulty bringing the magic from the silver screen to gaming. I would love to tell you that Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lords made busting feel good, but like others before, it fell short and got caught in its trap.

It starts great, and they use the original theme song from the movies, so you feel that nostalgia and I was pumped to jump right in. The opening has you in Hookfaber Mansion as you learn how to use your P.K.E Meter and scan some slime. The art direction is spot-on for the game and looks cartoonish, but it feels perfect. Growing up, I was a massive fan of the Real Ghostbusters, so the opening immediately reminded me of the television show.

Who Are You Gonna Call? 

I felt no motion sickness during my playthrough and could walk freely in the world and not be bothered at all. Some VR games have made me feel nauseous, but nDreams has made it so the motions you use feel natural.

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As you walk through the mansion, you have to solve puzzles to move through it, which builds the suspense and gives you some immersion. You feel like you are a Ghostbusters member looking for clues. I felt like a kid again, and it was awesome. Your character isn’t a Ghostbuster, but by finding items in the mansion, you will soon catch some ghosts.

You come upon a trap and use it to catch your first ghost and then meet a ghost companion who can revive you if you get slimed by ghosts from obtaining a high five. You eventually come across your proton pack and find the Ghost Lord, the spirit you will need to defeat. You finally find out your ghost companion’s back story in the end. The controls for the trap and P.K.E meter feel great, and holstering your proton pack behind your back is seamless. I wish there were more haptic feedback when using your proton pack. If they had more haptics in the controllers, it would make you feel like you’re using an actual proton pack.

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Ghost Lord gets away, and you head back to headquarters, where you need to fix your proton wand and learn about the upgrade system for your P.K.E Meter and trap. In the headquarters, you will get to choose the look of your character from four options, and then you will select your first mission. From then on, you choose a mission from the mission table and stand before the ECTO-1 to start each mission.

Each mission is a job you must complete, but after a while, it feels repetitive and not as captivating as the first mission. Catching ghosts is fun, but repetitive mission structures make everything feel the same. The story isn’t long, which is good for those who can’t be strapped to a VR headset for extended periods, but I was hoping for a longer adventure.

Ghostbusters – We’re Ready To Believe You!

When you are in headquarters, the game’s multiplayer aspect comes to life, and random players are there in the headquarters talking to you or, in my case, a young gamer screaming at you for no reason. Even the missions feel like you need to use multiplayer, which is where the game starts to turn for me. The game is cross-platform so that you can play with Meta Quest or PSVR2 players, but with a low adoption rate right now for VR, I wish the game had a more single-player focused story with the help of AI teammates instead of real-life people.

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I understand being a Ghostbuster means you’re part of a team, and most of the missions feel like you need more than one player to complete, and I wanted to be in the Ghostbusters world by myself. I think the game relies far too much on the multiplayer aspect of it. If the game wasn’t a VR game, I could understand that, but given it’s a VR game, I thought it was the wrong choice.

Seeing the trailer for the latest Ghostbusters movie yesterday got me thinking that I wish playing this game had me feeling excited like the trailer did. Instead, I’m left feeling like there’s a missed opportunity to allow fans to experience Ghostbusters in a way that doesn’t force them to play with others who aren’t there to focus on the campaign.

Verdict

While I initially loved Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord, the repetitiveness of the missions made me afraid of these ghosts. The story wasn’t bad, and there was a fun cameo at the end of the game, but as I progressed through the campaign, the game felt less fun. Using the proton wand was exciting at first, and dropping traps is satisfying, but the gameplay loop doesn’t feel good.  Maybe my expectations got the best of me with Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord, making the repetitive gameplay not land with me because the story they told wasn’t bad. I wanted more of what the start of the game was and not the missions we had to do to get to the end of the game. You can play the game alone, but based on the level design, I don’t believe that is what nDreams wants you to do.

Not Recommended

[The publisher provided a copy of the game for review purposes.]

Reviewed on: PlayStation VR2

nDreams Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord
Review: Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord
Summary
While I initially loved Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord, the repetitiveness of the missions made me afraid of these ghosts.
Liked
Fun gameplay mechanics, smooth VR gameplay
Great graphics for a VR title
Fun story
Didn't Like
Lack of AI companions to play campaign solo
A short campaign