Ghostbusters (2016)

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Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters-2016.jpg
"Who ya gonna call?"
"Someone else."
— Ray Stantz from Casper (1995)
Genre(s): Twin Stick Shooter
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release: NA: July 12, 2016
EU/AU: July 15, 2016
Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Developer(s): FireForge Games
Publisher(s): Activision
Country: United States
Series: Ghostbusters
Predecessor: Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
"I legitimately don't know what's worse, the insulting, unfunny cash-in 2016 Ghostbusters film, or all of the awful, low effort tie-in games, that are inevitably spawned from it. Case in point, Ghostbusters. No subtitle attached just, you know, the word Ghostbusters, as if to purposely confuse the hell out of buyers, and pretend that like this 2016 film, that actual good Ghostbusters media, like the 2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game, doesn't exist. For $10 right now! And that this lazy, low effort, is your only option, for $50. 50 fucking dollars, for this piece of shit!? With $4 DLC for the original Ghostbuster outfits that everyone loves? F... *Long extended censor beep*"
Angry Joe

Ghostbusters is a video game based on the eponymous reboot of the franchise developed by FireForge Games and published by Activision for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It was released on July 12, 2016 in North America, and July 15, 2016 in Europe and Australia, as a tie-in for the film.

Why Busting Still Feels Bad

  1. The game's story claims to be a sequel to the 2016 Ghostbusters (just like SpongeBob HeroPants was claimed to be a sequel to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water), but the story doesn't have any connection to the movie.
  2. Personalities of the characters are barebones generic archetypes.
  3. Poor graphics, despite running on Unreal Engine 4.
  4. Every stage plays out in the exact same way.
  5. Generic stage music (though thankfully, it has the Ghostbusters theme).
    • Unfortunately, much like the NES game, the Ghostbusters theme is the only song playing on the menu screen, and it repeats over and over again, which can lead to it becoming annoying.
  6. Just like the menu music, the gameplay itself is repetitive and gets boring quickly.
  7. Terrible dialogue, cringeworthy humor, and laughable voice acting.
  8. The cutscenes run at a low frame rate due to being pre-rendered poorly.
  9. Levels are too large and mainly consist of empty areas, and also confusing and maze-like.
  10. False advertising: The Ghostbusters on the boxart do not resemble the Ghostbusters in-game.
  11. The game itself has no mini-map feature, which can make navigation harder (though by pressing and holding B or Circle, it will show an arrow to tell you where you're going).
  12. Sluggish, unresponsive controls, and characters that move very slowly.
  13. The story mode is just six hours long with only seven stages, and the game length is padded by the sluggish pace.
  14. The AI-controlled characters do not gain any XP when they kill enemies. This prevents them from leveling up to upgrade their skills, and means they struggle later on.
  15. Little variety in enemies and attack types.
  16. Dull and boring gameplay. You must shoot a ghost with your weapon until its HP reaches 0. Then you and your teammates use the proton beam to capture the ghost multiple times. In a single level, you must do this eight to ten times.
    • After that, you trap the ghosts in a button tapping mini-game that only gives you a score multiplier.
    • The cherry on top however, is that you can put the controller down, and there is no penalty for it! The ghost doesn't try to escape, the trap doesn't break, you don't even take damage!
  17. The secret room just gives you points for finding it.
  18. Each character has a starting weapon that is underpowered and cannot be changed.
    • Even worse is that some of the weapons' projectiles have very poor hit detection, causing them to fly straight through enemies.
  19. The "Ghostbusters HQ" has a code system for some reason, but it's completely useless and broken, as the game doesn't give you any codes.
    • Apparently, as discovered by Eric Chillbert on Twitter by digging through the game's code two years after release, there was actually a code you could use, known as "PAPA", which, upon using it, gives all characters a Papa John's Uniform (most likely as a reference to the product placement of Papa John's in the 2016 film). Alongside with that, he also found some unused assets that would indicate that the game would originally have the code to give the Ghostbusters a Domino's Pizza Uniform.
  20. The point system is broken. It has limitations on the maximum amount of points you can get.
  21. The final boss is poorly programmed and can be beaten easily. You just shoot him from the corner behind him and he will never be able to hit you.
  22. At the time of its launch, the game sold for full price, which in the United States was $50. On top of this it had $4 DLC for "Original Ghostbusters" outfit (however the only thing it changes is taking off a colorful stripe from the basic outfit).

Reception

The PS4 version has a Metacritic score of 30 based on 22 reviews and a 1.4/10 from users, with the most negative scores being a 3 out of 10 from GameSpot and 2 out of 10 from both Polygon and Metro GameCentral, among others. The Xbox One version has 32/100 from 10 critics and a 3.8/10 from users. It's the fifth game that Angry Joe gave a 1/10 score (After Star Trek Trexels Review, and later in his Top 10 Worst Games of 2016 he ranked it as number one.

Three days after the game was released, FireForge Games filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, citing debts of $12 million.

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