Bustin’ Makes Activision Feel Good: Ghostbusters Is Out

I saw that there new Ghostbusters last night. It’s a fun-enough summer blockbuster, innit? I liked the bits with the ghosts and any time Kate McKinnon’s character did anything. And just as an old series is back, an old practice is too: the movie tie-in game.

Activision today released Ghostbusters [Steam page], a shooty third-person action-RPG with a story that’s set after the new film but stars even more new ‘Busters. No Holtzman? Pfff. Anyway, tie-in games are rarely worth mentioning but I’m fascinated because it feels like it’s been so long since movie games were ubiquitous, doesn’t it?

I can remember when tie-in games were everywhere. Every movie got a video game in the nineties and noughties. Seven games. One unique game for each platform, all of them awful. It’s telling that most of our favourite movie games are based on the worlds of movies rather than trying to adapt them directly. Evidently licensed games for profitable enough to keep making them for a long time, but they’ve definitely ebbed.

Electronic Arts bailed on movie games by the tensies, saying that they were better off spending time and money on brand new games based on their own ideas. Activision, one of the other main culprits, slowed their pace a little too – though they have kept a steady flow of licensed games coming all along. And I suppose EA are still going hog-wild with Star Wars. And now here’s this.

Made by FireForge Games, the game simply named Ghostbusters is supposedly based on the film Ghostbusters – itself a reboot of Ghostbusters – but it might as well be unrelated given that the Ghostbusters of Ghostbusters are replaced by a lineup of new Ghostbusters because the Ghostbusters Ghostbusters are busy busting ghosts elsewhere. It’s a third-person action-RPG with local co-op for two to four players, sending amateur Ghostbusters to bust ghosts around a cartoony New York City.

Ghostbusters is £31.99/39,99€/$49.99 on Steam. Yeah, I know, but who knows what fans will pay for? Fans are weird.

If you want to bust ghosts with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson, heck, they’re all in Ghostbusters: The Videogame and that’s only £6.99/9,99€/$9.99 on Steam these days. Alec liked the gags and palling around so it’s a shame the actual ghostbusting wasn’t up to much.

Anywho! Here’s the launch trailer for this here new Ghostbusters game:

Sorry, I can’t find a good place to drop this link in so I’ll just leave it here, okay? Talk to you later, bye.


  1. metaly says:

    “I really hope this is ‘Bustin'”

    [clicks link]

    [nods in satisfaction]

  2. Urthman says:

    Shovelware movie tie-ins are pretty much all on mobile now. And good riddance.

  3. Carlos Danger says:

    Just saw an article where the toys for the movie are in the clearance bin, not good considering movie is not even out yet.

    • Jalan says:

      Early reviews for the film are positive, with (much to the surprise of the vocal opposition) favorable consideration going toward the cast while the more (mildly) critical nitpicks were toward Feig’s direction.

      Doesn’t really matter either way, since the sequel it spawns will suffer along the same lines that the sequel to the original film did (despite studio execs thinking they can or could at the time spawn a successful film franchise out of them), with the only difference being it won’t take 5+ years to slide out of Hollywood’s bowels and have an excuse to use the “but we’re so old who would expect us to still be doing this?” shtick.

      • Baines says:

        Don’t read too much into what the “vocal opposition” might have thought, since the opposition was misrepresented from the start as a PR move. From the initial mods that deleted any negative comments that *weren’t* sexist (while leaving the sexist ones), through the pillorying of AVGN for simply saying he wasn’t going to watch the film because he had decided to stop giving Hollywood money for films he thought were going to be bad, through the constant baiting and insults by the director and McCarthy, all the way to bring the presidential election into it (with the director saying that people who were negative about the film were Trump supporters, while the female cast were connected to Hillary Clinton on Ellen.)

        I’d guess that the vast majority of the actual detractors would have little issue with the film turning out to be decent.

        • Jalan says:

          One thing I did notice was that now that the reviews have come in, the studio execs are attempting to jump off the negativity marketing train for the film as if it was never a thing from the start.

          Another bit that came out of all this (whether it was drummed up to be something bigger than it actually was or not) is people attempting to make the core cast bulletproof to criticism by outright stating that anyone who comments on their acting is merely doing so because they’re “sexist”/”a raging misogynist”/etc. regardless of whether they do so in a respectful manner.

          • Someoldguy says:

            Yeah it’s been a classic case of adding everyone with anyone negative to say into the same group and attaching the most negative labels to it. I have no plans to see the movie because none of the clips that were clearly intended to be humorous felt the slightest bit funny to me.

      • P.Funk says:

        My feeling is that some of the reviewers are tactically avoiding being too negative or maybe just are doing it unconsciously. Every review begins by juxtaposing the reviewer’s take versus the expectation, usually in a manner that dismisses it. It then claims things are somewhat funny (what that is these days must be a low bar) and then kind of shrugs off minor issues like a serious lack of any character development or dialogue (which would make any Ghostbusters fan blink a few times).

        What baffles me is how tone deaf the reviews can be about some things. Basically reviewers say ‘oh don’t pay attention to this Silly Joss Whedon vs. Mopey Rant Army* thing’ and then proceeds, when describing the characters, to refer to the black actress as her character being ‘the black one’. This would be the character who is a bus driver surrounded by educated professionals.

        Then again why am I saying this? Movie reviewers are full of shit, even the good ones. Roger Ebert spent years retconning his reviews of great films he panned.

        *I remember RPS auto deletes comments using the acronyms of our time so I’m covering my ass on this

  4. ulix says:

    40€ for a game like this, even if it may be good?

    Who the fuck shat in some Activision exec’s brain?

    • AngoraFish says:

      Like the DVD, this game will be in the $5 bin within 6 months. This kind of pricing is really just for the fanboys and girls.

    • April March says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a CoD game since the first Modern Warfare go on sale for less than 50%, and even those are mighty rare. So I don’t know what they’re thinking, really.

  5. Spuzzell says:

    I’ve never managed to stand more than half an hour of any film with Melissa McCarthy in.

    The one recently with Jude Law. Good God.

    So I don’t want to see this, because I want to still love Ghostbusters.

    • Jalan says:

      While I didn’t really care for Spy overall, I did find myself enjoying it more than the other espionage comedy turd that was Kingsman: The Secret Service.

      • Spuzzell says:

        You cannot be serious.

        Except if you thought that Spy was in any way better than Kingsman you REALLY cannot have a sense of humour, so I suppose you must be serious.

        • Jalan says:

          Kingsman: The Secret Service was terrible. It had plenty of great actors in it (and if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be worth the time wasted watching it at all) but everything else about it was garbage.

          It was also the worst kind of espionage/spy comedy (and yes, I do consider Spy to be better in comparison, but like I said, I didn’t and still don’t particularly care for Spy either so take that for what it is).

          • Spuzzell says:

            Since you seem to prefer 90 minutes of “fucks” and cliche ridden 1970s sexism over wit and nuance, I feel we’re unlikely to agree on this.

      • Cederic says:

        That church scene in Kingsman will live on in cinema immortality.

        The film has plenty of weak points, but its highs are at the very top end.

        • Jakob91 says:

          That “church scene” was disgusting and only in our period of time such provocative bloodbath in a church could be seen as acceptable by the hypocritical majority. There is no way the same scene could have happened in a mosque or a synagogue and no one can deny it. It would have been seen as islamophobic or antisemitic but a church.. sure why not, they can’t fire back. I’m atheist and I wanted to vomit at this gratuitous, empty scene. That was pure garbage. Stylish for sure, but still garbage.

          • Spuzzell says:

            Hello strawman, nice to see you.

            I’m a practicing Christian, and you’re talking out of your arse.

            The only people who might take offence at a church full of racists being mind-controlled against their will in a fictional film are other racists who don’t like the parallel.

      • Deviija says:

        Definitely agree. I got nothing out of the pile that was Kingsman, but even if I didn’t like every single beat in Spy, I enjoyed it far more and thought it better as a spy (and entertaining) flick in general.

  6. anHorse says:

    Last crappy movie tie in I can remember was the star trek game which was supposedly beyond awful

  7. PsychoWedge says:

    Ghostbusters The Vidoegame is a proper Ghostbusters 3. Sure, the gameplay is clunky and the levels are hit and miss, but the voice acting and all the characters are there (they even got Max van Sydow to do a couple of lines for Vigo), the details and little nods are there, the locations are there and it last but certainly not least it manages to pick up most (if not all) of the story threads and to connect them with each other. It actually explains what Ivo Shandor, Goza and the river of slime have to do with each other. Really, really great.

    If you like Ghostbusters and can get over the gameplay bits is a great 10-15h romp through your childhood. Back when it was released I read all the abysmal reviews and I was rather disappointed. Then I picked it up for like 2.50 in a steam sale and after I finished it I thought to myself that I would’ve gladly payed more for it. And THAT doesn’t happen often… xD

    • Buggery says:

      As a general note, buy the game, then play it in the easiest game mode. It’s a decent slice of Ghostbusters action tied up with a slightly tedious gameplay model.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I too passed on the game based on criticism around release time. Bought it for 8USD a year or two later and was left wondering what the hell people were dogging it for. The gameplay was a little clunky but the game kept along at a decent enough pace. They introduced new gadgets at a steady enough pace to keep the game from getting stale imo. The story and graphics were top notch as well. Very solid game that shoulda got more praise.

  8. MrThingy says:

    [cue Abe Simpson monologue]
    I remember the days when all the movie game licences were bought up by OCEAN, and by and large the games were all dreadful. Except Robocop III, which ironically far surpassed the film. You could buy CodeMasters games for 4.99. They were generally terrible too, but you got more for your money. Mars bars used to be larger back then as well. Of course music generally went downhill after the 90s and…

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      phuzz says:

      Even as a kid I couldn’t understand why companies kept putting out games based on films, when they were always rubbish!
      Generally they looked like they were some generic platformer or 2d driving game, with hastily drawn sprites of one or two things you might recognise from the film crowbarred in.
      Some of them were clearly made without anything more than a few publicity photos from the film, and possibly a synopsis of the plot, but one that had been translated into Swedish and back. Several times.

      Mind you, I suppose we could almost claim that Dune 2 was a movie tie in (the first Dune game was more weird than bad), and that pretty much invented the RTS, so, not all bad.

    • P.Funk says:

      Which was the style at the time!

  9. Gratis says:

    Never thought I would see Thomas Gottschalk on RPS…

  10. Someoldguy says:

    Reasonably decent tie-in games are still going strong, it’s just that these days they mostly have LEGO in the title.

  11. Syrion says:

    Just leaving this here: link to youtube.com

  12. April March says:

    I’m not playing it unless it has the characters from the ‘gritty’ animated series from the 90’s. I don’t remember what it was called. The New Ghostbusters? The Realest Ghostbusters?

  13. Einsammler says:

    Is this related to “Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime” from 2011?