by Marcus Mulkins
previewed on PC
Who ya gonna call? That really IS the question
I remember seeing Ghosterbusters and Ghostbusters 2 when they first appeared on the Big Screen. Even though Two wasn’t quite as much fun as One – much of the newness had worn off – I seriously enjoying both. Now, quite a few years later, here comes Ghostbusters: The Video Game – and it’s not what I would want in a Ghostbusters game. I’m sure that people who enjoy first- and third-person shooters will be just thrilled with it though.
If it ever appears, that is.
Sierra Entertainment has had the game in development for a couple of years now. For NDS, PS2, and Wii, they have been using Red Fly studios to work up the graphics. For PS3, X360, and the PC it has been Terminal Reality. Things were looking good for an October 31st (Halloween, how appropriate) release. But then the Activision/Blizzard merger happened and the new entity re-evaluated the combined queue of games to be released. At that point, Ghostbusters was cut from the line-up. However, Vivendi was quick to announce that the game was not, and would not be cancelled. Nonetheless, Gamestop, which had been taking reservations for the game, contacted their customers and offered refunds or credit towards alternative purchases.
It is now unclear as to when and by whom the game will be published. Activision is still operating the official game site, and advertising a release date of October 31st. It almost seems that the puppeteer behind all this shuffling is Sony Pictures, the owners of the movie rights and all things Ghostbusters. It appears as though there is a plan afoot to release the game in 2009, on the 25th anniversary of the first movie’s original release.
The situation gets even more involved when you learn that Harold Ramis has been working on a third movie, tentatively entitled ‘Ghostbusters in Hell’ and adding Ben Stiller to the cast. The conjunction of the 25th anniversary, plus the launch of a third movie seems to be too much of a marketing Golden Moment for Sony to muddy the waters with the release of a game that Dan Aykroyd has described as “essentially Ghostbusters III”. Though the game does not follow the movie script of ‘Ghostbusters in Hell’, it does use some undisclosed elements of the script. Releasing the game far in advance of the movie would undoubtedly weaken the appearance of those elements when the movie finally shows up. I can see how Sony wouldn’t be too keen about that.
Is it deja vu if we add something new?
The game’s storyline is being written by Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz) and Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler), the writers of the original films. They, along with Bill Murray (Peter Venkman) and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), will also lend their voices and likenesses to the game. Several supporting cast members, such as William Atherton (Walter Peck, the guy from the EPA), Brian Doyle-Murray (as the new mayor of New York) and Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz, the GB receptionist) have also signed on; however, Rick Moranis (Louis Tully, the CPA-turned-Ghostbuster in the second movie) declined to be a part of the game, explaining his reluctance to work after the death of his wife and being a single parent. Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett) also declined to be a part of the game. [After all her success in the Alien movies, doing voice-acting for a game is probably way below her star status dignity.]