Australia, December 4, 2007 - IGN AU recently made the trip out to Texas to visit Terminal Reality, the development studio working on Ghostbusters for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Thankfully for Wii owners, the Red Fly Studios guys – the team working on the Wii and PS2 versions of the game – also made the trip, and we were able to corner them for a look at the Wii Ghostbusters game.
We weren't shown a great deal, but we can tell you that the game is set in 1991, two years after the events of Ghostbusters II. The player joins the team as a new recruit, to fight alongside the classic Ghostbusters characters as a new foe rises and threatens to wipe New York from the face of the Earth. While the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will be very much focused primarily on the single player game, the Wii version will be the other way around, with the main emphasis on multiplayer. As a result, the single player campaign will follow the same basic events as the other versions, but will deliver it in a "softer" way. In other words, there'll be less story and less dialogue. Like it or not Wii owners - Ghostbusters on Wii is being designed to skew younger than its brethren, so don't expect the adult themes from the films to make it through.
Is there anything sexier than a grey jumpsuit?
Still, that doesn't mean the game won't be fun - you are, after all, strapping on a Proton Pack and joining the Ghostbusters, which is cool in and of itself, and even at this very early stage (the team's only a few months in) there's quite a lot to like about Ghostbusters. We really liked the visual style of the game, for instance, as it utilises a heavily stylised and cartoony look which is really quite charming. The characters in particular look great, with nice shadowing on the models, while firing up a Proton beam looks every bit as cool as you'd expect; glowing with red and orange energy, electricity sparking and pulses moving down it. We're also pleased to report that – unlike the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 game – you'll be able to play through the entire campaign mode in splitscreen co-op with up to four players!
The short segment of the single player game we saw was set in a graveyard with the city on the horizon. Two of the other Ghostbusters were off amongst the tombstones doing their own thing while the player moved along a narrow path, hemmed in by spiked fences. After taking out a ghoul or two, the player – now joined by the other Ghostbusters – finds himself facing off against a Grave Golem boss: a lumbering beast with a skull face and nasty spikes protruding from its back, in a circular area with mounds of dirt around its rim. The gameplay was pretty simple – pummel the boss with a Proton blast when it popped up from a grave, then finally pursue it down the path when you'd done enough damage. Blast it enough and the Grave Gollum is dust.
Only a short glimpse then, but this game is really all about multiplayer anyway, and that side of things is looking promising, with a whole heap of modes and variations on modes. You'll be able to play competitive multiplayer, for instance, where every player is a Ghostbuster and must trap more ghosts than the other players. Mechanics in this mode are pretty straightforward – point and shoot with the Wiimote to stun the ghost, then wrangle it with a capture beam by building up tension then whipping the controller to throw it. Throw a trap out with the Nunchuck and pull up on the Wiimote to bring the ghost closer to you and hopefully ensnare it. At the end of each round, the winning Ghostbuster gets a stat boost.
Contrary to popular belief, the Grave Gollum is actually pretty cheerful.
Better still, however, is the multiplayer adversarial mode where players can play as both Ghostbusters and ghosts! This is the ultimate game of cat and mouse, with both sides having unique abilities. Ghosts can fly obviously, and move very fast, which makes it harder for the Ghostbusters to track them. There are also doorways and trapdoors that only ghosts can see and use. Not only is this useful for evasion, but they're also great for trying to get the jump on a GB. Just hide in the trapdoor beneath the floor, for instance, and when a Ghostbuster walks past, fly up and slime him.
While we only saw Slimer in our demo, there will be a variety of ghosts to choose from, selected from a number of broad types, including Elemental, Demon and Spirit. Presumably they'll all play differently. The Ghostbusters on offer will have unique attributes too – Ray can see ghosts through walls for instance, while Egon has more versatility with gadgets.
Other modes the team talked about included Domination, where busters are fighting for control of artefacts in the level – there'll probably be five artefacts for four players so the balance of power will constantly be shifting, Teamplay – two busters versus two busters, with the team that busts the most ghosts the winner, and a mode where the Ghostbuster that does the most environmental damage wins. We like the sound of that one. It's still early days obviously, but the guys have built modular level design tools, so putting together multiplayer levels are a breeze. You can expect there to be plenty on offer in the final game.
A classic scene that will be recreated in-game.
Ghostbusters will also feature a number of mini-games. No surprise there. The guys mentioned a competition to throw the trap out, shuffleboard and a spooky variant on hungry hungry hippo, but no real details were given.
As you can tell, the game really is very early in development, so it's a little too early to say whether it's going to be good or not. We'll have an interview with Red Fly going up on the site in the next week or so though, which should shed a whole lot more light on the game. Watch this space.
once again a wii game gets paired up with a ps2 game. i hope its good.