Skip to content

Ghostbusters Day#5 – A Minor Quibble, but the Game Stays Solid

Ghostbusters continues to be okay. I’m past the halfway point now, and am happy to report that the game has found its groove in getting the combat difficulty right and keeping the narrative solid enough to not make me cringe. Overall, I’m happy to keep playing.  Spoilers within.

Before I start on my session this time, I should mention something stupid that happens every time  I start the game. As with any XBox game, the game asks me where I want to save. I choose a save spot, as usual. Then there’s this weird pop-up telling me that I’m going to save over my previous data and do  I want to a) select another device (to prevent overwriting) or b) continue (and overwrite). It’s a frighteningly worded choice, especially since if I want to play my saved game, I have to pick the “continue and overwrite” option. It is exactly this kind of sloppy design that pisses me off. Didn’t someone look at what happens at the beginning of the game?

Okay, it’s a minor point. Let me get on to the better stuff.

I have either gotten much better at combat, or the combat has gotten much easier. I play through a sequence where I’m running down hallways blasting statue ghosts with my statis blast, then there’s a long civil war ghost fight, more tunnels/statues, and then to the boss fight against an evil Chairman ghost. Up until the boss fight, the fights are fun and well-balanced. I don’t see one Mission Fail the whole time! This is what the difficulty level should have been from the beginning. I’m working to beat the ghosts, but it feels totally fair.

The narrative takes a weird turn about mid-way though this part. We catch up with the Chairman ghost in the museum. So we bust him right? Sort of. I get ready to blast, and then the game switches into a cutscene. A cutscene in which WE SLIME AND BLAST THE GHOST. Umm…haven’t I done those things myself IN EVERY OTHER FIGHT IN THE GAME?!? The ghost gets away, and then we have to chase it again, but come on? Whoever made these narrative decisions had no logic to what they were doing. Over and over again, I get control pointlessly and lose it when I want choice. Here’s the simple lesson: Give me agency when the agency is interesting; make a cutscene when the agency would not be.

The boss fight itself is okay, but it takes forever. The Chairman appear for a few moments for you to blast away at, and then it disappears and you have to fight off increasing larger numbers of minions. It gets old after the first few minutes. You’re also given a new weapon, a Meson Blast, which has the weakest visual effect of anything I’ve seen in this game. I barely register that I hit the Chairman, and it’s supposed to be a powerful weapon. Feedback is the fatal flaw of this game, for sure.

Finished upgrading all of my weapons, by the way. A little weird to have done that when I clearly still have a couple few levels to go. Also, got an achievement for that, which goes along with the game’s core achievement structure, splitting accomplishments between A) things that I automatically do to get through the story or accidentally through play and B) random stuff that has no relation to the game or interesting interactivity. Finding random civil war displays in a room before a battle? That’s not a compelling challenge.

Narrative has stayed strong. The core story that there are different landmarks in NY powering a summonning of Gozer is working to get me around, and has enough detail to be interesting to watch. There’s a bit of jumping around the way games do as they accelerate to the end, but the dialogue hovers between almost funny and only slightly flat, so for a game, that’s a win. Peck is still very flatly written, but it looks like he’s becoming more integrated into the plot — we’re now watching him because he’s suspicious.

So we beat the boss, save Ilyssa (that’s the mystery woman), and go back to HQ. Yet again, I stand around trying to figure out what to do. I actually am forced to check my quest display from the start menu, a display which was never explained during the tutorial. It’s another walk to a cutscene with no agency in between. Sigh.

Cut scene was a pretty good set up, so I stopped there. More next time.

Posted in Hardcore.

Tagged with .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.