A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is a third-person action adventure game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. The game's a remake of the original 2009 release and continues the story of the Ghostbusters team after the events of the Ghostbusters II film. As a new member of the team, players will face down a variety of different ghosts using the gadgets at their disposal. The action's constant, but the violence is relatively tame, mainly consisting of flashy effects like proton packs firing and dragging ghosting into traps. There's some very mild language in the dialogue, and a small number of the female ghosts are presented in a suggestive manner.
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What's it about?
If there's something strange in your virtual neighborhood, who you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEO GAME REMASTERED, that's who. This is a remake of the 2009 classic game, which told a brand-new, original chapter in the adventures of everyone's favorite paranormal exterminators. Set two years after the events of the Ghostbusters II film, players are dropped into the role of a rookie new recruit to the Ghostbusters' ranks, brought on board to help the team deal with a recent spike in supernatural activity. It seems that, while the Ghostbusters managed to defeat Gozer the Gozarian, you just can't keep an evil god down. The spirits of a group of worshippers known as The Cult of Gozer have returned to resurrect their leader once again and permanently merge the world of the living with the Ghost World, effectively wiping out all of humanity. Realizing that although a rise in New York's spirit population might keep the Ghostbusters busy, the lack of any living (and paying) customers might adversely affect their bottom line, the team jumps into action once again to save the day. But could there be more going on with this latest spiritual scheme than the team knows? And is there a greater threat than Gozer lurking in the shadows of New York's past?
Is it any good?
Many times, games based on movies feel rushed and don't quite capture the magic and appeal of their source material. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered, though, is that rare gem of a game that doesn't just pay homage to the franchise, but also expands on it in exciting ways. The game brings together the original cast, including the late Harold Ramis, in a new story that could just as easily serve as a big screen Ghostbusters sequel. The plot manages to be welcoming to newcomers to the series while also offering up plenty of service to longtime fans. Best of all, it does so by pulling the player into the Ghostbusters universe, offering them the change to be a part of the team.
Gameplay in Ghostbusters has a great mix of action and story development. There are moments of rising tension where you're looking for clues to what's causing the ectoplasmic emergency and you just know all heck is about to break loose, but you can't risk going in proton packs blazing. These moments aren't boring at all, and they also make it more exciting when the action kicks back into high gear. And though the original game came out a decade ago, the material still holds up today, thanks in no small part to some high-def polish on the remastered presentation. Unfortunately, one casualty of the remaster that didn't manage to escape the gaming graveyard is the co-op play that was part of the original release. While its presence is sure to be missed by fans of the classic version, the truth is, if you're new to the game and didn't know it was there before, it's nothing you're going to miss this time around. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is still a strong single-player experience. And just like the movie's theme song suggests, bustin' makes you feel good.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about remakes and reboots. What's the appeal of recreating or rebooting certain popular games, films, etc.? How far does nostalgia take it and how much need to be fresh and original?
What are some ways that games have been used to adapt or to even expand on stories first developed in film or television?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Mad Dog Games, LLC.
- Release date: October 4, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: October 23, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.