Need For Speed: Undercover

September 22, 2009 by Colin Ward  
Filed under Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360

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Overview

Title: Need for Speed: Undercover

Release Date: Nov 18th 2008 (NA) Nov 20th 200 (AU) Nov 21st 200 (EU)

Developer/Publisher: EA Black Box & Firebrand Games (DS) / EA

Genre: Racing

Platform[s]: PC, Playstation 2/3, Playstation Portable, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS

Storyline

You star as a expert police driver, trying to infiltrate a gang of car smugglers, so your task is a simple one, go deep undercover using your skills on the road to convince them that you’re a street racer and gain their trust so you can gain information and stop the gang in their tracks. The action takes place in the 80 miles of road, highway and alley ways of the Tri-City Bay Area – a fictional city made for the game based on several American cities.

Your main tool to gain the gangs trust, is to take place in various street race events, wheel jobs and to avoid the police at all costs, since your fellow police officers will hunt you down as a common criminal, since you’re in so deep undercover.. Your only contact in the police is Chase Linh played by Maggie Q and she is one tough cookie.

So hit the open world and hit the highway at speeds close to and over 180 miles an hour, and bring that gang to its knees… featuring over 55 licensed cars, a brand new Heroic Driving engine, which for the first time puts your car under a new cutting edge physics driven control method, perform amazing driving actions at high speed, and battle improved AI and push yourself to the limit..

Start your engine, turn up the music, and hit the road..

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Gameplay

The game as a whole seems to be aimed at the more casual player, right from the get go, just after the title sequence starts to roll, your dumped behind the wheel of the starting car [you have no choice in the car or colour ] and let loose in the Tri-City Bay Area, a huge and expansive open world. Being the 12th game in the need for speed series, undercover really needed to deliver something fresh to the series, which is the new physics based driving, which sounds great on paper, but can be a little tricky to handle at excess speed, but the driving aspects are never less than fun.  The first chase in the game really gets the blood pumping, and is a great taster for the game to come.

Anyone who has played Most Wanted will be at home with the Police chases, however this time, they have supposedly better AI and also some more daring tactics to hunt you down, such as pike strips so your job of losing the police, who can start chasing you at any point, is made slightly harder – however the ‘Pursuit Breakers’ are also back, which are items on the map that if you collided with them in just the right way will force any pursuing police to stop and deal with the  problem, however other units will engage you until you can hide and wait out the alert status. Adding to the cars, are also helicopter units that also seem to have been upgraded, these now dart under bridges and are much harder to loose, so watch the skies as well as the road!.

The many races and events are littered across the large open world, but can only be accessed via the in game map or handy downward push on the d-pad, which instantly launches the next rate so unlike other open world racers, such as Burnout Paradise, you can’t drive around finding them – so this does seem a bit of a backwards step, and ultimately limit’s the amount of fun had exploring the world considering the whole open map approach.

Races and events range from simple point to point races, with plenty of time to show off to other gang members to full on highway battles with not only other cars to race, but road traffic and police – so there’s a nice mix of different events and styles of driving, some will require you to have pixel perfect driving so you will be happy to know that the ‘speed breaker’ – a quick button press will slow time down to a crawl for a limited period- returns and is as helpful as ever, for both making tricky turns and avoiding police road blocks and spike strips.

As you progress through the game, towards the ultimate goal of bring the gang down, you also ‘rank up’ and gain driver points which are tallied to your cars specs, at seemly random points, however as the game can be incredibly easy to handle, depending on the car used, you’re never in any real need of them. You will also be able to unlock upgrades and new cars, which will need to be brought, to use, but the performance tuning in the game, is very in depth – from simple paint jobs – to full body kits and transfers there’s enough to keep all but the hard core car tuners happy – with some really great looking cars being able to be made.

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Another handy show off feature, is photo mode – your able to take a ‘photo’ of the car in action at any point in the game, simply hit pause, select ‘photo mode’ and line you your shot – the simple controls can produce some interesting shots, which are in turn uploaded to the NFS website, for viewing and sharing with your friends – a small addition to the game, but one that will be well used by car fans, since the game contains over 55 unlock able fully licensed cars, ranging from the Mercedes CL55 to the Audi R8 – there’s sure to be something to suit both your style of driving and also your look.

Up to 8 players can complete online, in either Sprint – simple point to point races, circuit races or the much more exciting new Cops N’ Robbers mode, where two teams of four take turns being either the Cops or the Robbers. During this new mode, the Robbers have to collect money and drop it off at a certain point on the map, while the Cops pursuit and try to take them down at any cost. This game mode can be very heated with the teams fighting it down to the last, and is a great bonus and building on the single player campaign by giving you a chance to play the ‘good guys’

Graphics

As soon as the games starts your treated to full screen video that sets the scene nicely, with some great acting as well as some really bad acting later in the game, but as a whole – it provides just the right feel.

When you hit the roads however, you may be slightly disappointed by the lack of detail on the streets of the Tri-City Bay Area, there is a total lack of people and any sense of ‘life’ in this sprawling city, and traffic even on the highways is a little thin on the ground, and lacking detail close up. You may also notice on coming cars fade into view, which can be a little off putting at 180 miles an hour.

The sense of speed is good, with blur effects and wind streams when you hit the 100’s – however there are some problems with the frame rate at times, more often than not with a strange stutter that happens every so often, much like in Most Wanted – where you could be tearing down a road at a rate of noughts only to seem a split second pause in the action. There’s also some nasty pop up on buildings etc and installing the game to the Hard drive did not seem to make this issue disappear – but did help slightly in the loading times of events – and being about 4.8gb it’s a fairly small amount of space to loose.

The cars are all nicely detailed and deformable, which you will notice after a few minutes of driving on the highway – with trucks that seemingly like to pull into your lane at the last second, but unlike Burnout, the crashes seem a little tied to the ground, so no exploding cars to be seen here.

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Sound

Over all the sound is well mixed and very realistic, from the growls of the higher performance cars to the clunk of the gear changers – if you like your racing games loud and proud – this game is for you.

Music in the game is also very fitting, ranging from some quite slow tracks to pumping techno tracks that add to the sense of speed on the road – one thing you may miss is the ability to choose the EA Trax, since in this game – you have no choice over it.

Police CB chatter is also very clear and also well voice acted along with being extremely handy – since not only do you know when they are looking for you, but you can also hear just where and when they want to set up a road block or a spike strip, so keep a ear out for important messages coming over the air waves.

The whole sound track mixes in to an exciting experience one which should be played LOUD.

Overall Score & Replayability

Even if the game seems to be aimed at the more casual racer – from the handling of the cars down to the easy race starts, the game is still a worthwhile play. The only downsides to it are the few graphical issues, such as the frame rate, pop up and lack of street detail which if your not that fussy is not a major factor, since some the police chases are some of the best seen.

I say ‘some’ since some of the police chases especially later in the game, are very, very basic with the Police fully intent on ramming you off the road, and that’s what they will try and do, some of the later missions are really a test of your stamina to put up with the crashing and bashing, and looking out for the pursuit breakers – which sometimes are very fair and few between.

It’s a shame that there is not more to do in the open map, with races just appearing on the map and selectable by clicking on them, or pressing down on the d-pad, there’s no real need to explore the city, unlike Burnout paradise – which expected you to find events. Not to say you cannot have fun just driving around, since many a time the police will lock on to you, and a great five or six minute pursuit can ensue.

Another slight letdown is the Heroic Driving – when you are racing or being pursued there’s not really enough time to pull any fancy moves – so even though the game will reward you if you’re able, many people with just forget about it, and put their foot down.

If you can handle that lack of a real need to explore, and are looking for a fun racer, then Undercover is a good choice, however with the likes of Burnout paradise and Midnight Club  LA already released, it has some strong competition.

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Alone in the Dark

August 16, 2009 by Aaron Green  
Filed under Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2, Reviews, Xbox 360

Overview

Title: Alone in the Dark
Release Date: June 23, 2008 (US), June 20, 2008 (EU), July 3, 2009 (AU)
Developer/Publisher: Eden Games/Atari
Genre: Adventure/Survival Horror
Platform[s]: PC, Playstation 2, Wii, Xbox 360

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Storyline

The plot revolves around a massive conspiracy hidden within New York City’s Central Park.  The hero is a paranormal investigator called Edward Carnby.  Somehow, Carnby is linked to the events at Central Park however there’s a slight problem – he has amnesia.  So there we have it: uncover the mystery, unlock Edward’s memory while fighting through the usual horde of unhappy demons.  Alone in the Dark is a clichéd affair!   

Gameplay

So, the story isn’t exactly perfect.  Surely the gameplay redeems this?  Well, I’m sorry to say… it doesn’t really.  The fire mechanics work perfectly.  The way flames spread, the way you can manipulate them and their puzzle uses are sheer genius.  Perhaps even the best use of such in a videogame to date.  Also AitD features a number of great ideas; such as the DVD style ‘chapter skipping’, the episodic nature and the unique inventory system.  Chapter skipping is particularly useful when segments are too hard for amateur gamers or too glitchy to progress.  Rather than levels the game is split into episodes (much like on TV), if the player uses the chapter skip then the previous episodes are recapped in the fashion of Lost or 24.  The inventory is presented in the form of Edward’s very limited jacket pockets– which is done to add tension.  Other than the above, the game is a decent survival horror haunted by a number of issues; the combo system (item creation) is difficult due to limited item storage and the fact that certain items must be selected in a particular order, only being able to defeat enemies via fire soon gets tedious, physics are flawed, object collision doesn’t always work, the driving sections are awful and the controls are often unresponsive and awkward.

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Graphics

Alone in the Dark uses light and darkness brilliantly, as does it use fire.  Character models are fine with the exception of unrealistic hair.  Where AitD stands out is with its special effects, where it fails is in the form of its driving sections and numerous graphical glitches.

Sound

We really can’t fault the musical score or the special sound effects.  Everything feels…  epic and in fact is one of the stronger elements of the game.

Overall Score & Replayability

All-in-all Alone in the Dark is a disappointing title, it should have been so much more but saying that it can be enjoyable and is worth playing if only to witness its few unique elements.  We’d advise either picking it up cheap or renting if possible though.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Overview

Title: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Release Date: June 23rd 2009
Developer/Publisher: Luxoflux/Activision
Genre: Action/Adventure
Platform[s]: Games For Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2 & 3, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS (I am reviewing the Xbox 360 version of this game)

Storyline

Based on the movie of the same name, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen attempts to recreate Michael Bay’s blockbusting take on the classic kids franchise of yore and turn it into a sturdy third person next-gen action/adventurer. Running adjacent to the storyline of the film but avoiding any major spoilers, the game sees the Decepticons attempting to find and resurrect Megatron after his supposed demise in the first film, while the Autobots, sworn enemy of the Decepticons and all-round good guys, are tasked with protecting the inhabitants of planet Earth. In gaming terms this means you get to play through a series of skirmishes masquerading as epic battles in poorly designed cities, with the two factions dukeing it out in a giant robot battle royale.

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Gameplay

As exciting as a giant robot battle royale sounds, any thoughts of a wrestling game based on the classic franchise (now THAT’S an idea for a game) should be banished as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen barely ever lifts itself out of the third person action/adventure doldrums. You can choose to play a campaign as either the Autobots or Decepticons, and in some cases (in fact, nearly all of them) it’s far more satisfying to play as the bad guys because not only can you get away with smashing seven shades out of whatever identikit city you may be trouncing today without feeling too guilty about it, but the characters feel weightier and handle more as you’d expect a giant killer robot to.

The overall narrative remains the same throughout the game, but depending on which side you choose will affect the outcome of each skirmish, and ultimately the closing movie at the end of the game – but it is interesting to see both sides of the coin, and again, bashing seven shades out the Autobots is far more enjoyable.

Control of your chosen ‘bot is fairly simple, with the left and right sticks controlling movement and camera respectively, while the face buttons are assigned to jumping, attacking and pulling off your character’s special move. LT puts you in weapon mode and RT (while in weapon mode) fires. Unfortunately, the one area that Luxoflux has really let itself down on is the one area of the game (and indeed, the franchise) fans will be most disappointed in and that’s the Transformation mechanic. Pressing RT puts your character into it’s vehicular state, but in order to keep him there you have to hold RT down THE WHOLE TIME – meaning that while the Transformation animations look and sound the part (more on that later), you will never really feel like a robot in disguise, as invariably you will lose control of the vehicle (the pressure you apply to RT translates to the speed of the character), drive into something or get RSI. However you are able to pull off advanced attack manoeuvres whilst transforming back into a robot, so it is quite handy from an offensive point of view – but these special attacks only serve as a way to dispatch your enemies quicker than usual, as it really is impossible to employ any sort of tactics or strategy when tackling your foe.

Nine times out of ten, battles descend into frantic button bashing anyway - and the severe lack of moves can be frustrating, as you are completely limited to a three hit combo by repeatedly tapping the X button. Yes, you have your weapon systems but up close you rarely get time to target your opponent before he’s kicked you in the ass and run off laughing. In this respect, the enemy AI appears to be quite snappy – they do attempt to adapt to your position to get a clear shot on you, climbing buildings etc to get an advantage, but in some cases you are still able to stand just out of your enemies line of fire (just behind a wall or at the bottom of a building, for example) and defeat them with your weapons. Thankfully though, fights are usually so frantic that you don’t get many chances to employ this tactic.

Boss fights are equally disappointing and cumbersome, relying on the age old tactic of learning predictable attack patterns and nipping in quick to do a small amount of damage before retreating and waiting for your next opportunity and so on and so forth. Although (and here’s a radical idea) it is actually possible to never die as your bot’s energy is regenerative: once you’re in the red (so to speak) you simply transform back into a vehicle and scoot about a bit until your health returns. So essentially, if you get bored of the ten minute boss fights you can just steam in with all guns blazing until your health dwindles, nip off to heal and then return. It’s a very crude way to fight, but if you can’t be bothered to do it “properly” it serves as a healthy alternative.

The missions themselves mainly involve smashing seven shades out of your opponents, but from time to time you will be charged with protecting NPCs from the film (Megan Fox etc) or reactivating comms towers within a set time limit, but mainly it’s a whole heap of metallic butt kicking that never really seems to get off the ground, storywise. Fair play to Luxoflux for attempting to follow the film without giving too much away, but this only serves to make each mission feel completely disjointed from the next and on no discernible timeline.

Between missions you are returned back to your bot HQ, where your colleagues summarise the outcome and comment on your performance. This is quite satisfying as a Decepticon, because it’s absolutely impossible to get through a mission without causing massive damage to the environment and the little human vehicles trolling about during a fight, and as an interstellar badass it’s in your best interests to destroy everything in your path. As an Autobot, however, it can be quite soul destroying hearing Optimus Prime whine for the umpteenth time about causing more damage than you prevented.

Each mission is timed, and you earn Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals depending on how quickly you complete them. You can also upgrade your team by earning Energon (a bit like Galactic Credits) during a mission, and then spending them on maxing out your health or improving your melee strength (among other things) - although none of these improvements seem to make much difference.

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One of the most satisfying aspects of the game though, is the way you can unlock old G1 episodes of the original cartoon series once you hit certain targets within the game (use a particular character’s special power enough times etc), and there’s also a heap of easily achievable gamerpoints on offer during the opening stages of the game.

Graphics

Visually, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a bit of a mixed bag – the opening sequences of each new area you unlock and the cutscenes stay true to the films, and although they’re anything but lifelike it’s hard not to be impressed as they look gorgeous in HD.

In-game is an entirely different matter though, your enemies and the environments you fight in are thoroughly last-gen and we even encountered some pretty major slow down when things got a bit hectic on screen. Once you’re in control of a character though, you can see a lot of care has gone into recreating them faithfully and they do justice to the subject matter as well. The Transformation animations are particularly enjoyable and detailed, even down to Bumblebee’s doors appearing and then slamming down shut as he changes into the yellow Chimera from the films. Things explode when you collide with them, and it’s quite satisfying to watch your ‘bot slide down the side of a wall trying to catch hold to scale the side, causing damage to the building with their hands and feet as they do so.

One very confusing aspect of your controllable characters is that they appear to be larger than pretty much anyone else on screen. Your enemies (apart from the bosses) appear tiny next to them, and other vehicles just seem out of proportion next to your beastly motors. Maybe it’s the camera angle, an intentional feature (why?) or just a plain old oversight, but either way we found it really annoying.

Audio

Sound-wise, Revenge of the Fallen has a lot to offer – the musical score appears to be lifted straight from the film, mirroring the action quite well with fast paced backing tracks scurrying along underneath on screen battles and the like. The Transformation effects are pretty nice as well, at times sounding like the original cartoons and others like the new fangled films – all are satisfying and go some way to putting you into your favourite bot’s boots. The other, sundry effects (bangs, guns etc) fit in nicely as well. The voice acting is also pretty spot on, with Peter Cullen voicing Optimus Prime, and all the other Autobots and Decepticons sounding as they do in the films. At the time of writing we couldn’t tell you if Shia Labeouf or Megan Fox lent vocal duties to their respective characters but whoever did manages a pretty good impression of both and it adds to the “blockbuster” feel this game aims for but falls down on in so many other areas.

Overall Score & Replayability

Reading back through this review we’ve focused so much on the negative aspects of the game that we’ve forgotten to mention that if you can overlook these points (as we managed to do on several occasions) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a very enjoyable little game. Yes, it would benefit from revised controls, an improved combat system and more of a next-gen sheen, but with a second cinematic sequel practically a dead-cert these are factors that could be amended for Transformers 3 – providing Luxoflux are at the helm again, of course.

We’d suggest a weekend’s rental or a bargain bin purchase at best; as unfortunately there aren’t enough good points about the game to warrant the £44.99 price tag. Achievement junkies and Transformers fans will find a small amount of replay value in the main game in order to complete both campaigns, but only true completionists will continue to grind to unlock all the G1 cartoons.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Overview

Title: Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Release Date: June 19th (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and US Xbox 360), October 23rd (Other formats)
Developer/Publisher: Terminal Reality/Atari
Genre: Action
Platform[s]: Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS (Note: I am reviewing the Xbox 360 version)

The Ghostbusters are back! Despite a tumultuous start in life, Terminal Reality’s continuation of one of the most loved film franchises of all time hits the console market with a bit of a bang and more than a few raised “I told you so” eyebrows. Based a couple of years after the end of Ghostbusters 2, the GB’s have been happily bustin’ heads (in a spiritual sense) and causing massive amounts of damage to their beloved city, when a new exhibition celebrating the life of Gozer the Gozerian rolls into town. You play the part of a new fifth Ghostbuster…well, more of a Guinea Pig really…bought in to test drive any new technologies Egon has come up with (just in case they explode, for example) and to generally take a lot of ribbing from Venkman. During your first day, a massive psychic energy explosion kicks off at the museum, and it’s up to you and your four colleagues to get involved and find out what’s going on as a new batch of spooks, spectres and some old favourites cause mayhem throughout the city.
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Gameplay

Let’s get this out of the way to begin with – if this game didn’t have the Ghostbusters license, it would be a very lacklustre third person action/adventure title – other than the standard run and gun mechanic, there’s not much to it…no puzzles to solve and not much in the way of variation either. You simply steer your character around the rather linear levels, destroying minor ghouls, trapping others and carrying out less than epic end of level boss battles, either solo or with numerous other members of your team, before moving on and doing the whole lot all over again, but in a different location.

Thankfully though, this is a Ghostbusters game and Terminal Reality has crafted a beautifully faithful rendering of the films, and with full access to the source materials you would certainly hope so. Every square inch of this game screams Ghostbusters, and clearly a hell of a lot of love has been poured into it – from the word go you are made to feel like part of the team, as Ray walks you through the tutorial level, throwing out words of encouragement and pointing you in the right direction, before you join the rest of the team for some spook-bothering at The Sedgewick Hotel. Yes, several locations from the films have made it into the game and GB’s fans will have massive amounts of fun reliving their childhood dreams of stalking Slimer around the hotel, trying not to get slimed whilst the original cast voice the highly amusing radio banter.

So, let’s talk about the busting – your partical accelerator throws out beams to trap ghosts (and cause major environmental damage) with a squeeze of RT, while LT fires your secondary weapon. You use the beams to wear down your opponents, and once at their weakest point they will become stuck within your beam, giving you the opportunity to wrangle them into a trap. The spooks will undoubtedly struggle to break free, and some of the higher level enemies are real buggers to trap successfully – usually nipping out of the capture stream seconds before the trap closes. You can counter this by using the Slam Meter, a constantly recharging bar triggered by pushing the Left Stick in a direction and pressing LT – slamming the ghost into the nearest convenient piece of the environment, weakening him even more and making him easier to trap. It all sounds like an arduous process, but once you get your first few spectres under your belt it’s a highly rewarding experience, and one that sets you firmly into the boots of your on-screen familiar.

As you progress through the game, new weapons become available and are accessed by pressing the different directions on the D-Pad, which triggers a slight change in your proton pack’s appearance, indicating which weapon is currently selected. Your pack also tells you how much energy you have, and how long you have before your current weapon overheats, meaning that there’s no on-screen HUD to clutter things up.

Other equipment comes in the form of your PKE (Psycho Kinetic Energy, to the unitiated) Meter, whipped out with a press of the Y button and used for hunting down your foes and objects of interest, as your character puts on a pair of night vision-esque goggles. Not only does this give your vision a green tinge, but it also helps you to see ectoplasmic residue (slime) and generally guides you in the right direction, should you get too lost. This adds an interesting twist to how the levels progress (you have to find your next major spook as opposed to them being thrust at you), and makes you feel even more like a Ghostbuster.

As previously stated, the game is a faithful recreation of the films with several high profile bad guys making a (re)appearance, including an outstanding level long battle with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, which (for Ghostbusters fans) is surely worth the entry fee alone. We really cannot stress enough just how much detail has gone into the title, and we dare you to not have a shiver of excitement when the familiar sirens of Ecto-1 blaze into life during the opening cut scene, or when wrangling a particularly tricky foe with Spengler, Stantz, Venkman and Zeddemore battling alongside you, trading insults and friendly banter with each other.

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Multiplayer is also lovingly crafted, despite the more common modes feeling like an afterthought in places – as you control one of the four original Ghostbusters in a series of “jobs” around the city, some of which range from the standard “Survival” (read, Horde) mode to “Slime Dunk” mode, where you try and Dunk the most Slimers within a set time limit. Of particular interest is the online campaign mode, where you can earn cash to upgrade your equipment as you play. It certainly adds a dynamic edge to an otherwise stale section of most other Triple-A titles out there.

Graphics

Ghostbusters is a very good looking game, and it remains faithful to the films magnificently – the battle with Stay Puft is one of the graphical highlights and the sheer scale of the big sailin’ fella is represented perfectly. The proton beams also look exactly as they do in the films, and the dynamic lighting effects they cause on the environment is something special too. The proton packs have all the right fixtures and fittings, and the way different sections of them pop out when you change weapon is well done – die-hard fans may find this a turn-off, but from a gaming perspective it’s ace.

Other than a dodgy knock-down animation, where your character resembles a rag doll, at no point will you ever think that you are in less than a true representation of the franchise. Ghosts take on an ethereal, oddly coloured transparent hue and look otherworldly – while the destruction you can cause to the environment is particularly satisfying. Everything can be damaged in some way: walls can be scorched with proton beams, windows can be smashed and furniture dismantled. The CGI cut scenes are excellent, and despite some dodgy lip-synching the characters are virtually spot-on, looking like their real-life counterparts, even down to their facial expressions.
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Audio

No less important than the visual side of proceedings to such a well-loved franchise is the sound, voice-acting and scripting and again, Terminal Reality has really benefitted from having full access to all source materials, and sonically Ghostbusters ticks every single box. From the incidental score through to the main theme, all the music and sound effects we’ve come to know and love are present – we deny anyone to not squeal with joy at hearing the sound of the proton packs being switched on, and (despite the disappointing absence of both Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis) the original cast voice their likenesses with the same gusto and aplomb as before, adding again to the level of immersion and feeling of being in the films.

The all new script was penned by Harold Ramis and Dan Ackroyd, and it’s every bit as smart, snappy and downright hilarious as you’ve come to expect…very rarely have we laughed out loud so often at a game recently, and that’s at the in-game banter as well as during the cutscenes.

Overall Score & Replayability

In this world of open world RPG’s like Fallout 3 and Fable 2, it’s difficult to understand why Terminal Reality went for such a linear, restrictive layout for Ghostbusters: The Video Game. It has some very strong and original elements to it (helped no end by the license it holds), but the game suffers overall as a result of its lack of scope. We can’t help but imagine a free-roaming New York City where you can freely jump into Ecto-1, side-questing from job to job and indulging in some major ghost busting inbetween, upgrading your characters and equipment as you go. On the other side of the coin what we do have is an extremely enjoyable romp down memory lane, faithful to the subject matter and one of the best film tie-ins we’ve had to endure recently. Unfortunately any replay value tails off once all the achievements have been gained, and only the die-hard Ghostbusters fan will want to return to it time and again. Anyone who ever dreamed of being a Ghostbuster will find themselves satisfied, though – if only for a very short period of time.