Ghostbusters: development, gameplay, plot, and review

Ghostbusters: The Video Game is an action-adventure game released in 2009 for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii, and Xbox 360.

It’s a third-person shooter (TPS) based on the popular Ghostbuster franchise and published by Atari, Inc. and Sony Computer Entertainment.


The first team to work on this game was the Slovenian video game developer ZootFly in 2006, but they started the project before securing the rights from Sony, which forced them to abandon it.

However, ZootFly managed to finish an early version of the game, which they released on the internet. The videos of ZootFly’s work in progress would later help other developers to sell the concept to Sony.

It wasn’t until 2008, that Atari Inc. would pick up where other developers left to finish the game and release it in 2009. Right on time for the 25th anniversary of the first Ghostbusters film.


The game works like a TPS placing players in the role of an original character known as “the Rookie,” also called “Newbie” in the game.

Gamers control this new recruit’s movements as he explores each level’s environments seeking and hunting ghost downs, which players carry out by blasting these specters with the proton stream from the pack.

While some enemies explode after depleting their HP, players have to capture bigger ghosts in a Ghostbuster trap once their health is low enough.

The proton stream is the first weapon the player gets, but during the progress of the game, Egon upgrades the pack of the rookie with new capabilities such as the boson darts.

While none of the weapons available have ammo, but if overuse could lead to overheating the pack, which forces an automatic system shutdown. The pack displays the measure of heat so gamers can keep an eye on how close they are to overload.

The pack also displays the character’s HP condition as well as how much health any current target has left.

There’s also an item called the PKE meter which allows players to switch from the usual TPS point of view to a first-person perspective to track enemies, collectibles, and search or scan the environment.

When the player’s or an ally’s HP gets depleted, the character gets knocked down on the ground until a teammate comes to revive the fallen Ghostbuster.


It’s 1991, and the Ghostbuster team is doing pretty well since their battle with Vigo the Carpathian (the 2nd film’s antagonist), operating as an official ghost-catching force contracted by New York city.

A notable change to the Ghostbuster team is a new recruit (the player). While the rookie is putting on the proton pack, a mysterious psycho-kinetic pulse originating from the Museum of Natural History pulsates through the city.

The shockwave releases Slimer from its cage in Ghostbuster’s HQ, as the heroes are chasing the ghost chaos ensues in the city due to an old defeated enemy re-manifesting itself tearing apart New York seemingly searching for something.

Now, it’s up to the Ghostbusters and the rookie to figure out what caused the psycho-kinetic shockwave while battling the ghost running amok in Manhattan.


Gamers could see this game as a love letter to the fans of the Ghostbusters franchise everywhere. The game makes the player feel like an actual ghost eliminator

We can say a remarkable part of the charm of the game’s presentation is how many members of the original production returned to reprise their roles. The game had Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and more.

Some of these fine actors sound just like they did in their original films, others sound a little different because age changed their voice, and only a few feel somewhat uninteresting.

The game’s writing is often funny and amusing; it feels like something you could get from an actual Ghostbuster film. Every element of the narrative and the world-building feels like part of the source material or an actual evolution of the plot points.

The backgrounds are nice and lively filled with nice details; the lighting helps to enhance the mood when it changes from action-packed to light and comedic.

One of the elements that add more flavor and fun to this gaming experience is the ability to casually “bust” or “destroy” nearly everything players find in their surroundings with the proton stream.

The game’s many locations include both new areas as well as several places the Ghostbusters visited before in the films. Dedicated fans may find countless references to the movies, and some of the most obscure stuff from the Ghostbusters history.

The process of pushing a ghost into a trap as it struggles to escape can give players the feeling of being an actual Ghostbuster. The multiple weapons and abilities earned during the progress of the game add more variety and replay value.

The game features many different enemies, with the game bosses being are a bit difficult, and gamers may need to use environmental gimmicks to win some of these stages. Overall these battles are well-executed.

The combat feels great, collecting stuff is neat, and even the multiplayer mode is remarkably good in the Xbox 360 version. We highly recommend Ghostbusters: The Video Game.