(originally published by ForAllNerds.com- All new edits)
Now that Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered and Ghostbusters Spirit Unleashed are here, the Ghostbusters franchise needs a real updated approach to gaming. Since we know that there is a Ghost Corps outfit dedicated to expanding the Ghostbusters brand, there should be a renewed focus on using the license in video games as well.
As it stands, Saber Interactive has the license to do this as they are the ones that remastered the 2009 game. With the remastered game out, here are a few ideas and concepts that should be considered to do justice with the Ghostbusters license.
Ghostbusters MagiQuest Styled Adventure
Magiquest is a live action RPG that has been featured in mini-arcade locations for a time. Now the experience is exclusively at Great Wolf Lodge locations. The appeal of this experience is that players use infrared wands on a scavenger hunt kind of adventure. Once the player ‘builds up’ their magic power, they can take on certain bosses. These bosses are at dedicated stations with TV screens and they interact with the players based upon the players’ acquired power.
These adventures are fun because building the power requires solving puzzles to determine where hidden money, runes, and characters are. Great MagiQuest locations even had a dedicated maze to traverse through that changed on occasion to keep the adventures fresh.
Ghostbusters as a franchise is one that could greatly benefit from amusement park style adventures similar to this. With the experience that was Ghostbusters World, an augmented reality game that has since come and gone, there should be an effort to combine the original MagiQuest idea with Ghostbusters World to create an all new live action RPG that places like Dave and Busters, GameWorks, and other amusement parks could use to attract fans.
Families would LOVE to capture ghosts with their kids in simple but fun and interactive ways at arcades and amusement parks.
Ghostbusters Shoot em Up Arcade
The first Ghostbusters game I remember was a top down shooter styled arcade game called The Real Ghostbusters. Released back in 1987, this was an easy way to use the license in order to get a game out to the masses. With an adventure game already on the market, returning to this genre could be an interesting way to get a good game on the market.
There have been many top down shoot em up games that have very deep and interesting mechanics. Diablo’s loot mechanic as well as its various ‘levels’ or ‘dungeons’ could be an interesting concept to utilize in this genre. Since Ghostbusters typically end up going to other dimensions to chase after certain ghosts, you could easily set up a Diablo clone that would provide a similar experience.
Outside of the Diablo clone experience, there are other shoot em ups like Smash TV, Enter The Gungeon, and others that could morph the game into a roguelike and more.
Ghostbusters Strategy Sim
So this idea may be a bit of a reach but bear with me. Strategy games often require you to build up resources, upgrade buildings and equipment, create and customize vehicles, recruit various forces to take on enemies, and so on. Ghost Corps is looking to develop a deep and lore filled universe that incorporates multiple movies and storylines, right? Using a strategy game to show how expansive their universe can or will become could be a unique storytelling tool.
The game could put you in the shoes of a futuristic version of the Ghostbusters secretary named Janine Melnitz. The goal would be to plan out and lead various Ghostbusters teams to victory against Gozer and/or some other supernatural force. You could build up research points to lead up to new technologies. You could outfit vehicles with some of the new tech to give bonuses to Ghostbusters. There could be various types of traps and proton packs needed for different level ghosts and monsters.
In a sense, this style game could be the lore engorged offering for hardcore fans. As you play the game you could learn more about the fictional tech, Tobin’s Spirit Guide, and the different kinds of foes that the Ghost Corps could be planning to unveil in upcoming movies.
Ghostbusters TellTale Adventure
With TellTale Games being revived, now is the best time to jump into this beloved genre of video game storytelling. While the 2016 Ghostbusters movie wasn’t received too well universally, there were flashes of greatness in the performances. Since Ghost Corps wants a universe, this group of paranormal eliminators should not be completely scrapped. Their talents could again be utilized in a TellTale game for an all new adventure.
TellTale games did a wonderful job with the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead franchises and event had a good stint with Back to the Future. Ghostbusters as a franchise could easily fit into that framework as a good entry. Who knows? The right adventure might even spark up a bit of interest in the ladies having a sequel of some sorts. Netflix movie anyone?
Ghostbusters on Nintendo Switch Gyro Motion Controls
One of the big differences back in 2009 between the Wii version of the game and the other consoles was motion controls. A slight waggle or tilt of the controller added a bit more depth to the control scheme of the Wii game than its console counterparts. Since the Nintendo Switch has gyro motion controls in its JoyCon controllers, this concept could be utilized as well in a new game. While you technically couldn’t do an augmented reality game (since the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a traditional camera), you could still have some fun mini games or control schemes in a new Ghostbusters adventure game.
While we already have a somewhat third person adventure game for the Ghost Corps, the GTA engine seems ripe for the ‘modding’. With various vehicles, a multiplayer mode, and the ability to buy all kinds of weapons and gadgets, figuring out a way to mod adventures into GTA seems like a homerun.
The advantage of doing a DLC or official mod with Rockstar Games is that there already is a framework for a game. Inserting ghosts, ghouls, demons, and such into the cities that GTA already has seems like a great diversion from the criminal activity that the game has. If not, then it would only seem prudent to just do a joint venture with Rockstar Games and create standalone game with Ghostbusters content pasted all over the maps and scenery they already have. No need to reinvent the wheel from that standpoint!
The true reasoning for doing this could be a great testing ground for developing a good online multiplayer game for Ghostbusters. By shoehorning the content into GTA, various things could be tested out. Challenges could be developed and various ways to catch ghosts using vehicles and so forth could be done as well. Then the learnings could be used to determined which activities could be used in a full fledged Ghostsbusters style MMO!
Now this gaming idea is more of a pipe dream for a hardcore fan but stay with me! We know of the potential of this franchise and there have been many different iterations of Ghostbusters content over the years. The lore, gadgets, and stories developed in the cartoons, comics, and even movies provide quite a bit of content to pull from.
In order to prevent stealing potential stories from the Ghost Corps cinematic universe, the MMO could easily become more of a free roaming battle against various different paranormal entities. By using the ones already in the movies, I’m certain that you could develop tons of missions, bosses, and so forth to take on. Also, the comic books assuredly hold even more gadgets to build and customize whether it be through loot or through crafting.
Probably the most interesting part of doing an MMO would be determining the genre. Would an FPS MMO like Destiny be a good way to go? That way the thrill of jump scares, loot grinding, and action could really be quite immersive. Otherwise, the traditional point-click or semi-action adventure third person perspective like Neverwinter or Dragon Age could be done. The problem with that approach is that the gameplay would be pretty drab considering there are already so many MMOs with that kind of perspective and action already.
Ghostbusters x State Of Decay
One of my favorite open world games ever is State of Decay. As a zombie survival sim, it allows you to play as a survival 'community' in third person. As a Ghostbusters game, this framework would be fascinating!
Imagine playing a Ghostbusters game focused around the chaotic moment in the movies where the containment facility lost power! Spirits are soaring through the sky and all around a metropolitan city! The State of Decay framework would allow for you to play single player or coop in a way that still allows for ghostbusting as a team. Plus you could send other randomized (or created) ghostbusters around the city to help!
Then each of the ghostbusters could have stats RPG style that could be improved as they catch ghosts. Loot could be found that would allow the team to upgrade gear and repair the containment facility. Books and clues could be found to help figure out what new city-wide threat was coming to destroy them all!
The biggest appeal of this would be that various ghostbusters could be used throughout the course of the gameplay and even characters from the movies could be collected! You could even visit other cities or even other dimensions as new maps to explore!
However it is done, Ghost Corps should definitely be a bit more selective about how they go about doling out the license. Recent Ghostbusters games have come and gone with very little fanfare. Adding an experience that is a bit more unique and deep should be the next direction if a cinematic universe is truly the direction they are going in.