Ghostbusters AR Game, First Impressions

16 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

AR or VR enthusiasts have the choice of playing two versions of Ghostbusters World. Adaptations of this franchise have manifested in many forms and the part many gamers get the most thrill from is in blasting a ghost and sending them to the aether. Well, to put ’em into a trap. From the Commodore 64 game to PlayStation 3, I have almost played them all. None can be as exhilarating as having that right first person shooter perspective.

With this new game by Sony, Ghost Corps, 4:33, and Next Age, the idea is almost there. For some reason, I think playing this game with a selfie stick holding the smartphone can add to the idea of welding a photon pack proper. Even without, the idea of chasing after spirits feel good! The best part of this game is to see the work of local artist, Dan Schoening (who illustrates IDW’s comic books) make up the part of this game. I’m fairly sure some of his art is used in the story mode.

In the augmented reality front, players can take their mobile device around the city looking for new ghosts to encounter. With true virtual reality, I will have to visit Madame Tussauds in New York for a full room experience. I really want to hold a photon blaster for real and interact with fellow players. I have yet to meet locals experimenting around with this game. Pokemon GO has a larger fanbase.

Who knew my neighbourhood is that haunted! Down the block has an old abode tucked away, located behind a modern looking home, which gave me the creeps when I was young, walking home from school. As I wandered around, the funny part is that this game showed none a presence on that estate.

Play-wise, the game does not differ from Niantic’s game design. You gotta catch them all. The improvements I enjoy discovering (will there ever be in-game documentation instead of a training mode?) is in how players can level up the spirits and the weaponry. Spend enough time in the game and the currency will pile up.

The solo mode is a godsend; after these ghosts gain experience, I can send them to fight the fellow undead. This story mode will sadly never appear in Pokemon GO, but I can still hope. Adventuring into the Other Side is tough, and it is essentially using Final Fantasy style combat mechanics to decide on who fights whom. I’m enjoying this challenging mode since the other game does not GO anywhere with its repetitive seek and turn into candy mode.

The AR mode is not entirely perfect. Unless players have the latest generation phone with Apple’s AR+ to recognize surfaces or ARCcore for Android devices, some aspects of enjoying this game will be hit and miss. Play can be difficult; tendonitis might occur given how blasting and dodging works on the mobile screen. Tossing the trap (in non-AR mode) lacks depth. Suddenly, it floats to you instead if you approaching it to pick up.

Ghostbusters World is a better-developed game because of the number of upgrade paths and options offered. I have often said I am giving up Pokemon GO but because of my love for the paranormal, I returned to playing Niantic’s game because of last month’s Halloween treats. I always wanted a ghostly fighting team. However, now that is gone and I am close to hitting level 40, I do not see the point of continuing until their next big thing which interests me. I would love to see this company incorporate some features in GW, but will they listen?

 

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