February 9, 2009 // 2:24 pm
- I'm following Ghostbusters: The Video Game closer than any human being should be and that I'm getting pretty good at spotting even the tiniest of changes.
Let's take today's New York Comic-Con demo as an example. I was handed the controller, the demo started up, and I immediately identified the level as one I wrote
a great deal about on April 28, 2008.
This is the one where Ray and the recruit are battling through an architect's office, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man shows up, and the boys duke it out with some pesky poltergeists on the roof. Good stuff, but something I've already seen.
However, it was immediately noticeable that the game looked better. Since Terminal Reality began showing off Ghostbusters, there have been some aliasing issues with the proton pack and new recruit's head - oftentimes it looks shimmery like a mosaic. Today, things looked markedly smoother and more realistic.
Now, this level makes use of the PKE Meter quite a bit, so when I whipped it out and the game dropped into first-person mode, I was surprised to find an overhauled point of view. Gone is the clear-goggle setup that basically spotted spectral trails out of thin air; in its place is a binocular-looking setup with a green tint and crosshairs in the middle.
Now, these aren't just cosmetic changes. In the past, you've been scanning ghosts with the PKE Meter as they appear so that you can have detailed profiles in your copy of Tobin's Spirit Guide via the in-game menu. These new goggles still put an emphasis on scanning creatures, but once you've completed a scan, that information - the ghost's method of attack, if it needs to be trapped or destroyed, and so on - will pop up as text on the right side of your goggle screen.
The next change that popped up came in the form of the Marshmallow Man's minions - whom I lovely referred to as "dingleberries from Stay Puft" way back when. Originally just medicine ball-sized blobs of goo, the little marshmallows are now singed on top and ready to spit flaming projectiles your way.
While I was dodging out of their path, a bunch of the buggers surrounded Ray and were cleaning his clock. I fired off a Proton stream and followed up with a Boson Dart, which is a blast of extra power that flows through the stream and does some splash damage. The enemies blew up and kicked up a ton of marshmallow gunk that covered Ray in real time. That was cool.
Although I could barely hear it over the roar of Comic-Con, this build also added the vocal talents of one Bill Murray. All four of the Ghostbusters have been part of this project from the beginning, but voiceovers have been missing from certain demos just as long. Once Venkman met up with Stantz and the recruit, it was back to the roof to fight the ghosts of some construction workers.
Trapping has been touched up once again, and the act of capturing your ghost in a proton stream, slamming it to the ground to weaken it, and dragging it to the golden column of light being emitted from your trap is as simple and fun as it should be.
Yeah, I would have loved to have seen something completely new today, but seeing that Terminal Reality and Atari are tuning their game leading up to its June release is just as good.