It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Hollywood film in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a videogame tie-in. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that all videogame tie-ins are rubbish. Yes yes GoldenEye and Chronicles of Riddick. That's two and they came out several hundred years ago. Thousands more have been released since and they've all been less fun than eating gravel.
That includes the Aeon Flux tie-in developed by Terminal Reality, and released on PS2 and Xbox in 2006. 4/10. Terminal Reality is also working on the new Ghostbusters game, but I ain't afraid of no poor prior record of creating naff videogame tie-ins. That's because I've seen Ghostbusters, and it's looking good.
It's also because Terminal Reality is getting some top quality help. As you've probably heard, the four main cast members are lending their voices and likenesses to the game. So are supporting actors Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz) and William Atherton (Walter Peck). Only Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver are missing - according to the team, because Moranis is in retirement and Weaver never wants anything to do with videogames.
Many rubbishy movie tie-ins have featured star turns, so none of this guarantees Ghostbusters will be any better. But the fact that franchise creators Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis have had close involvement increases the chances of success. "Dan and Harold in particular have been involved from the very beginning, writing the story and the script," explains executive producer Brendan Goss.
"Dan plays our builds all the time. We get feedback on the naming of the equipment and everything else. He is so passionate and enthusiastic, it's such a motivator for the team. He really is just like Ray, bouncing off the walls with energy, and it's really neat to see."
The involvement of the creators is no guarantee of a quality finished product either - let's not forget the Wachowskis worked on the Matrix games. At least it sounds like Terminal Reality is taking Aykroyd's vision and the expectations of the franchise's millions of fans very seriously. "It was very important for us to preserve the Ghostbusters universe and the Ghostbusters feel. We've always called it the continuation of the films," Goss says. "Dan calls this game the Ghostbusters 3 movie. It's something that's very important and near and dear to them. We want to make sure we do it justice."
The game is certainly a continuation of the series in plot terms. It's set in 1991, two years after the second film ended. The Ghostbusters' popularity has boomed and their workload with it. They've had to take on a fifth team member, which is where you come in. There is an option to take on the role of any of the famous four in the game's multiplayer mode but for the single-player game, the team wanted to include plenty of cinematic scenes, character banter and a proper story arc - and felt the only way to do this was cast the player in the role of rookie.