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Unsung Heroes: The Rookie from Ghostbusters - Destructoid

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A self proclaimed professor of survival horror despite only having a BA (Hons) degree in film. Go figure.

Okay, maybe I should write more here but I once did an interview for Law's blog, which explains everything about me.

In the meantime, I'm just a guy who writes about videogame theory and how the medium can achieve better cinematic emulation (while keeping its own indentity). Though, if that's too boring, you can always find something delightfully fluffy in the following:

Gamer Obscura

Gregory Horror Show
Glass Rose
Michigan: Report From Hell
Hellnight
Steambot Chronicles
Chase The Express
The X Files FMV Game
SOS: The Final Escape & Raw Danger
G-Police & G-Police: Weapons of Justice
Koudelka
Friday The 13th: The Computer Game
Hard Edge
DENNIS HOPPER featuring Black Dahlia
Harvester
The Note
The Police Quest Collection
It Came From The Desert
Blade Runner
Men in Black: The Game
Famicom Detective Club Part II
Toonstruck
Ham-Ham Heartbreak

Unsung Heroes

Brad Garrison (Dead Rising)
Jenny Romano (The Darkness)
Cass (Fallout: New Vegas)

Hey, check out these inane ramblings:

The Vague History of UK Videogame TV shows

Part 1 (Bad Influence, Gamesmaster & Games World)
Part 2 (BITS & videoGaiden/consoleVania)
Part 3 (the worst and the future)

The Assimilation of Eastern & Western Horror in Videogames

Part 1 (The Eastern/Western Horror Assimilation)
Part 2 (Interaction and Narrative)
Part 3 (Case Study)

Random

Skip To The End: Max Payne 2
The Lost Idea of An Adventures of Pete & Pete Game
My Unpopular Opinion: I Liked Alone in The Dark 5
Hey BBC! Where's My Doctor Who Game?!
Loving Dr. Chakwas
The 'Fun Simulacrum' of Movie/TV License Games
Why Devs Don't Get The Colonial Marines From Aliens
It's Okay To Like B-Movie Games
Endings That Made Me Cry...Like A Man
Who Do You Trust?
Dancing With Myself
My Unpopular Opinion: Silent Hill 4 Deserved Better
Theme Hospital & The Embarrassing Operation of Old
When It Comes To Noir in Videogames, "It's Chinatown"
My Irreverent & Irrelevant Awards Show 2010
Amateur Bedroom Critics
Sydney Briar is Alive
The Big Gumbo
Alan Wake's Hallowiener Special
...And So I Watch You From Afar

Nostaljourney

Some poor sap let me onto their awesome podcast. These are the horrific results...

Deus Ex
Resident Evil 2
Duke Nukem 3D

Secret Moon Base

They sent me into space for this podcast. There were no survivors...

Fiddling Nightbear

Monthly Musings

I Suck At Games: Stretching My RPGs Out into A Year & A Half Ordeal

Improving Gaming Communities: We Need A Gaming Fonzie

The Future: Laughing At The Past

Something About Sex: It's A Conquest, Not A Catalyst

Alternate Reality: "My other car is a Trotmobile!"

Teh Bias: Starting At The Ground Floor

Groundhog Day: One DeSoto, Two Carefree Owners

Front Page

Nothing Is Sacred: 'It looks like the lock is broken. I can't open it.'

Love/Hate: Shark Jumping Videogame Writers

E for Effort: The Adventures of Mega & Master (A Cautionary Tale)

The Lament of Solitary Antagonistic Horror

2010 Sucked: Why Cing Will Be Unknowingly Missed

Technical Difficulties: Rainbow Six FUBAR

Cass from New Vegas

Honest Endings for Honest Hearts

Growing Old Disgracefully

Thanks for reading!
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“Acting” in any given videogame is a horrible experience.

Everybody knows their lines, found their marks and expect you to do the same. Only you didn’t bother showing up for the rehearsals and while you’ll probably suffer from perfect verbal diarrhoea, the scenes are a total mystery. You’re the one screwing up the immersion, not them, improvising like an epileptic having panic attack.

We’ve all ignored the dread at some point; by climbing up file cabinets, throwing stationary, jumping on the spot and standing in the way of someone, forcing them to moonwalk you out of the way, as they obliviously deliver a serious life or death speech, al a Half Life 2.

You don’t see that kind of nonsense in movies or television.

“You’ve heard the worst, gentlemen. The Harvester Forces are abou---SGT. BRICK LAMBSHANK! What the hell are you doing?!”

In videogames, you’re an important protagonist, with the world revolving around your actions. Though, what if you’re given a character that doesn’t necessarily have an important role to play and allowed to act “uncharacteristically” because a previous cutscene has given you the green light?



The Rookie from Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a brilliant example of being the supporting character and one that allows the player access in an established world. One where there focus and pressure of “acting” has been shifted to everyone else involved.

Licensed videogames tend to put you in the shoes of your favourite movie/TV characters, but ultimately, they’re videogame protagonists second. By playing the role of the voyeur, one that gets to takes part in any given situation, you don’t have to break immersion, unless it’s on purpose.

Ghostbusters is easily the best use of a movie license since Blade Runner and both share similar traits in their enjoyment. Essentially, they’re successful by creating a new malleable character and neatly placing them within a cinematic emulation.

Whereas, Blade Runner’s Ray McCoy is a fully formed character with his own narrative in tandem with the movie, The Rookie is a bare bones protagonist that gives the player enough freedom to inject their own play style, while having enough personality to exist alongside his cinematic peers.



This is where Ghostbusters really shines beyond its mere fan service roots. Throughout the narrative, there is a marriage of cutscenes and real time events. In the FMV, The Rookie is portrayed as the silent clown; one we can relate to because, bless him, it’s his first day.

We’ve all had first days.

Just like The Futureheads once sang about, they’re full of awkward agreements and silences, as you gauge staff members’ awful backfiring attempts at integrating you into the workplace without fuss. In Ghostbusters, it’s exactly the same scenario.

Albeit, involving ghost fishermen, hobo spirits, golems and a giant marshmallow man.

It feeds off your attempts to learn the ropes and the hero worship of characters like Dr. Peter Venkman, a man who treats you like crap at every occasion. As a fan, you look up to these people and love them for their flaws, yet, acting as them wouldn’t do the characters justice. Essentially, they would be avatars that quip without consent, which is exactly what happens in the multiplayer campaign.

As a fan, you’re not meant to be the focus, just the supporting actor.



In the cutscenes, The Rookie ambles around in the background, bemused and being treated like a dogsbody. So, when the time comes to interacting with clients at the Sedgewick Hotel, you’re allowed to wander around, while the others talk business.

It’s subtle in the way it conveys the direction within the opening minutes, before handing over control. To their overlooked credit, Terminal Reality takes that step even further. In a scripted set-piece, where the characters stand around, they always leave a mark for you, be it a gap in the line-up or a team huddle. The developers are giving you the choice to partake in the immersion or bumble around without breaking it.

The Rookie is not the first protagonist in a supporting role, but he’s definitely one of the more successful because of Terminal Reality’s understanding of what it is to “act” in a videogame.

Surely, is it not better to play as a supporting character than one of the main cast?



Ghostbusters proved that can be case. Even the terrible Lost: Via Domus managed to keep some semblance of interest by letting you play a Machiavellian photojournalist on the fringes of each TV season. It was certainly less stressful than performing perfectly as Captain Kirk in Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.

Of course, most licensed videogames do let you play with new inserted characters, but rarely do they give you some kind of subtle motivation, as with the use of direction for The Rookie. For that, we should be thankful that some developers understand their audiences when picking up licenses.

You can cry bias, and yes, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is definitely a personal favourite. It’s licensed videogame made with great care; especially, when it comes to the FX, the visuals, the expansion of ideas, the set-pieces and most important of all, the one-liners. It wasn’t original, but it was a spot-on recreation for people obsessed with the franchise since childhood (ahem); one you could successfully inhabit, with such ease, in the role of The Rookie.

Hope you had a wonderful first day too.



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