Ghostbusters 3: Snot Ropes, Pepto Rivers, and Singed Marshmallow

The buzz on the two new Ghostbusters games has been decidedly low on Dtoid.  Earlier today, in serious gastrointestinal distress, I was finally blessed with the leisure to slog through the December Game Informer, which had been sitting in my bathroom for weeks.

I will preface the following remarks by saying that I am always happier at proclamations of NEW properties, than I am of franchise deals, sequels, or remakes.  I have a brain chemical imbalance, you see, that precludes my enjoyment of repetition.  This causes cankers, and also isolates me totally from my peer group: repetition is a gamer specialty, gamers being a people which can carry on a conversation entirely in Simpsons quotes.  This is why They keep sharp objects out of my office at Dtoid HQ, and do not allow me to read the comments on my posts.  I keep hearing about this “Aldo Cox” person, but I have no idea who he is. Nobody will tell me.

Here is what we know so far about Ghostbusters:

A. There are two, semi- separate ghostbusting projects at this time, one for a Wii/PS2 release, the other, grander effort being saved for the 360, PS3 and PC.

B. The big project is being developed by Terminal Reality, and has realistic graphics running on a proprietary engine.  The focus is on the single-player campaign mode, and details about the multiplayer are still TBA.  It doesn’t look good for we co-op PS360 enthusiasts, though.

C. The secondary release on Wii and PS2, developed by Red Fly,  is a slightly dumbed-down version that will focus on multiplayer, and has cartoony graphics instead of the main project’s realism. 

Hit the jump for the rest of the article, which contains BioShock spoilers.  I tell you this with the intention of shaming anyone who still, after all these many months, may be sensitive to such manila envelope-grade intelligence.  Snicker.

There seem to be a few indignant Wiinies clamoring for equal rights, but the character design on their version has a Team Fortress 2 appeal.  The maps will be the same, but “repurposed for various multiplayer things”, and it’s been announced that the main campaign can be tackled in co-op.  This is good, and I am waiting impatiently for news of the 360/PS3/PC’s multiplayer capabilities  it is vitally important, my flying monkeys, that you and I be allowed to bust ghosts TOGETHER.

….I seem to have wandered off course.  This is sounding more and more like a real post by a real game blogger, however outdated the content may be.  Let us hie to the speculation, yes?  It is my specialty.

It has been stated in multiple venues that these games are the actual heirs to the Ghostbusters throne.  Akroyd makes assurances in Game Informer‘s sidebar that this is the closest we will ever come to a Ghostbusters 3; that diehard fans waiting for a sequel should regard this as the fulfillment of all their gooey dreams.  

This raises interesting questions about franchise continuums across multiple media platforms, and the nature of interactive vs. passive media.  I’ve been saying for months that BioShock is one of the best science fiction/horror movies to come out in years, no matter that it is “interactive” and thus, a “game”.  You give me one scene from a sci fi movie in the past five years that comes close to the heady glee of your stroll through Tenenbaum’s little sister refugee camp.  Soaking in the adoring murmurs of those sweet tykes fulfills one of the cardinal rules of good storytelling: reward the reader.  Or in this case, the player.  That particular scene may have been media-specific.  It is difficult for me to imagine a movie in which the same sense of grueling exhaustion could be laid atop an audience.  In games, they have the ability to wring the audience/player for hours, days, even weeks.  They can make us perform acts of aerobic and intellectual derring-do, affect us with profound acting and writing, trip us up with vicious plot twists, and murder us over and over.  With this much punishment under our belts, we players are twice as invested in our sweet rewards as some popcorn-gumming cinema rat.  We have to WORK for those rewards, god damn it.  

Akroyd and Ramis may be reaching for a more symbiotic relationship between games and movies here, with major Hollywood talent investing their sequel energies into a non-movie experience.  And we’ve seen this before, most recently and notably in the Riddick franchise.

But I’ve been reading too much Faulkner.  Allow me to wrap up.

I’ve saved the good stuff for last: Terminal Reality is introducing a fascinating rubberband mechanic that allows players to fire a sticky rope of mucus that fastens at two points.  Imagine leashing spastic wraiths to walls and then beating the tar out of them, while they wail and pull at their bonds!  Or draping a hallway in a jungle gym of boogery tethers, like an ectoplasmic gill net!  New York’s spook-infested ether will be well-plummed that day, let me assure you!  Me, I have a still more sadistic plan.  I intend to rope two ghosties together, and drape them over a telephone wire like a pair of old sneakers.  Then, I shall step back and belch out deep, hearty chuckles as they tear each other apart, like pain-crazed alleycats slung over a clothesline.

As usual, I encourage reader feedback: what will you do with ropes of sputum, a gun with which to fire it, and all the ghosts you can slime?

Eliza Gauger is a ham-handed muckraker with nothing to show for an ill-spent youth but joint ownership of Ectoplasmosis, an asteriskpunk art and culture blog (Nabokov, Cthulhu and lip pelts); a long list of illustration, design, and/or author credits in everything from Other Magazine, to the Unhallowed Metropolis RPG; and an online store in which to shamelessly shill paintings for pittance.

Eliza Gauger