Forgotten Game Greats: "Ghosthunter" (2003)
- by Ninja Ross, 4 December 2013
"Ghosthunter", from Sony Computer Entertainment, is a third person survival horror action game. In a nutshell, it’s basically Ghostbusters with guns. Have you played Ghosthunter? Thinking of giving it a go? Let us know in the comments belo- What? You want more? Ghostbusters with guns didn’t quite sell you on it? Fine...
The game follows recently transferred detective Lazarus Jones on his first case in Detroit with his new partner, Anna Steele. They arrive in an abandoned school to investigate some sort of noisy disturbance (because the Detroit Police force doesn’t have anything else to do, I guess). Naturally, the school was the scene of a massacre several years ago.
In order to solve the mysteries presented in Ghosthunter, Jones and Astral travel through different worlds in order to track down the creator of the Ghosthunter Virtual Intelligence, Professor Peter Richmond.
The different worlds are incredibly cool, in their own way. Each one is vast and full of enemies and obstacles but they can be a bit frustrating at times. In the Swamp Realm, there’s a few sections where you’re constantly attacked by hooded ghost snipers and alligator-headed, chain-sawing wielding psychos (Leatherface, get it?!?). Shooting at them is fine, and all, but the sheer volume of them can be a bit overwhelming at times.
But there’s a fair bit of creativity in there. The Swamp realm actually has one of my favourite boss designs; a giant alligator the pukes up a giant, becoming the giant’s arm. The whole game is full of these crazy monsters.
But as fun as the story is and as fantastic as the monster designs are, the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. It functions, I guess, but it does make you want to chew your own hands off at times. Despite making a big deal out of the Ghostbusters with guns selling point, fighting enemies can be incredibly slow and repetitive. Having to shoot the ghosts, wearing them down, and then throwing a grenade at them is cool and fun at first but it quickly gets old.
The rest of the gameplay also gets dull and repetitive at times, with puzzles not requiring a whole lot of thought and the aforementioned overuse of enemies getting incredibly tiresome.
But gameplay is not where this game excels. The true strength of this game lies in the story, designs and fantastic sound directing- especially the voice acting, with industry veteran Ron Paulson playing Jones.
Of course, I can’t not mention the graphics. They’re primitive NOW, but during the time this game came out, this game was considered one of the best looking games on the PS2. Even now they don’t look too shabby.
Over all, the game looks good, it sounds good, the story is fun and the designs are fantastic but the gameplay... Could be better. All the positives outweigh the negatives here, though, so I highly recommend playing this one.
Unfortunately, it can be a hard game to track down if you want it brand new, but there are plenty of second hand copies out there! Go! Buy! GHOSTBUSTERS WITH GUNS.
Do as the man says! Have you ever played Ghosthunter? Enjoyed it? Do you have a suggestion for a future Forgotten Game Great? Let us know in the comments!