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Dreaming of donning the iconic proton pack and joining the ranks of the Ghostbusters is a fantasy that goes as far back as the original film’s release. Ever since the 1980s, this supernatural-fighting foursome has left an memorable mark on pop culture, with a legacy spanning iconic movies and animated series.

For decades, fans around the world have fantasised about tracking spectres with the trusty PKE Meter and blasting malevolent spirits into oblivion with the Proton Pack.

This enduring fascination with the Ghostbusters universe has paved the way for numerous adaptations, but the latest venture, Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord in VR, promises to fulfil that cherished childhood dream with an unprecedented level of immersion and interactivity.

Story

Upon entering this virtual world, players find themselves thrust into the eerie confines of a haunted mansion, tasked with retrieving the essential Ghostbusters equipment. However, a misstep quickly escalates the situation from bad to worse, inadvertently releasing the Ghost Lord upon the unsuspecting city of San Francisco.

In a bid to restore order, players must align forces with a new team of Ghostbusters and embark on a series of multiplayer missions aimed at capturing and containing mischievous spirits. While the overarching narrative serves as a set up for the multiplayer escapades, it’s a missed opportunity. A dedicated story mode could have provided players with a deeper context, allowing them to immerse themselves fully in the Ghostbusters world.

Gameplay

The gameplay mechanics are where Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord truly shines. Armed with the legendary PKE Meter, trap, and Proton Pack, players set off into the haunted terrain, facing off against a myriad of ghouls and spectres. The seamless integration of these tools into the gameplay experience adds a layer of authenticity, enhancing the immersion factor significantly.

Smaller apparitions succumb to a single blast from the proton gun, but larger, more formidable foes require a strategic approach. Players must skillfully weaken the spirits with their proton stream, gradually wrapping it around the ghost until they can guide it into the waiting trap. This mechanic, reminiscent of Luigi’s Mansion, demands players to fight against the spectral momentum, adding a dynamic and engaging element to the gameplay.

The game also introduces various movement options, catering to a wide array of players. Smooth and click turning, full movement, and teleportation are available, ensuring that everyone can find a comfortable and enjoyable way to navigate the haunted landscapes.

However, despite the diverse movement options, the absence of penalties for being knocked out during battles detracts from the overall tension. Players can be revived by their teammates without any consequences, diminishing the stakes in intense encounters.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord presents four distinct mission types, each offering a unique experience. The Exorcism mode challenges players and their team to close a portal, scouring the environment for specific items that need to be attached to generators, culminating in a battle against a colossal demon.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (PS VR2) | TheEffect.NetOn the Clock mode amps up the intensity, requiring players to fend off waves of enemies within a strict time limit, adding a sense of urgency to the proceedings.

Giga Trap Retrieval demands players to locate and extract traps with precision, each successful extraction potentially altering the game dynamics significantly.

Finally, the Harvester mode revolves around repairing a machine while simultaneously capturing ghosts, providing a multifaceted challenge. These modes truly shine when played with friends, creating a real sense of cooperation. However, in solo play, the experience can feel somewhat lonely, so try your best to team up if possible!

Once you’ve successfully completed missions, you’re rewarded with in-game currency, enabling you to upgrade their equipment progressively. This steady sense of progression adds an element of satisfaction, allowing players to enhance their abilities for subsequent missions. Yet, the lack of a compelling and cohesive narrative leaves the missions feeling somewhat disjointed.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (PS VR2) | TheEffect.NetA more structured approach to storytelling would have given players a sense of purpose, making their efforts on missions feel like steps toward confronting the ultimate enemy, the Ghost Lord.

Visuals

Visually, Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord excels with its impressive presentation. Each map is meticulously crafted, showcasing a remarkable scale that immerses players in the haunted environments. The game’s cartoonish aesthetic is a stroke of genius, allowing the developers to infuse each ghost with vibrant personality.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (PS VR2) | TheEffect.NetThis artistic choice not only compensates for the lack of intricate details but also translates exceptionally well into the realm of virtual reality. Characters and environments are nicely stylised, effortlessly transporting players into the boots of the Ghostbusters. The incorporation of musical cues from the beloved franchise further cements the connection with the Ghostbusters universe, while authentic sound effects amplify the immersive experience.

Conclusion

Despite its technical achievements and the sheer joy of wielding the iconic Ghostbusters equipment, Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord falls short due to its lack of narrative focus and structure. While the act of busting ghosts is undeniably satisfying, the absence of a compelling storyline robs the gameplay of context. Engaging with familiar Ghostbusters tools feels exhilarating, especially when shared with friends in multiplayer mode.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (PS VR2) | TheEffect.NetThe gameplay mechanics are solid, the presentation is visually appealing, and the cooperative multiplayer modes foster a sense of camaraderie among players. Nevertheless, the game’s potential remains hindered by the lack of an overarching storyline to bring the whole thing together.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord Pricing & Availability

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord is available on PlayStation VR2 for €34.99. It’s also available on Meta Quest 2 & Quest 3. 

REVIEW: Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (PS VR2)
  • Story
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals
3.8

Summary

The gameplay mechanics are solid, the presentation is visually appealing, and the cooperative multiplayer modes foster a sense of camaraderie among players. Nevertheless, the game’s potential remains hindered by the lack of an overarching storyline to bring the whole thing together.

John Reilly

John is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheEffect.Net. His favourite gaming series is Uncharted and his favourite film is Interstellar. He is also known to quote 'Father Ted' and Keith Lemon more than is normal. John@theeffect.net