Ghostbusters: Rise of the Dark Lord – The Review

December 4, 2023 ·

There is something about the world of Ghostbusters that makes it an iconic franchise. From the characters to the music, we all have our favorite moments that keep drawing us in. There was just something about the mix of comedy and ghosts that has been trying to replicate the moments that we all love over the years. But do developer nDreams and publisher Sony Pictures Virtual Reality allow us to bust some ghosts while capturing the magic of the franchise that many love? Let’s find out with Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord for PlayStation VR2.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord will have you take on a variety of missions, like collecting dark PKE or closing interdimensional portals. You’ll need to work together to solve puzzles, trap ghosts, and stop the March of the Malevolent. There’s nothing like bustin’ with friends, but even if you’re playing solo you can take on the Ghost Lord yourself with the help of a ghostly companion. So before you strap on that proton pack and try busting some ghosts, there are a few things for you to be aware of. First, you will want to make sure you have some space as you can play either sitting or standing, but you want to make sure you don’t hit anything or anyone. Second, make sure those Sense controllers are fully charged. You don’t want to come up against the Ghost Lord and be defeated all because you forgot to charge them, do you? Third, I am not going to show everything as I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone. And finally, have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…

When you first start, you will notice a few things. First, the city is no longer New York, but now, the business has expanded to San Francisco. Second, it looks like you have answered the call to help out as Gabriela, head of California Ghostbusters welcomes you and wants her equipment back. This also serves as a tutorial of sorts. I will say that I do like how your shadow is cast and makes you look life-sized even when sitting. It’s when you start to pick up the iconic equipment such as the PKE meter, that things start to have a familiar feel to it. Even when you first enter the mansion, you can start to hear some recognizable sounds of the Ghostbusters franchise. Good work nDreams.

Once you discover what you did, this is where you get to head inside the firehouse, aka Head Quarters, and get introduced to things. At the lockers, you can select from different characters, if you need equipment fixed and head over to the workbench. Here is where you can add new parts to upgrade your equipment. The map table will show you which jobs are available for you to take. Once you have the job selected, it’s time to head to the Ecto 1. The first job is simple, allowing you to use your traps, proton pack, and even revive your fellow Ghostbusters if they need a simple high five.

After the first job and the others to follow, you get to see how much you were paid and the time it took to complete the job. You will also be able to see how many ghosts there were, how many you blasted, how many times you were down, and how many revives you conducted. This is where you will be sent back to HQ to see if there are any others who you can team up with for other jobs and where you will start each time you play. Being that the game is cross-platform, that means anyone on your team could be on PCVR, Meta, and/or PlayStation VR2, things can get interesting. You do have the option to set up a private game if you would like or just play with anyone who joins. And don’t worry about if you are new to playing, as players seem to be happy to help out. Plus, learning as you go is fun as well.

There are different modes Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord to select from and they are:

  • Giga Trap Retrieval where players need to locate the Giga Trap and use their proton packs to weaken the trap
  • Exorcism has players locating objects as they try to close a ghost portal
  • Haverster is where players must work together to collect as much dark PKE as possible within the time limit
  • Heist & Seek has three bank-robbing ghost brothers trying to carry out a heist and it’s up to the players to stop them from the piles of gold
  • Infestation has the players trying to locate the ghostly intruder while trying not to get slimed as you take out the nest from the ghostly protectors
  • On the Clock is where you are timed to see how many ghosts you can catch within 10 minutes

When I first played and went back to HQ, there was someone already there who joined. Yes, by the sound of their voice, they were on the younger side, but it wasn’t long before someone who sounded older than the first. But that didn’t matter as we were all there for the same reason, to bust some ghosts. At the start of each job, you are described what to do. Now, you can all go your separate ways or stay together. I would say try not to move away from each other too much as one of your team could become down and you need to reach them in time to revive them.

When playing on the PlayStation VR2, I was wondering how the features were going to be used and I have to say they are used pretty well here. When ghosts fly by, you do feel it. When playing multiplayer, you can wink at your teammates with eye-tracking, and feeling the power of the proton pack as you are trying to trap ghosts feels good in the hands. The features are incorporated very well here. Keep in mind if you are playing on the Quest 3, you do get the bonus of the Mini-Puff Mayhem with Mixed Reality. So if you are trying to decide which platform to play on, it’s really up to you and what features you like the best.

Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. When playing, you will notice the cartoony art style. Seeing objects at the very beginning such as your hands for example, you can see a lot of detail, your equipment looks very good, and even the details of the ghosts. Picking up the PKE meeter or proton pack for the first time, I took time to just examine it. I almost wish the colors of the proton pack were the same colors that were in The Real Ghostbusters cartoon in a way. When using your proton pack, you do have environments where things can be destroyed such as furniture to even leaving scorch marks which is a nice touch. Now, yes, again, you do have this cartoony world that nDreams has created where the focus is on the gameplay while still trying to give us the Ghostbusters nostalgia, such as the Ecto-1, that so many of us can appreciate. But then some want that look and want more from the movies and more of the ghosts that they remember. I get why nDreams have decided to go this way. Think about it, you have Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord on various platforms which means that those parents who play VR can play with their children and are happy with busting ghosts together while adding the different modes so that the balance can be spread out among players.

With the sound, we do have the Ghostbusters familiarity touch here. From the music that we all know to the variations of it just the sounds of the equipment and environments. nDreams did a great job with this as well. We also can communicate with other players. During my time playing, no one said anything inappropriate which was a good thing as there were a variety of ages playing at any given time.

There are some things that I would love to see. First, more modes. Yes, with the recent update, we received the newest modes of Heist & Seek and Infestation, but adding more will add to the fun. Second, more environments. Being that the game takes place in California and having Alcatraz in the game is great, but how much fun would it be to go inside the Winchester Mystery House or go aboard The Queen Mary? Third, more add-ons. There is already the Keymaster, but what about adding more from the movies and even The Real Ghostbusters cartoon and having the same color proton packs? And finally, more variety of ghosts and bosses.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord allows us to indulge in the fun that is the spirit of the Ghostbusters while also bringing those both old and new who want to live out their ghost bustin’ memories while also allowing friends and family to join in the action. As we grow in our lives, we have the memories that we are most fond of. Some are better than others, but it’s what we hold close to our hearts that can somehow put a smile on our faces when we least expect it.

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord is out now in both the Standard Version and Full Containment Edition for Meta Quest 2, 3, and Pro on the Meta Store, and PlayStation VR2 on the PlayStation Store. A review code was provided.

To learn more about Sony Pictures Virtual Reality, please like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

To learn more about nDreams, please visit their sitelike them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go bust some more ghosts.

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