Ghostbusters is turning 25 this year and we've been wondering why it took that long to create a co-op video game based on the series. Thankfully gamers will have two different co-op experiences when Ghostbusters hits the Wii and 360/PS3 this Summer.
Up first we talk with Dustin Dobson, Creative Lead from Red Fly Studio, the developers of the Wii version.
Co-Optimus: With the game sharing a lot of the story and characters as the 360/PS3 version - how did you go about designing things? Did both studios work together to create what we see, or did one take the lead?
Dustin Dobson: Terminal Reality had actually been developing the 360, PS3 and PC versions of the game for about a year before Red Fly Studio was picked to do the Wii version. This ended up being quite beneficial as it gave us a great amount to reference from as well as set a very high quality bar. We really wanted to deliver two unique experiences at the end of the day, so we collaborated on a few key elements and diverged on many others. Story for example, was definitely, as much as possible kept the same. Written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, it brought an authenticity to the Ghostbuster’s experience that we absolutely did not want to lose. But even the story was re-imagined in many ways for the Wii. A good analogy is having one script presented to two directors with very different styles, and each was able to choose how they wanted to shoot, edit and present the two movies.
Co-Optimus: How extensive is the character customizability? Will I be able to bring this character into the co-op session?
Dustin: For the Wii, players are given two characters to choose from, male and female versions of a newly-hired experimental equipment technician. Either character will be playable in the single player campaign, and in co-op the second player will get to use the other character. There is a fun customization option unlocked for players who complete the game on the hardest difficulty. It’s one of several unlockables the player can earn by accomplishing various feats throughout the game.
Co-Optimus: I need to know...can I hold a ghost while my buddy "sets the trap" in split screen co-op? Will there be a co-op driving sequence with the Ecto 1?
Dustin: Two players will be able to work cooperatively together in a variety of ways throughout our game. Certainly one player can wrangle and slam a ghost around while the other player sets a trap. Or they can wrangle the same ghost together wearing it down quicker while another Buster readies a trap. Solving puzzles, discovering collectables, and taking out bosses will all be great challenges that will be very enjoyable when sharing with a friend.
Driving the Ecto-1 is an exclusive feature for the Nintendo DS version of the game, although it will certainly play a big part in all of the games.