We managed to squirrel our way into a late-night party earlier this week--it was connected to some kind of Sony licensing event, but for us the main draw was a sneak peek at the upcoming Xbox 360/PS3 video game based on the Ghostbusters films, due out later this year.
We chatted with Ghostbusters star Ernie Hudson (who doesn't look like he's aged a day since he played Winston Zeddemore), and learned that the game is being pitched as a true sequel to the two films, and stars--in voice form, at least--all four main cast members. Hudson pointed out that he was the only original cast member youthful-looking enough to use current scans of his face in the game. Somewhere behind us, Ray Parker Jr. and his band played a 15-minute Ghostbusters theme song jam session (seriously, we kid you not).
The game itself looks promising, from the small slice of it we saw. A third-person over-the-shoulder action/adventure, you take on the role of a new hire on the Ghostbusters team, and we watched a producer play through a level set in the familiar New York Public Library branch from the film. The real highlight was the frequent wisecracks from the digital versions of Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis.
The project offers an interesting window into the future of brand extensions, where aging stars and risky $100-million-plus film budgets are replaced by digital actors--and just as importantly, produces a final product that sells for around $60, rather than an $11 movie ticket. In other words, the exact opposite of what Spielberg and Lucas did with the new Indiana Jones movie (although they're probably the only ones who could have pulled that off).
Published by Sierra, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is due out around October, in time for the holiday season.