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Planet Coaster: Ghostbusters DLC Review
Fanservice For A Steep Price
Apparently, the owners of the Ghostbusters IP is really pimping out the license around for video game this year. That good Ghostbusters game is getting a remaster, and two different games getting DLCs based on it: Rocket League, and the point of this piece writing: Planet Coaster.
If you’re not familiar – Planet Coaster is Frontier Developments’ modern answer to a Roller Coaster Tycoon successor. Just like Cities: Skylines did for SimCity, Planet Coaster’s biggest strengths rely on its robust tool to make your very own theme park as detailed and beautiful as your creativity (and PC) allow you. It’s great!
As for the Ghostbusters DLC for Planet Coaster? The answer depends.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Planet Coaster: Ghostbusters adds an entirely new campaign separate from the career mode. The base game has you go to many pre-built, unfinished parks and tasked you on completing simple objectives like build new rides and keep the visitors happy. The only pluck of a narrative comes from the flavour text accompanying the start of each career level. It’s simple, serviceable and it gets the job done. Nothing too fancy because the meat and potatoes are the sandbox and challenge modes where you get to do whatever you want.
This new campaign takes a page on Frontier’s other licensed theme park game, Jurassic World: Evolution. If you’re familiar with that then the DLC is that but Ghostbusters. You will be dropped in an all-new Ghostbusters theme park template- again, with enough free space to put your own creative spin on.
As for the disembodied voiceovers, you get to hear Dan Arkoyd and William Atherton, reprising their roles from the original Ghostbusters movie as Raymond Stantz and antagonist Walter Peck respectively. They will be providing context on what you need to do to get rid of the ghosts haunting the Ghostbusters theme park. And make them money.
The banter between the two are fine, and you’ll get more of it if you’re totally a fan of Ghostbusters. There’s a lot of callbacks to the original movie, referencing the aftermath of the story there. While the other three original Ghostbusters don’t have voices, they do appear in-game and also as flavour text, riffing over each other when a new random challenge (optional objectives) appeared.
But the voiceovers do feel a little stuffed. As in, the two characters have a lot to say and I have this hankering feeling that the voice actors just want to read the long-winded scripts as fast as they can. Though I am no Ghostbusters fan, so take that as you will.
Don’t Cross The Streams
Anyway, the new park showcases the many new decorations you can plop. From new 2D building props to a humongous Stay Puft Marshmellow statue, you have more stuff to make your own Ghostbusters park, now with officially sanctioned assets! The two new pre-built rides are interesting. In particular, the Ghostbusters Experience night ride lets you play a Time Crisis-style interactive shooter- though maybe not as fun. It’s serviceable. But you can make your own with a separate, free, DLC.
Oh, you can drive the Ecto-1 car too while it blares out the theme song, again, lifting mechanics from Jurassic World. It’s a silly diversion, but no, you cannot ram the visitors they’ll just ghost out of existence.
As alluded before, the DLC adds ghosts that can haunt your theme park and with that, you gonna call and hire the Ghostbusters. The team of four acts as any regular staff- instead of say, busting pickpockets and sweeping the floor, they go and bust ghosts. You’ll need to plop Eco containment units for easy disposal of ghosts around the park so you don’t see them walking too far just to deposit captured ghosts.
It’s thematically interesting, but doesn’t shake up the core gameplay.
The Ghostbusters are also available as animatronic props so you can set up your own cool shot of them busting them ghosts. Nothing happened when you intentionally placed them to cross the streams, however.
There are 5 chapters of the new campaign, each with multiple stages featuring a few objectives that will have you build and manage the park. Compared to the career mode, this is definitely a meatier experience. Finishing the campaign will unlock another extra theme park template to mess around with.
All in all, the Ghostbusters DLC for Planet Coaster is an okay fanservice pack. Frontier clearly knows how to handle licensed IPs so Ghostbusters fans are in for a treat. All the inclusions and portrayals of the new assets, voiceovers and such are handled with great respect.
However, it’s not anything ambitious or game-changing. At a steep price of RM73.99, the priciest of the DLCs for the game, I don’t think it’s an essential addition to most Planet Coaster experience. As it should- it’s a DLC, not an expansion.
But if this DLC- which also has a bundle that includes the base game- encourages more players to try out Planet Coaster, then so be it. Planet Coaster is a great theme park builder game. Come for the ghosts, then get trapped into the sheer potential of this powerful Roller Coaster Tycoon spiritual successor.
Review code provided by the publisher