It's another superhero movie tie-in that isn't that good. Alright? Yes I know I should really go through and examine every part of the game before giving you the conclusion, but you knew where this was going when you started reading it, didn't you? Mind you, Ghost Rider isn't a complete disaster; it's just a long was from being great.
Unfortunately, it seems Climax decided to take elements of God of War, Devil May Cry and Road Rash, mix them all together and hope that something good would come out. Unfortunately for them, the result is a game that can sometimes be fun but will mostly have gamers wondering why they aren't playing one of those aforementioned games instead.
Ghost Rider takes up where the film left off and sees the devil Mephisto tasking Blaze with halting the resurrection of his son, Blackheart. The game kicks off with Ghost Rider in Hell, battling demons with his extending chain weapon that he borrowed from his mate Kratos. This sentence sums up the entire game, as no matter what area you're in (Hell, desert, ransacked military base) you'll be fighting demons, demons and more demons.
This is where the game's problems begin. Throughout its entirety you'll either be hitting demons with your chain while on foot or hitting demons with your chain while on a motorbike. What's worse is that it doesn't do it particularly well, since the games it's cribbed from perform these tasks far better and break up the action with puzzles. The fighting can be fun, but there's little weight behind Ghost Rider's attacks and there's almost no reaction from the enemies until they dissolve into a collection of orbs. That's right, orbs ("souls") just like in Devil May Cry.
Another feature inspired (stolen) from Capcom's demonic button basher is the combo system. Every continuous hit on an enemy gets gradually more and more powerful, going up through ranks until the Vengeance rating is reached, giving our flame-skulled friend his maximum strength. However, being hit by an enemy stops the combo, so careful blocking is needed. It's a good system, as it was when Devil May Cry first used it all those years ago. In fact, so was the Devil Trigger, another feature that's somehow worked its way into the game in the form of Retribution. In this mode, Ghost Rider is faster, stronger, and able to kill powerful enemies, while his 'Penance Stare' ability releases even more orbs to gobble up.
So what do these orbs actually do? Green ones power-up your Link Attack meter, which releases a massive 'one hit frags all' attack on all the enemies in the area, and red ones build up your Devil Tri..., sorry, Retribution meter/Shotgun ammo (which you'll barely use). The yellow ones are the most important, since they allow you to upgrade your health and power, and buy new combos. The game throws yellow orbs at you at every opportunity, allowing you to boost Ghost Rider's health and power to full before the second level has finished. Simply put, the game gives you too much power early on.
The motorcycle sections inject some much needed variety, with massive jumps and homing missiles, but they also get very repetitive, as it's just a straight rush from A to B while shooting or chaining enemies. They're also full of annoying sections that you'll fail over and over again, which do their best to put you off the game for good.
However, I found I was having fun while on foot. Sure the game steals ideas from the best of the genre, has bland graphics, and a main character who desperately needs an ice pack and a throat sweet, but it's enjoyable enough while it lasts - which isn't very long. Ghost Rider is a solid game that offers some decent action, but unless you must play as Ghost Rider you'll be better off checking out one of the many, better alternatives.