Riding on the coattails of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Illfonic has released Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, a 4V1 multiplayer game where players work together as a new generation of Ghostbusters.
Picking up after the events of the movie, Winston (Ernie Hudson) has used his business success to restart the Ghostbusters and with the help of Ray (Dan Aykroyd), and their assistants, recruit a new trainee into the program. Players go through the training paces of using their gear, exploring the headquarters, and customizing their characters before they head off on missions.
With cross-play options there are always plenty of scenarios, and up to four players can work as a team locate the ghost and leanse a location under haunt. Locales include a prison, a hotel, a museum, and a sports bar which offer plenty of places for a ghost to hide and NPC characters to scare.
The gameplay requires players to locate the ghost and then, using their Proton Packs, guide the ghost into a trap for collection. This is not as easy as it sounds as captured ghosts can reemerge through rifts that must be located and sealed. The longer a ghost remains free, the chance of a total haunting becomes likely and the round ends with a loss. You can also end up damaging the locale, which is a bad thing, and hinders progress toward your goal.
You aren’t limited to playing as one of the Ghostbusters. Playing as a ghost offers a unique perspective. Players can haunt items, scare individuals, slime the Ghostbusters, and do any number of attacks depending on their energy level which can thwart capture efforts and even require Ghostbusters to revive players who have been slimed or reboot their packs.
Players can upgrade their gear over time; after a measured number of many missions the storyline of the game advances upon return to the station.
The game is fun to play, but it suffers on a few points. The graphics that are on the dated side, but the quality of the gameplay counterbalances that. The biggest issue I had, though, was that there just aren’t that many maps, and the upgrades I got for my gear really didn’t impact gameplay all that much. The storyline seemed short as well. This leaves the game open for DLC updates, but I feel that this is stuff that should have been in the initial release (assuming they’re going to do anything about this problem with later content releases).
For now, the game is an enjoyable outing that can be enjoyed and returned to again and again based on gameplay alone, but the hours of play versus what you pay for it seems a bit unbalanced.
3.5 stars out of 5