Let’s get started on this Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed review.
What is Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed?
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is an asymmetrical horror multiplayer battle game based on the popular movie, Ghostbusters. You play as a new recruit Ghostbuster. You will encounter many from the movie including actual voice acting and the likeness of Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson (Ray and Winston).
Do spooky ghost hunts make for multiplayer fun?
Who Makes Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed?
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is made by IllFonic. They are a large game dev based in Colorado, Washington, and Texas, with lots of experience, especially with multiplayer games. They have been involved with Predator: Hunting Grounds, Friday the 13th: The Game, and Evolve.
Which Platforms is Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed On?
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is available on Epic Games Store (PC), Playstation, and Xbox.
Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed Tutorial
Ghostbusters starts you off with a tutorial as part of its campaign. There is a story with some of the new and old characters and you being a new Ghostbusters recruit. This walks you through the basics of using your particle thrower, proton pack, ghost trap, and P.K.E. Meter to catch ghosts.
Unfortunately, I had to quit in the middle of one of these tutorials. I exited the game through the proper menu channels and then when I loaded the game up the next time the entire rest of the tutorial was skipped. There was no way to restart the tutorial that I could find.
This meant that I was now forced to actually load up a job and started to hunt ghosts, and I had no clue as to how that actually worked. Thankfully the game is not too tricky to figure out but note that if you need to exit the tutorial or campaign you will miss out on the whole thing.
There is also a reference training manual on the second floor of the fire station that has some more details about the game.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Gameplay Review
The overall goal of Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed is to well, catch the ghost.
You and 3 other players (or bots) will be transported to one of 5 map locations. Another player or bot will play the ghost.
The ghost will move around the map and try to haunt the citizens as well as spend time hiding in the various rooms. The ghost has some special abilities to use to help with this. The more time spent in rooms and the more citizen who run out of the building in terror, the more haunted the location becomes and the closer the ghost gets to winning.
For the Ghostbusters, randomly located around the map are three Ghost Rifts attached to Cursed artifacts. You get to decide how you want to get rid of those three rifts.
Catcher –The first option is to run around the map, find, track and catch the ghost in your trap four different times. Each time you trap a ghost he will respawn in a rift and remove it from play. This can take quite some time, especially for uncoordinated teams or talented ghost players.
Rift Hunter – The second option is to run around the map with your P.K.E. Reader and try and find cursed artifacts and the rift locations, while mostly ignoring the ghost. This can be tricky as the cursed artifacts can be hard to find and also because the ghost is actually able to move the rifts from their starting locations. The ghost is also increasing the haunted level the whole time.
Hybrid – The third option is in some amount of hybrid between the two. Some team members will take on the role of tracking and catching the ghost and others will attempt to find the rifts and calm citizens.
Destroyer – You can also destroy most of what you see and this will create fewer spots for the ghost to possess and recharge. Although there are LOTS of items.
There are also various mushrooms and fungi located around the map that you can pick up and some collectible new clippings. Because why not.
The best matches communicate which of these ‘roles’ people will be playing. Unfortunately, there are no clearly labeled roles that you may assign yourself, say at the start of the round. This makes it difficult to determine who is focusing on what in each game you play. This is especially true if you are not playing with friends or there is no voice chat with the randoms. This lack of role problem also goes for all parts of catching the ghost.
How to Catch a Ghost in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
To successfully catch a ghost in Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed several steps need to happen. First, you need to find the ghost. This can be a combination of luck or using the P.K.E. meter. After you have found the ghost, then you can catch it!
- One person will need to shoot the ghost and ‘tether’ the ghost. They will be the main person that can control and pull the ghost in certain directions, like towards a trap. Your proton pack will be heating up, eventually overheating and dropping the ghost if no one else is tethering.
- Additional players can also tether onto the ghost in a supporting type role. Each additional tether will make it harder for the ghost to escape. If the main user drops off, the next in line takes over as the main tether.
- You also need someone to throw down and open a trap to catch the ghost. If you are tethering you can not throw out the trap. So generally at least ONE specific person needs to be a “trap guy” or you need to do it before you start tethering.
- More experienced players can stun a ghost with a P.K.E. Meter burst, throw a trap, and hope to catch the ghost solo.
Currently, with many new players and few using voice chat, catching a ghost is usually a mad amount of chaos. Many users have no clue exactly what role they are doing. (Or heck, that there even are these roles or things to focus on) What usually happens is people tether that ghost and then panic as the pack heats up, and they try and throw down the Trap. No one else has tethered the ghost, so it easily slips away.
When there is a lot happening on the screen including multiple players and ghost using their special abilities I found that the game frequently would stutter at this point. That’s even on top-of-line gaming machines and graphic cards. Your mileage may vary.
Single Player and Offline Play Options
You can play completely offline with just bots. This is a nice change for this genre. Some people don’t want to play online with others and you can practice and try things out with the bots. The bots are decent enough, but not super great at actually catching the ghosts. Still you should be able to get by and learn the ropes in offline play.
How does the score work?
At the end of each match, you will briefly see a scorecard that focuses on five different points. Captures, Tethers, Calming civilians, Rift damage, and Property damage. Each of these items has different point values and contributes to your total XP. On the final scorecard screen, you can see how you compared to the other players on your team. Again, because there is no real role calling between teammates, you can be focusing on the same thing and miss a key role.
Each of these areas will have milestones to work towards like “Hold 30 seconds of primary tether, or Deal 500 Rift Damage”. You can be a jack of all trades and focus on a little of each, or what I found works best is to pick 1 main score point and focus on that.
As you continue to progress in levels he will get access to side missions and other campaign bonuses there will be 5 challenges that you can execute while playing like getting 700,000 in property damage. Once you complete these challenges you will be given XP and sometimes the ability to unlock additional Cosmetics for your character.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Graphics and Sound
The graphics in Ghostbusters Unleashed are another one of the strong points. The game is bright and fun and looks extremely true to what you see in the movie right down to the location of each filing cabinet.
The soundtrack includes the iconic Ghostbusters theme song as well as a few of the other Classics from the movie including “I Believe It’s Magic”. For anyone who is a fan of the franchise when these songs kick on and you’re looking at the environment that looks exactly like the movie it’s a real sense of wow.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Really Cool Stuff
Playing as the ghost is initially a bit confusing, but quickly becomes quite fun. Once you learn you have the advantage of going vertical rapidly and most Ghostbusters do not, you get to play a real trickster. You can tease and attack the Ghostbusters and civilians as much as you dare to scare them away or spend most of the match hiding and attacking from the shadows. It really is quite a different experience than other asymmetrical games. You also get 4 lives per round to do it.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed really puts you right in the Ghostbusters movie. It’s by far the most well-executed part of this game. There are so many little Easter eggs and nods to the original franchise. You are able to fully walk around the iconic Ghostbusters firehouse and experience all parts of it. This also includes the voice acting of Ray and Winston. You truly feel like you are in the Ghostbusters world.
Some quick examples? You get to ride the fire poll. There are stay puff marshmallows, and yellow log cakes aka Twinkies to smirk over.
Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed Bugs and Problems
As you level up you will be presented with more parts of the campaign which is fun for fans. The story is unique and not too complex, but really enjoyable. As far as I can tell it ends at level 40.
Unfortunately, if you have to go back to the main menu at some point while playing with your friends and you go over the 10-20-30-40 level threshold, you will be kicked out of your party and required to play out the campaign scenes. You can skip it, but again you will not be able to return to view it again. I am not sure why this forced campaign happens, but it should be optional and accessible on your terms.
There is no mini-map. The maps are not super complicated, but it would be helpful to have a small map to reference where things are happening.
The Cosmetic character creation is definitely one of the weaker parts of this game. The user interface is kind of confusing and doesn’t allow for a whole lot of customization even though there are a few different settings to play around with.
In order to switch to a girl character for example it took quite a lot of clicking not a simple boy-girl option. Once I found the girl’s body, I still had to figure out where I could change it to a girl’s voice. It just wasn’t the best designed. You are also presented with a limited number of customizations to your Ghostbusters character. Like a hat, glasses and that’s it. There are no extreme upgrades or skins to work towards. Just different color knee pads or your shirt is unzipped. A plaid shirt is currently the highest-level cosmetic unlock. Really.
I really feel they could have done a bit more here as this is the entire point of the game after level 40, to continue to unlock these cosmetics. Because these upgrades aren’t so great I’m not sure how many people will continue to play once they get the basics of the game down.
Who Will Enjoy Playing Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed?
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is rated E10+. There are some spooky themes and some minimal cartoon violence. If you like Ghostbusters the movie, asymmetrical horror, or multiplayer games then you will like Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed.
What Games are similar to Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed?
This is an asymmetrical multiplayer horror so similar games are Dead By Daylight, Evil Dead: The Game, and Friday The 13th: The Game. Although I would argue this one is considerably more friendly for younger players or even people new to the genre.
How long is Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed?
Currently, this game is pretty short. I was able to reach level 40 and beat the campaign in about 2 days of testing and about 8 hours of gameplay. Of course, the matches are unlimited and you can hunt and play as ghosts forever.
Final Thoughts On Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Review. Is Ghostbuster Spirits Unleashed Worth it?
Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed will be worth it for fans of the franchise, for others, it will depend on what you are looking for in a game.