Who ya gonna call? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you have been living in a cave for almost 40 years. Ghostbusters burst onto movie screens in 1984 with their 1st video game coming out that same year. 38 years, 4 movies, and a few animated shows later Ghostbusters : Spirits Unleashed by IIIFonic becomes the 16th game in the series.
Ghostbusters : Spirits Unleashed is an online multiplayer game that allows for up to 5 people to play at once in a 4v1 match. You have a team of 4 Ghostbusters clearing different locations of ghosts. And yes, the 5th player gets to play as the Ghost and slime everyone. The team of Ghostbusters must trap all the ghosts in the level, destroy rifts, and try to keep damage to a minimum. If you are the ghost, you can win by evading the paranormal police, scaring civilians out of the property, haunting the entire building, or just surviving the time limit.
Ghostbusters has been re-opened by Winston Zeddemore and you are the newest recruit. Ray has retired from the ghostbusting business but has opened his Occult Book Shop right next door for easy access. There is a tech specialist to help you with your new gear, and even side gigs you can do to earn some extra cash. And if you need to practice with your new equipment there is even a firing range in the alley so you can improve your trapping skills. As you progress through levels, you will unlock more ways to personalize your character.
Missions are divided into jobs. You can choose if you want to play as a Ghostbuster or the Ghost, but it is only a preference. If everyone in the party wants to be a ghost, there are going to be some disappointed players. One nice thing is that you don’t have to have 4 other friends online to play, or even anyone. You can play the game completely solo with AI controlled bots filing out your team. The bots are not half bad at the game either. They can close rifts, trap ghosts and even calm down civilians all without your help. It makes playing solo pretty enjoyable. Most multiplayer games are unplayable without friends, or random players online – this is a welcome change.
While there are a limited number of maps, each hunt provides a varied experience. Civilians react differently and of course ghosts seem to have different haunting patterns. I am sure if you play enough rounds, you will see patterns emerge, but so far I haven’t. There are also collectable clippings to gather in each area as well as spores, molds, and fungi. There were several levels that I almost lost because I was busy being an Egon and trying to find all the collectables. Even though the items will reappear, you can get sidetracked easily.
The graphics are bright and vibrant. The characters are fairly realistic, as are the set pieces. At the start of the game, they play the Ghostbusters theme, but otherwise there is no music that will get you in trouble if you decide to stream your game sessions. When I played online with random players, I didn’t have an issue finding others to play with. Even if there weren’t many players online, there are still the bots available to fill out your team.
Ghostbusters : Spirits Unleashed is available on Xbox, Playstation, and PC. With a price tag of about $40 there is a lot to enjoy here. Some might be hesitant on the price tag and wait to purchase the game. This just means that the player pool will increase over time. Even with a few of the original cast members missing, this is still one of the best games from the franchise.