REVIEW: ‘Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed’ Delivers Addictive & Fun Multiplayer (PS5)

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Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed - But Why Tho (1)

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, developed by Illfonic, is an asymmetric game in 4v1 fashion where you play as a new ghostbuster. You meet the other four members; Ray, Winston, Catt, and Eddy. With their help, you take on jobs to defeat a variety of ghosts quickly with minimal property damage. Fans of the movies will love seeing Ray and Winston—voiced by the original actors, Dan Ackroyd and Ernie Hudson, respectively—bringing back fond movie memories and a still catchy song.

Though the storyline may drag for some who are not fans of a lot of chatter, the online multiplayer is where it’s at. With a good amount of customization, some accessibility features, and battles like a less terrifying Phasmophobia, you can lose hours playing Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed; it is that fun. 

As the trainee, there is a training section to practice battling ectoplasmic troublemakers. In an alley between the Ray’s Occult Books and the Firehouse is the training area, you collect and practice using your Proton Pack, Particle Thrower, P.K.E meter, and Ghost Trap. They have stationary ghost targets to practice shooting with your particle thrower and a floating ghost aloft to practice tethering and dragging the ghost into your Ghost Trap. It is not in-depth, just teaches you the basic mechanics, and your real opponent will be gliding everywhere. Nor do these practice targets fight back so real experience is what will help you get a feel for the combat and gear. 

Once training is complete, you find jobs—these have the option of being on your own with bot assists online. Ghostbusting is more than finding ghosts and sealing them. It is a whole fun ordeal. You have to find the ghost, but also rifts that allow the spirit to come back, limit damage to the location, and soothe the people inside. You are on the clock, job, and victory-wise. If the haunting reaches a hundred percent, a countdown ensues. You lose if you do not have them in the ghost trap before the clock runs down. 

Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed - But Why Tho (2)

Gameplay controls are tricky (at least for me) as a ghostbuster. As a ghostbuster, the challenge is tethering and dragging the ghost into a trap. Often my tether breaks because if the ghost is pulling in the opposite direction, it snaps. So I likely need more practice. Destroying rifts (each location has three) is a priority as well, as the ghost will essentially respawn at a rift each time you catch them until the rifts are gone.

Finding the rifts are difficult because the P.K.E Meter responds to the supernatural phenomenon. So if a rift and the ghost are near, it is hard to be sure which you are tracking. Attacking rifts is not hard given they are stationary objects, but be ready because the ghost will usually arrive to stop you and they can take the rift and hide it elsewhere. You get a ping on your map when teammates find a rift, find the ghost, or the ghost downs them. You can run for a while, but not forever so be sure to keep this ready when you have to move quickly. 

Playing solo with AI-assisted play or choosing online multiplayer, the difference will depend on the opponent. If you have a bot ghost, your chance of winning is slightly better. For 4v1 online play, you do not need to have 5 players. If you have three players, AI will come in for the other two, so you do not have to wait too long to play. Sadly, you do not get to customize the AI’s gear, but they are helpful teammates to have regardless. 

Spirits have less to do, or rather, a more straightforward goal. The endgame is haunting and evading until you take over the location. As a ghost, each one has their own stats and abilities that relate to moving, ectoplasm, haunting, possessing, and escaping. Special attributes, like gear customization, highlight the positive and negative qualities each ghost has via a green plus sign and a red minus sign. Each ghost possesses three abilities: unique, ultimate, and minion. These are active abilities you use to fight or escape. For example, the Ghouly’s unique ability is they can possess people; a handy trick. There are a total of 5 ghosts, but like the gear, they unlock when with character levels—the final ghost you unlock when you reach level 50. 

Speaking of controls, the proton pack gear in Ghostbuster: Spirits Unleashed comes with customizable options. The Customize Gear section reminds me of the workbench from the Last Of Us series. But you do not pay to customize; instead, options are level-based. As you level and change gear, the training area is next to the workbench making it convenient to test the feel of any alterations. Secondary gadgets do not have customizations, but you can choose which you want to use in the field.

You can customize the Proton Pack, Particle Thrower, Ghost Trap, and P.K.E Meter. The Particle Thrower has five categories to modify; central unit, nozzle, grip, side component, and top attachment. Each starts default, but options to equip open as you level up the gear through use, which I recommend depending on what you need a boost on, rift damage, minion damage, stream range, etc. 

Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed - But Why Tho

There are a few accessiblity options. For me as long as I can have subtitles, I can play and since there are not a lot of dark areas in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, I do not have a hard time seeing. For subtitles, you can change the size, background opacity, color, and background color.  Additionally, there are settings for colorblind mode as well as and increasing/decreasing color deficiency strength. There are also field-of-view options that zoom out the first-person view, creating distance. You can play around with these options until gameplay is smooth for you.

Working with other teammates is fun, but it is hard to catch and seal the ghost, destroy rifts, calm down staff, and find fungi and clippings to unlock more features. As the storyline progresses, there is ample downtime to look for a job or train. Besides, multiplayer is challenging but terrific because you face the challenge with friends. But you can also be the bane of your friends’ existence. You can play the spectral headache they must catch!

Though I love the ghostbuster, I prefer the ghost. As a ghost, you can haunt everything in sight till your energy runs low, then you hide to recharge. Plus, scaring the staff is another bonus. You can haunt or possess things and sabotage the ghostbusters at every opportunity. From taking the ghost pack to tampering with the proton pack so they cannot fire at you, there is ample to do to level up the haunt. If you do not play multiplayer, you will get far less out of this game. 

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is an excellent, fun, stressful multiplayer game. If you love online gaming, this game is worth a purchase. The price point is good, especially if you choose a digital copy. You can spend hours upgrading gear and unlocking new ghosts! Now I have to go haunt some more players.  

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed launches October 18, 2022 on PlayStation 5|4, the PC via the Epic Games Store, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One.


Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is an excellent, fun, stressful multiplayer game. If you love online gaming, this game is worth a purchase. The price point is good, especially if you choose a digital copy. You can spend hours upgrading gear and unlocking new ghosts! Now I have to go haunt some more players.  

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