Categories: Games News

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Review: Cracked Multiplayer

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed: Busting Makes You Apathetic (Photo: IllFonic)

Another 80s movie classic gets a 4v1 multiplayer game, but is the world of Ghostbusters really a good match for the formula?

Every time we review a new Ghostbusters game, we end up saying the same thing: Why hasn’t anyone ever made a business sim based on the franchise? That was the point of the original film; the parts that didn’t directly involve ghost hunting were all about setting up and running your own business, with a very Reaganomics-era take on capitalist excess and profit-obstructing government agencies, with all their weak will over health and safety. .

The original 1984 Ghostbusters game realized this, but every other video game has just been a lackluster actioner variant. You could have action elements in the kind of game we’re envisioning, but the core element would have to be running a business, which in turn would allow much more time for the comedy to be inserted in a more organic way. But, alas, there never was anything like that.

This latest game only vaguely touches on the idea of ​​running a Ghostbusters franchise, as it’s really just another one of those endless 4v1 multiplayer games based on 80s horror movies, which so far has included everything , from Predator until Friday the 13th. The last one we played like this was Evil Dead: The Game, and as usual, despite being full of fan service it got old within a few hours. So welcome to Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed…

Aside from the fact that the original Ghostbusters is not an action movie, the problem with turning it into an action game is that the process of catching a ghost, as shown in the movies, is not it translates a lot in a video game. You tire the ghost out by shooting it with your proton pack and then you catch it, and that’s pretty much it. This works perfectly in the movie (where the climax was basically four men shooting a door), but as a video game it lacks dynamism and variety.

This is a problem that Spirits Unleashed wrestles with but never solves, hoping that the nostalgic thrill of playing as a ghostbuster and the intrinsic fun of multiplayer will get you through. Although the weird, cartoony art design for the human character is instantly off-putting, as they look more like generic Fortnite players than anything related to the Ghostbusters franchise.

Dan Akyroyd and Ernie Hudson return to provide some authentic-sounding voiceovers, and all the gadgets like the PKE meter and Ecto-1 are present and correct, but these items aren’t new to video games. The recently remastered Ghostbusters: The Video Game also had all of these good things, but in the context of a single-player story game that at least varied a bit from level to level.

Spirits Unleashed is a multiplayer game, and in keeping with the conventions of its subgenre, that means four people play as a customizable Ghostbuster (no one can be Venkman) and one plays as the Ghost. As with the Evil Dead game, the player alone has many more options at their disposal, although no objective is more complex than not getting caught.

There are several types of ghosts, including a slimer, and while each has slightly different abilities, they all work in the same basic way, in that they try to fill a “haunted” meter by scaring other characters. This can involve classic sliming, but also simply making spooky noises and holding normal objects. Ghosts can not only turn invisible, but float in 3D space, following the ceiling or moving across furniture, making control much more involved than regular human characters.

Playing as the Ghostbusters, you have three “portals” to disable before you can capture a ghost for good, which is further recognition that what happens in the movie isn’t really a good template for a video game, and that all it must be strung. and too complicated for it to work.

Conversely, crossing streams isn’t a danger you need to worry about, although catching a ghost in a proton stream and throwing it is pretty fun and an item that works exactly as you’d imagine in the movies. Mainly because maintaining the flow for too long threatens to overload your proton pack, so if the ghost can stay out of a trap long enough, it can still escape.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed: The art style doesn’t do the game any favors (Photo: IllFonic)

Your base of operations is the iconic New York City Fire Station, where you can upgrade your gear and add cosmetic items to your character, while across the road is the hidden bookstore of Ray Stantz, where you can keep up with what’s going on in the game. history

However, none of this adds any real longevity, and like most of these games, you start to feel your attention wandering by the second or third match. Spirits Unleashed has two particular problems, however, the first being that the AI ​​is absolutely terrible. This is especially true of the ghost, perhaps due to the 3D movement, but even ordinary teammates will happily sabotage your plans or simply run out of help.

The other problem is simply how repetitive everything is. The gameplay loop is deliberately repeated three times in a match no matter what you do, and none of the five maps are unique enough to add any real variety. The game does its best, with various collectibles to discover and common civilians to help, but none of it amounts to anything substantial.

If Spirits Unleashed had been a small part of a larger game, it probably would have worked a lot better, though we still have a feeling you’d start to get annoyed by its appearance and wish you could fast-forward through it. It’s fun the first few times, especially if you’re a Ghostbusters fan, but there’s not enough ectoplasmic excitement here to get you through post-Halloween.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed review summary

To sum up: Bustin’ won’t make you feel good in this shallow and repetitive asymmetric multiplayer, which is one of the worst homages to 80s movies.

Advantages: Despite the bland visuals, the atmosphere feels authentic, and Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson are kind enough not to phone their performances.

Cons: The game starts to get old halfway through the first game and only gets worse from there. Extremely shallow and unplayable to the limit unless all players are human controlled. Soft visuals.

Score: 4/10

Formats: PlayStation 5 (review), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and PC
Price: €34.99
Publisher: IllFonic
Developer: IllFonic
Release date: October 18, 2022
Age rating: 12

Email, leave a comment below and follow us on twitter.

MORE: Quest 2 reveal features Ghostbusters VR and a free Resident Evil 4 update

MORE: Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered review: Bustin’ makes you nostalgic

MORE: Lego Dimensions Ghostbusters Level Pack Review: They’re Ready to Believe

Follow Metro Gaming at Twitter and email us at

For more stories like this, check out our games page.

var notifyQ = function () { var i = 0, l = awaitingReady.length; for (i = 0; i < l; i++) { awaitingReady[i](); } }; var ready = function (cb) { if (fbApiInit) { cb(); } else { awaitingReady.push(cb); } }; var checkLoaded = function () { return fbApiInit; }; window.fbAsyncInit = function () { FB.init({ appId: '176908729004638', xfbml: true, version: 'v2.10' }); fbApiInit = true; notifyQ(); }; return { 'ready' : ready, 'loaded' : checkLoaded }; })(); (function () { function injectFBSDK() { if ( window.fbApi && window.fbApi.loaded() ) return; var d = document, s="script", id = 'facebook-jssdk'; var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) { return; } js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.async = true; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); } if (window.metro) { window.addEventListener('scroll', injectFBSDK, {once: true, passive: true}); } else { window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', injectFBSDK, {once: true}); } })();


Published by

Recent Posts

More on the Interest-Income Channel

Last weekend, I wrote about Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could be…

4 weeks ago

More information in the Interests Channel

Last weekend, I he wrote on Warren Mosler's argument that the Fed's rate hikes could…

4 weeks ago

Biden wants to reduce the deficit. Powell wants to reduce inflation. Do rate hikes undermine both goals?

Last week, the chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell said, "the disinflationary process has begun".…

1 month ago

Quick thoughts on the CBO budget and economic outlook

Earlier this week, I joined Romaine Bostick and Scarlet Fu Bloomberg TV. The Congressional Budget…

1 month ago

Eight states have joined forces to raise taxes on America’s wealthiest

Tomorrow morning, I'll be joining CNBC's Squawk Box to talk about a new effort tax…

1 month ago

Mike Pence would pick up where Paul Ryan left off

Former Vice President Mike Pence talks about privatizing Social Security. The remarks came Thursday before…

2 months ago