Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
For multiplayer, ghost busting fun, who ya gonna call?
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Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is a downloadable online shooter game, available on the Xbox Series, PlayStation 5, and Windows based PCs, and is based on the Ghostbusters film series. Players compete in 4v1 matches, with four players acting as new recruits on an assignment to hunt down a player controlled ghost. While the game's generally safe for all ages, the nature of the gameplay features a lot of elemental destruction and supernatural scares. Parents should be aware that the game's online component and focus on communication and teamwork could also expose younger players to some profanity or other offensive language from others through online voice chat. But it should be pointed out that matches can be played with random players, with friends only, or even alone with computer controlled bots filling in the empty slots.
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What’s It About?
The Ghostbusters are hiring in GHOSTBUSTERS: SPIRITS UNLEASHED. After the events of the Ghostbuster: Afterlife film, everyone's favorite ectoplasmic exterminators have re-opened for business and business is looking good. As the newest recruit to the Ghostbusters ranks, you'll need to familiarize yourself with all the best busting equipment, from old favorites like Proton Packs and P.K.E. Meters to new experimental gadgets like the Vertical Ascension Device and Ionizer Pods. When duty calls, it's up to you and your team to send these petulant poltergeist back to the afterlife. Or you can take a trip through Tobin's Spirit Guide to the Ghost Realm and see how the other half "lives." You'll channel your inner phantasm and take the form of a ghost, possessing furniture, scaring citizens, and of course, sliming any Ghostbuster that happens to get in your way. Whichever side you choose, always remember Rule Number One: "When someone asks if you're a god, you say yes."
Is It Any Good?
If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? The Ghostbusters, of course, but if you're looking for an action game that's equal parts spooky tension and hilarious humor? That's when you call Ghostbuster: Spirits Unleashed. From the opening moments, this game is a love letter to Ghostbusters fans. Following the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Winston Zeddemore has decided to re-open the Ghostbusters franchise and you're its newest hire. The voice acting is extremely well done, and hearing Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd respire their classic roles feels like a homecoming of sorts. In fact, every detail in the game, from the iconic firehouse with a shiny Ecto-1 parked and waiting to go to the signature sound of a proton packs powering up, makes you feel like you're a living, breathing part of the Ghostbuster universe. (Well, unless you're playing the ghost.)
For the most part, gameplay in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is a lot of fun. Admittedly, particle throwers aren't exactly the most precise weapons, but they still act like you imagine one would in real life. Controlling where your stream hits takes some practice, as does making use of the other available equipment. It takes time, for example, to learn how to read the blips and beeps on the P.K.E. Meter to best track down traces of ectoplasmic activity. For the Ghostbusters, working as a team is vital. Players cover each others' back while reassuring citizens, seeking out dimensional rifts, and dragging tethered spirits over well-placed open traps. Getting a good team together, with solid communication and general synergy makes this a total blast. On the flip side though, when you find yourself in a mismatched or even just toxic team, it can be more uncomfortable than an actual haunting. Speaking of which, playing as a ghost in Spirits Unleashed is surprisingly fulfilling. Your goal is mainly to cause a little paranormal panic instead of doing anything genuinely terrifying. Each ghost has its own unique set of abilities, with a host of different play styles to choose from. The game's balance also seems to hit a good sweet spot where neither side ever feels more overpowered than the other. While the game can feel a little repetitive over time, it's hard to deny that even after all these years, bustin' still makes you feel good.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about commercialism in entertainment. How can things like video games, books, TV shows, and movies help to expand the reach and longevity of some franchises? How these extensions of the original help to build and cater to a fanbase?
What are some of the positives to teaming with and competing against actual people in online games? What are some of the things parents and kids should watch out for when playing with others in an online environment?
- Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid ($39.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: IllFonic
- Release date: October 18, 2022
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Communication, Teamwork
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Comic Mischief, Alcohol Reference, Language
- Last updated: December 1, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Paranormal '80s classic has some scares, innuendo.
Playful paranormal reboot offers funny frights for families.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered
For supernatural fun and action, who you gonna call?
For kids who love funny supernatural adventures
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