A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
When playing as a Ghostbuster, players are encouraged to communicate and work as a team to catch the ghost. It's also a key gameplay element to stay cool under pressure and to interact with other characters to keep them calm and reassure them during a high stress situation.
Positive Role Models
As a Ghostbuster, players are a positive force, facing down the inexplicable and managing their own fears while helping others to do the same. As a ghost, though, players cause all kinds of mischief and mayhem, trying to scare everyone in sight.
The game's main cast is a diverse group of characters, made up of both familiar characters from the Ghostbusters franchise as well as original characters created for the game. Players also get the opportunity to represent themselves in the game using surprisingly deep customization tools.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Ease of Play
Players are given a wide range of options when it comes to things like loadouts, upgrades, abilities, etc. Weapons are intentionally touchy with their aim and often require players to monitor and maintain multiple things at once as a way to encourage more teamwork.
Violence & Scariness
As one should expect, the main focus of the game is busting ghosts. There's a lot of tension and suspense in hunting down the spectral foes. And even though the experience is played for laughs, there are still some scares to be had, especially for younger players.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Since communication and teamwork are both key to catching ghosts, the online voice chat tends to be important. This also means that, especially when matched up with random players, kids could be exposed to profanity and offensive language from others.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The game is based on the popular Ghostbusters franchise, continuing to expand its reach. The franchise has numerous movies, cartoons, toys, comics, and other collectibles to its name.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Scary Games (But Not TOO Scary!)
Scary (But Not TOO Scary!) Halloween Movies
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate