Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is an asymmetrical horror game within The Real Ghostbusters IP. Not to be confused with the Ghostbusters movie license. Even though Dan Aykroyd and Eerie Hudson return to lend their vocal talents for Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddmore, this game leans toward more animated adventures. Anyone who grew up during the 80s will recognize all sorts of Easter eggs hidden throughout. Generally speaking, the gameplay mechanics for this title are more accessible than the 2009 video game. However, it’s not to say that it has its challenges.
This game is a standard 4v1 asymmetrical format. Four Ghostbusters will be hunting down one spirit. Even though this sounds unbalanced and unfair, there are some nuances in this game that help keep things interesting. During every match, there is a lot going on. It is basically a ‘hide and seek’ scenario, and things can get pretty hairy. Thankfully, there are some visual and aerial clues to tune into. It is important to take your time and soak in all environmental hints that will be humming around you.
One mistake that new players will make is rushing through a match. Running around and blasting everything in sight like COD isn’t the way to go about things. Ghostbusters are essentially hunters and this is how things should be approached. Look for tracks, zero in on your prey, and capture them. There are a few ways to do this. Every buster will come with the same equipment. A particle thrower, traps, and a PKE meter. Thus, there are also some extra toys to try out, too.
Know Your Signs
When starting out a match, the first two primary objectives will be calming down citizens and destroying rifts. Doing both of these can be time-consuming, but if this needs to be done, then do it. There is a “haunt meter” on top of your screen. Once that fills in, then the map will become “fully haunted” and it’s game over. So, in order to circumvent this, talking to citizens and successfully completing the mini-game therein will slow hauntings down. You can’t reverse the Haunt Meter, unfortunately. Instead, you can make it “tougher” for the ghost to scare the citizens.
So, when looking for rifts, your PKE meter will generally point you the way. Once all the cursors on your screen form a circle, and turn red, then you’re very close. Rifts are hidden within objects, and they will have green sparks floating out of them. So, when you see this, either stun the object with your PKE meter or blast it. Rifts come with hefty HP and it can take a while to destroy. So, be sure to ping it before starting, so everyone can work as a team. The ghost will know that you’re attacking its rift. So, be sure to have someone watching everyone’s six. Because that ghost can sneak up and disable packs, among other things.
Ghostbuster: Spirits Unleashed was tailor-made to play with friends. Therefore, communicating via microphones is the best way to go. If this isn’t the case for a new player, then this game does come with a rather solid ping system. The moment you come across a rift or a spook, ping them so the rest of the team can assist. Don’t go solo and try to round up the ghosts alone. Although this is possible, it is extremely difficult, and more often than not, the ghost will escape. Working together will make the job all the more efficient.
Usually, everyone will want to lasso a ghost, but nobody will throw down a trap. This scenario can be frustrating. So, if there’s a ghost tied up in another buster’s particle stream, then throw the trap down. You will gain extra XP by doing this. If all four busters have a ghost lassoed, with no trap anywhere, then it defeats the entire purpose. It is also a good idea to visit Eddie in the firehouse to upgrade equipment, including the traps. By default, traps can be slippery and difficult to pinpoint when released. There are upgrades to fix this, making the busting method easier.
In the grand scheme of things, the upgrading features in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed aren’t the most extensive within the asymmetrical horror sub-genre. However, it is still an option nonetheless. The XP garnered in matches can be pretty generous, so upgrading can happen pretty early. As mentioned before, up on the second floor of the firehouse, Eddie will have a lab waiting. You can use this to upgrade your toys. Alternatively, there’s another workbench in the alleyway next to Ray’s Occult Bookstore.
When it comes to XP, one of the fastest ways to level up is by finding collectibles throughout the map. Namely, newspaper clips and mold can be snatched up. They are not that hard to find and players will come across them rather easily just by navigating the map. If you come across one, go ahead and get it. The animations are quick and there won’t be much time wasted. Thus, maps are loaded with things to find and they’re hard to miss. So, finding them can be pretty important in terms of upgrading your build. However, these collectibles aren’t so important that you should ignore the hunt. They are just an added bonus when playing a match.
There is a mild pool of replayability with Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. Luckily, the developers are nursing this title by adding free DLC on a regular basis. So, there is more content to enjoy now than ever. Every match in this game offers a unique adventure and it is worth trying out for anyone looking for a light-heated asymmetrical horror experience. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is now available for PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch.