Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed was indirectly announced by Ernie Hudson last year when he was promoting Ghostbusters: Afterlife late last year. Of course, everyone took that little nugget of information with a pinch of salt because rumors tend to float around within the gaming stratosphere that sometimes never come to fruition. Well, it appears that he was indeed on point with this game’s development. This new game is being made by Illfonic who recently developed the ill-fated Friday the 13th game. This new Ghostbusters outing will be an asymmetrical survival-horror game that pits a group of newly recruited members of the team trying to capture a free-roaming vapor. Naturally, players will be able to control both the new recruits and the ghost. Given that there were a handful of Ghostbuster games released over the years, this will be the first time players will actually control a spirit.
Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson will be returning to lend their talents to their respective characters Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore. It’s not known whether or not Bill Murray will return to voice Peter Venkman. Given that this game is still in development, there is still hope that it can still happen. This game will feature a number of maps that will mostly consist of public locations that are being terrorized by a mischievous specter. From what was stipulated in the trailer, this game will be taking place in the classic New York setting. This city has always been the backbone of the Ghostbusters mythos and it’s good to return for another video game outing. Additionally, this game will also have fully-realized locations from the movies like Ray’s Occult Book Store and the Firehouse. They’re not there just for fan service, either. These locations place a pivotal part in the overall gameplay experience, which perfectly fits into a game of this genre.
Light is Green, Trap is Clean
The main format for Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is that it will be a 4v1 experience. Four Ghostbusters must cooperatively work together to trap one ugly spud that’s floating around the hallways. Players will come equipped with classic gear such as the PKE Meter and Particular Accelerator, of course. The maps will come in the design of museums, restaurants, aquariums, prisons, and more. The developers are aiming to make a slew of original locations for players to explore, which never has been seen before regarding the Ghostbusters IP. Ray’s Occult Book Store will act as a “Beasitary” of sorts. Of course, this game involves ghosts instead of “beasts” per se. In any case, this is where players go to get hints and tutorials on how to deal with certain vapors. Winston, on the other hand, will oversee the firehouse where players will go to upgrade their gear and customize their avatars.
The firehouse will be fully explorable, complete with Easter eggs to find. This game will be played from a first-person view. Matches work by having a certain map slowly become “fully haunted” by having the ghosts terrorize the NPCs that are scattered throughout. Once the haunting is complete, the ghosts win. The Ghostbusters, on the other hand, can “calm down” the NPCs while they hunt for the spooky glob that’s running amok. It’s very much like a “tug of war” of sorts. There will be a variety of ghosts to choose from, like Slimer, for instance. They will come with certain abilities like a “rushing attack” which will slime the Ghostbusters and stun them. Most notably, they all will have a stealth tactic in the form of possessing objects that are placed throughout the map. Players can hide and wait, while the Ghostbuster closes in on them with their PKE meter. Alternatively, the ghosts can just use objects as projectiles and hurl them at the Ghostbusters for damage.
Total Protonic Reversal
Now, whenever a ghost is lassoed by a proton stream, it can struggle to free itself. The upside to that is if players team up and lasso a ghost together, the harder it is for it to escape. If a ghost is trapped, it will have a couple of more respawn attempts to have another go. Each map will have ‘rifts’ that will act as a respawn point for another ghost to come out for another round. If the Ghostbusters manage to trap a spirit three times, they win the match. In a twist, the ghosts can move around the rifts and hide them. If the Ghostbusters find a rift, they can destroy it, eliminating the chances of respawning. This gives an extra edge during matches, given that the Ghostbusters will have their hands full dealing with the increasingly haunted map. The sound design for this game is on point, right down to the electric hum of the proton packs.
Even though these tools are the most popular way to capture spirits, there will be other unlockables, too. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed will have a progression system where players can unlock customizations and even new gear. The customization features appear to be fairly robust, giving gamers ample opportunities to make their own Ghostbuster. This game isn’t going for the photo-realistic look of the 2009 video game. Instead, this new offering is much more light-hearted and animated. It is very reminiscent of Fort Nite, for one example. This is certainly a far cry from Illfonic’s other uber-violent titles. It is certainly a different change of pace for them, and it is always nice to see developers try out different palettes.
What About The Twinkie?
The announcement trailer for Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is definitely making its rounds. It has been a while since we have a bonafide Ghostbusters experience and making it a PvP game makes sense. There are some clever ideas behind the mechanics and this title could have some longevity to it. Currently, it is locked in to be released later this year. It will be available for the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC when it drops. There will be more information on Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed in the coming months by Illfonic to help players get a better grasp on how its features will be implemented.