Asymmetrical multiplayer inspired by horror movies, or possessing features that can adhere to that theme, is pouring in on us. Since Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th: The Game, there have been many studios that have gotten to work with games that aim to introduce players into that atmosphere of horror to revive the altar movies (a term coined by Nacho Vigalondo ) differently, with an experience that does not consist of remaking the stories told by those feature films but in reformulating their ingredients so that we can feel firsthand what it is to be a serial killer or, in this case, a ghostbuster. From the hand of IllFonic, a new multiplayer game is now coming to consoles and PC where we will have to create our ghost hunter and hunt for entities and spectres for a few maps.
An asymmetric 4v1 multiplayer without too many new features, but very entertaining
The features that Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed presents do not offer any novelty about the genre in which it moves, nor do they seek to reinvent any wheel. The IllFonic team aims to provide an immersive first-person experience in which users can use the classic proton cannon with their own hands and a series of artifacts and gadgets to feel as close to the original story starring Harold Ramis. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson. Ghostbusters Spirits Unleashed games can be played in two different ways. Or we are ghost hunters and, together with three other companions, hunt down a monster. Or we are the latter and must terrify everyone we come across. The asymmetrical multiplayer is a constant four vs. 1 in which the good guys must hunt down the bad guy (and not the other way around like in other horror games).
The approach of Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is straightforward since we will wander through a small handful of settings (five in total), exploring each corner with our psychokinetic energy meter. With this device, we will search for the location of the ghost in question to end its existence by putting it in our ghost trap. The ghost can reappear through a series of portals., so we must kill them. The sooner we break it, the sooner the game ends because the rival cannot appear again once we capture it. With the particle launcher, we can do that “cross the rays” and destroy whatever we want: chairs, tables, plants, etc. (games can be very chaotic if we are all shooting everywhere). All that is necessary for the ghost to fall into our nets. And to this, we must add calming the personnel frightened by the enemy. As a ghost, we will do the opposite; use three specific skills to deal with ghostbusters, and in the meantime, we will scare the staff of the locations, enchant objects, etc. Our task as a villain is to scare and turn places into “haunted houses.”
For die-hard fans of the film series
To be short on this, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is just about this. It is getting together with a few friends to laugh while enjoying the soundtrack of the original 1984 film directed by Ivan Reitman. The multiplayer games are wrapped up in a brief story mode that serves as an accompaniment so that advancing levels and unlocking objects come to nothing. At least we have some cinematics to hold on to enjoy veteran characters like Stantz, Venkman or Winston, as well as some new additions that you will discover for yourselves. But this brief campaign mode is somewhat anecdotal at the beginning. It is used based on a tutorial and, as we go through levels, it is simply a complement to which too much attention is not paid due to the slight weight it has on the games or the entirety of the video game.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is a purely multiplayer experience where we constantly repeat the same formula repeatedly, with levelling up and new medium power items that make us want to find a game again, to try what he has just gotten. The small variety of maps can significantly affect this repetition since once we know them, there is not much mystery anymore… For practical purposes, it is a title intended almost mainly for faithful followers of the Ghostbusters series that, as we said at the beginning of the analysis, seek an experience that allows them to enter those fictional universes that we once enjoyed in the cinema (or on television). However, the simplicity that IllFonic applies to the game should not be understood as something entirely negative because it makes approaching his work easy, and anyone can go in and take “a few shots.” The learning curve is minimal, so you come here to enjoy hunting ghosts with the particle launcher. Which, by the way, is perfectly recreated.
Although it can paint as one more multiplayer within that trail of asymmetric horror that is coming (and will come) to consoles and PC, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed has more than correct technical finishes. The effects of lightning, the deployment of traps and even the ion grenades we can use in combat look great. Nor does it seek to be a tremendously realistic title since it embraces animation to escape the special effects seen in movies. Of course, you can find yourself with the odd problem with the cinematics, especially with the audio, although it is not a vital problem that cannot be solved with a brief patch.
Even though the Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed experience is entirely arcade and is focused on pure fun, coordination and teamwork are essential to succeed in the games. In our case, we have played games with bots and games with real players, and we can assure you that if you are not coordinated with your team, things can get a bit uphill. It is challenging to hunt down the ghost and close all the portals without help because the enemy in question can make life miserable by constantly spitting snot and drool on us and disabling our ghost-hunting team. That is where teamwork comes in: you have to go in a group and control the area. Everyone can take on a task without needing classes to select from within the game.
The Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed experience is designed to be carried out in a group; otherwise, there is nothing to do, and as we said, it can even get tiring. It is a game to spend a few afternoons with friends and unlock all the objects within our reach while we level up our arsenal and gadgets. In short, the multiplayer game proposed by IllFonic is ideal for getting nostalgic: wander around the ghostbusters’ fire station for a bit, create our character, use the particle launcher, empty our ghost traps in the tank, meet up with old acquaintances while we listen to the soundtrack in the background… Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed It seeks us to laugh without too many complications, enjoy each game (each one is very different), and orient the game to a manual first-person shooter.
We have prepared this review with a digital copy of the game for the PS5 version provided by Evolve PR.