by Synister Sandman

Illfonic is no stranger to taking famous movie franchises and turning them into multiplayer adventures. We’ve already seen their work on Friday the 13th The Game; and most recently, they took the Predator for a spin with Hunting Grounds.

Yet its most effective adventure is a real surprise, one that serves a double purpose – it pays loving tribute to the franchise that it’s based upon while also delivering a multiplayer experience that, surprisingly, will suit players of all ages. That game is Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, and it’s a real treat for anyone that gives it a shot this Halloween season.

Bring On the Ghosts

Since Unleashed is a multiplayer opus, that means you have two different options – playing as the Ghostbusters or as the ghosts. And amazingly, both sides are a great deal of fun. As you might expect, the Ghostbusters – though not entirely based on the classic characters, though some are here – are armed with all sorts of cool ghostly gear to trap all the ghosts and ghouls you run into, though they have to work carefully to track and trap them.

Likewise, the ghosts have some great abilities, like being able to slime the Ghostbusters, hide as objects in plain sight, or simply create chaos as the situation calls for.

The game is a blast with other players, and  match-ups  connected effortlessly. Still, as you get together for a match, you will have no trouble getting into it and seeing what you could do with both sides.

What’s more, if you don’t have friends to play with, you’re not stuck. The game fills in the spots with strangers or even bots, depending on what you’re in the mood for. The bots are a terrific option, as you can get accustomed to the game before you hop online to see what chaos you can cause.

A Truly Ghostbustin’ Product

Now, while Unleashed doesn’t have as much direct character as Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered, there’s still more than enough lore to appreciate here. The weapons themselves, on the Ghostbusters side, interact as expected, right down to using the PKE meter to track down the miscreants. Likewise, the ghosts are exceptionally cool, especially Slimer, who, well, slimes everyone. I mean, what else?

As for the visuals, they’re sensational. The game looks great, with an offering of inspired maps, including some familiar ones for Ghostbusters fans. The animations look great, especially the Ghostbusters gear; and the ghosts are a mess, but in a good way. That said, there can be times the action gets a little too chaotic, but that’s just par for the course of what the nature of the game is about.

There’s also a lot you can do in the Ghostbusters station as well, including some surprises that are going to be nostalgic fun for fans of the films. And yes, Dan Aykroyd’s Ray is on hand, along with Ernie Hudson as Winston. Oh, and give the toaster a try. You can thank us later.

The whole thing rounds out with great music, including the Ghostbusters theme; and some notable sound effects. It’s amazing.

Who You Gonna Call? Your Friends!

Even though it lacks a single player experience (but doesn’t leave them out in the cold – thanks, bots!), Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is a nice new entry for the heroes in the video game realm. The multiplayer is easy to grasp but tough to master, and a must for players of all ages, since its violence isn’t on the level as, say, Illfonic’s previous games. Plus the gameplay is well-rounded on both sides, so you won’t feel like things are too lopsided.

So don’t be afraid of no ghost. Spirits Unleashed is a must-have.

The Verdict:

Even without too much of a single player element, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed proves that bustin’ makes everyone feel good.

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