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6 Nov 2022

REVIEW: Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
The very nice people at Evolve PR sent me a key for the new Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed game on Xbox, I have been a bit busy so has taken me a while to get round to playing it, but now I have I wish I hadn't waited so long.

I grew up on Ghostbusters, the originals from the 1980s that is, not the abomination from 2016 that will not be mentioned here! And from the moment you load up the game and you hear that awesome riff, and then Ray Parker Jr comes in with the classic song, you get shivers down your spine that only a true fan can get. Nostalgia aside though, there is a game to be played here, luckily, we have the original actors reprising their roles with Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore and Dan Aykroyd as Raymond "Ray" Stantz, to help you along the way.

Set after the events of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, this game has a full-on plot to follow, which I won't spoil here, instead I will concentrate on the game play itself.

Mainly advertised as an online multiplayer game, you can also play solo, with CPU controlled partners and ghosts.

Raymond "Ray" Stantz and Winston Zeddemore have decided to restart the Ghostbusters, they have purchased and reopened the old HQ in New York, the iconic former firehouse. They know that they need new blood and a new generation of ghost busters, so along with Catt, a co-ordinator and assistant, and Eddy, a technological genius assigned to lab work and research, you find yourself joining as a rookie recruit.

You start off with the obligatory tutorial, that will walk you through the basics, using the P.K.E. Meter to detect paranormal activity, and of course the Proton Pack, some easy practice on fake ghosts and how to use the trap, as well as putting the captured ghosts in the containment unit, and anyone familiar with the franchise will instantly feel at home.

You can fully customise your character, and as you unlock new clothing items you can create a unique look. This is all very important as you want to look good when you start going on jobs.

The jobs are the main focus of the gain, you will select a job in the HQ, and depending on if you are playing alone or with friends online, you will soon appear at the location ready to capture the ghosts.

Early missions will have you needing to complete various tasks, all within a time limit, including calming down people at the location, collecting various ghostly objects, as well as using the P.K.E. Meter to find and close rifts which the ghosts use, to eventually finding and trapping the ghosts.

Your online buddies or AI controlled ghostbusters will also be there to help you along the way. 

The controls are easy to learn, and not at all fiddly, which has been a complaint of mine in previous Ghostbusters games.

Once you have completed some jobs and levelled up, you will be able to upgrade not only your own character's appearance etc, but also your tools of the trade, increasing the power of your proton pack and so on.

As the story progresses, you will also be able to play as a singular ghost trying to avoid being captured, this is fun, when you play as a ghost, you have all the classic ghost like abilities, including flying through walls, haunting and possessing things and people, sliming someone and so on. All a lot of fun.

I do think that the game is slightly if not completely balanced in favour of the ghost, in multiplayer mode, which can be frustrating if you are playing as the Ghostbuster. This balance is something that I think needs to be addressed. Because when playing as a Ghost the game is way too easy and all you need to do is run down the clock. When playing as a ghostbuster, it just seems way too hard to win. This balance is much better when playing solo and just with AI teammates and AI ghosts, but since this is pushed as an online multiplayer game, it seems a little unfair for the ghost-controlled character to have such an advantage.

The Good
Beautiful graphics and everything Ghostbusters related is in there. A fun game that will keep you entertained for a while.

The Bad
Desperately needs more content, which I assume they will release later as DLCs, the game needs to address the balance between human and ghosts.

This is a fun game, and the solo story is good enough to give plenty of entertainment, the multiplayer is what should keep you playing long after you finished the solo story mode, the question is will more content be released for free or will you have to pay for it? Time will tell.

For now I found Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed to be thoroughly enjoyable, and despite the issues mentioned, this is a must have game for any fan of the franchise.

I score Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed on Xbox a solid 8/10

Out Now on Xbox

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