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Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed - Review - Xbox

Developer IllFonic has a history of making asymmetrical games to varying degrees of success. I was a huge lover of their Friday the 13th video game and despite it's flaws, it was a fun game to jump in to every now and then, especially with a party full of friends. Now they are back with another licensed property, Ghostbusters! Will this game leave me feeling like a true hunter of the paranormal or will I feel like Dan Akroyds character in Casper? Let's find out! Before proceeding any further I definitely recommend you check out our live stream from release day to get a sense of what gameplay is like. We had a full party of five playing with a squad of four Ghostbusters versus a ghost player.

As soon as you boot up the game for the first time you're greeted with Ray Parker Jr's classic theme song so you know you're in for a good time! The game plays in a 4v1 hide and seek style manner, with a team of Ghostbusters hunting out an unruly spectre across a map. Games usually last around 10-15 minutes and see you playing in first person as the Ghostbusters and third person as the ghosts. If you have ever played one of Illfonics previous games you will get a rough idea of how the gameplay goes. Ghostbusters have to destroy rifts to weed out the ghost then use their proton packs and traps to catch them, whilst ghosts have to haunt the areas by possessing items/furniture, spawning minions, scaring NPCs and avoiding capture until the time runs out. It's a simple premises but an extremely fun one.

When your not in a match, you're able to freely explore a faithfully recreated firehouse (including sliding down the pole!) and interact with a variety of characters. Returning to their roles are original cast members Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson as Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore respectively, there 3D models look great and really make me want to see an animated Ghostbuster movie sometime! They aren't just there for show either, the game features a story arc that unveils itself the more you play, featuring full animated cutscenes that slowly build to an exciting conclusion! The game also features a ton of customisation, you can create your own Ghostbuster with a variety of outfits and proton pack set-ups. As you complete matches you will get XP and level up which unlock new outfit items and upgrades to make you an even better ghost catching machine. The options are pretty slim when you first start the game, but after a few matches you can start to add some decent variety to your set-up.

There are five maps to seek your teeth into at launch - these include a museum, brewery, cruise ship, prison and lodge and all feature a variety of destructible objects to blast with your proton packs. The maps aren't huge but they are just right for the type of gameplay on offer. It's a shame that the locations aren't more iconic to the movies and are more generic. It would have been fun to run around areas reminiscent of classic scenes, with cool easter eggs to find etc. There are collectables to find however, with spores, moulds and fungus littered around the maps as well as clippings that can be found and added to your collection. There are also a variety of different ghosts to play as, each with their own unique stats and abilities to utilise, the only downside to this is that all but one is locked from the get go, so you need to play alot as the ghost to unlock the others and the starting spectre is the worst of the bunch. It's a shame the classes were locked behind an XP grind instead of skins like the Slimer one which was a pre-order exclusive. This links in to my main gripe with the game, there are no well known ghosts available to play as - bar Slimer and even then he is just a skin swap for the starting ghost. No Vigo, no librarian, no Scoleri Brothers. It would have been much more fun to play as these types of ghosts over randomly created ones.

Overall Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is a great game for fans of the franchise that is filled with so many nods to the original movies, it's a true homage for Ghostbuster lovers. At launch the game includes a decent amount of content to keep you hooked and if regular content is added going forward (there has already been some Halloween based costume items added since launch), with more maps and ghost types to play then it could really become the best Ghostbusters game ever. The addition of a single player mode is also great but this game truly shines when played with a party of four bustin friends!


But don't just listen to what I think of the game. I asked a few of the team what they thought as well! Redders: Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed breathes new life into a beloved franchise. From the addition of Ghostbusters Alumis’ Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson reprising their roles as Winston Zeddemore and Ray Stanz, to the attention to detail captured in the iconic FireHouse. Illfonic has created a game that pays homage to what came before whilst offering something new and exciting to both old and new fans of the Ghostbusters franchise. Fabio: Honestly, this game brings the classic vibes of nostalgia when it comes to what we love about Ghostbusters. But at the same time, it also manages to be an excellent party game (something that we haven't seen in like forever).

I mean, sure it does follow the same idea that we had with Friday the 13th, Predator and Dead by Daylight. But it manages to capture the same spirit (see what i did there?) of the old days where we would just meet at our friends house to do a LAN party (to play Halo, or to play some Goldeneye, or even Mario Party).

It's simple, it's fun, and it's definitely a proof that modern games can actually capture the idea, and feeling of a beloved franchise that you play with friends.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed was released on the 18th October 2022 for Xbox and other consoles. Priced at £33.49, its playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S and supports smart delivery. The game can be purchased HERE. Copies of the game were provided for this review - a huge thanks for that!

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