When there’s something strange in your neighbourhood...
There’s a new Ghostbusters game coming, and it's set to ooze out of the ethereal later this year. (I’m thinking a November-ish release in time for Christmas).
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is a four vs. one multiplayer title being developed by IllFonic. Illfonic, who will also publish the game, are the studio behind Friday the 13th: The Game and Predator: Hunting Grounds. If you're familiar with either of those two games, then you’ll recognise the basic 4 v 1 premise that Illfonic have used for Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. And while neither of them have become huge successes for the developer, perhaps the game style in a more family friendly format will find favour with a wider audience.
Hopefully they will be more successful with their version of a Ghostbusters franchise game than the last developers to create one – FireForge Games. Ghostbusters, the 2016 version that was loosely tied to the Ghostbusters: Answer the Call reboot movie of the same year. The game was universally panned by critics (as was the movie, albeit to a lesser degree) and considered one of the worst video games of 2016. Three days after it was released, FireForge Games filed for bankruptcy and ended up being approximately $12 million in debt.
To Ghost or to Ghostbuster, that is the question
Players will get to choose to play as a Ghostbuster and join three other Ghostbusters to chase and trap ghosts in museums, prisons, hotels, and others. GBs use the PKE Meter to detect a ghost and take them on with the Proton Pack, Particle Thrower and Ghost Trap. Capture the ghost before they can haunt the area and the Ghostbusters win.
The fifth player controls the Ghost. As the Ghost, you can hide, sneak, scare, and slime (yay!) the Ghostbusters hunting you, and random NPC civilians. You can fly and quickly teleport to other areas between rifts. Your ghostly goal is to completely haunt the entire area and force the Ghostbusters to give up.
Don't get caught alone, oh no!
Unless you want to be alone of course. If you don't feel like playing in the standard online multiplayer mode (or can’t because you don’t have the required console memberships to play online), you can play as a solo Ghost or a solo Ghostbuster and have the games’ AI players take the other roles.
For those who want to avoid Ghostbusting by themselves, the developers have promised cross-platform multiplayer support across PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. How well it will work remains to be seen of course.
Ray and Winston, come on out!
Whilst Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is not directly tied to the most recent of the GB movies (last years’ Ghostbusters: Afterlife) it does more accurately reflect the original Ghostbusterscanon. With the story taking place directly after the action of the Afterlifemovie, this is further reinforced with the inclusion of the likenesses and voices of two of the very original Ghostbusters who get to reprise their roles from the original 80s movies.
Winston Zeddemore (played by Ernie Hudson) is the no nonsense mission giver for the Ghostbusters. Ray Stantz (played by the incomparable Dan Aykroyd) doles out sage nuggets of wisdom from behind the counter of Ray’s Books, his occult bookstore.
The game will also feature the voices of multi-talented actor Rahul Kohli, and of , who has a number of credits for his gaming voiceover work.
I ain't 'fraid of no ghost
So I’m going to be adding Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed to my Wishlist when it becomes available. The game is currently due to release in “Q4 2022” for Microsoft Windows PCs, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, and for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles.
PC players will have to accept that the game is going to be released as an Epic Games Store time exclusive by Illfonic. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered launched as an Epic exclusive in 2019 before coming to Steam a year later. Illfonic’s own Predator: Hunting Grounds did much the same as well.
Everyone remembers their first time Ghostbusting
IGN's Rebekah Valentine got to play an early preview build of the game. She gives an excellent summary of the gameplay:
See more on the Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed homepage.