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Ghostbusters: Souls Unleashed Review

Ghostbusters: Souls Unleashed Review


need to know

what is it? First-person ghost hunting simulator with co-op and asymmetrical multiplayer.
Expect to pay: $40
release date: October 18, 2022
Developer: Philharmonic
Publisher: Philharmonic
commented on: Windows 10, Ryzen R7 5700g, 16GB DDR4 RAM, Radeon RX 5700
multiplayer game? Yes
Association: Epic Store(opens in a new tab)

Spirits Unleashed opens with a music video for Fortnite Ernie Hudson, nodding as he walks inside the original firehouse, which is what your manager does when he has to pretend to be busy. “I can run the place, but don’t go around calling me ‘the boss,'” he told me. I moved my mouse from one side of the table to the other, trying to break eye contact with this awkward scene. He ordered me to learn to use the Proton Pack, while his lackeys, the new generation of Ghostbusters, showed me how to get a “side hustle”. This place needs a union.

Workplace grumbles aside, Beating the Ghosts isn’t the worst show. My first day at Spirits Unleashed had me playing with some cool toys. When I first pulled the trigger, the Proton Pack was a portable three-mile island equipped with a fire hose. That was the first and only time I experienced a framerate dip, just as the game marvels at the power of its ghost gun. feels good.

Proton packs are used in conjunction with traps from the movie, and in multiplayer, streams are harmlessly traversed without consequences.

Ghostbusters ’84 has a sharp wit: it’s still a hilarious satire on the psychology of greedy small businesses and the crude red tape they encounter. The asymmetrical multiplayer feel of Spirits Unleashed’s “close three portals while being harassed” is in keeping with the cynical energy of the source material. Of course, my motley crew of gig workers and I have to coordinate and focus our fire on a Wraith to pull them into a placeable trap, balance our respective proton heat levels, and work at the best angle, but none of us People feel like Spengler or Ray.

Spirits Unleashed just doesn’t have much personality, which can’t be said of the film it’s based on. Custom characters are truly hollow: the only thing they have to say is affirmative barking in the tutorial. I’d love to hear some Akroyd/Ramis-style riffs mid-squad missions in Warhammer 40,000: Dark Tide, but there’s none here.

Visually, Spirits Unleashed is also uninspired, resembling the rounded Fortnite style. It looks fine on its own—the proton pack throws off some impressive lights as lightning bolts zip up and down the adjacent walls like a nuclear kaleidoscope—but other than that, it’s not much else. Aside from the licensed themes, the music falls flat with the Harry Potter soundtrack, which is, oddly enough, a mediocre 4/4 arrangement of womp-womp horns and royalty-free strings. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed peddles the fantasy of being a Ghostbuster, but without any style or humor to make you feel like you’re wearing that ugly gray jumpsuit.

(Image source: Illfonic)

The moment-to-moment mental release is kind of boring. Explode a ghost to make up for one meter. When that meter is full, ghosts can be pulled into the trap as long as the trap has a charge (another meter). If fired for too long, the proton pack can overheat. Now the screen is three meters. After the tutorial, there were three more, and none of them filled or emptied particularly quickly. The key one is the “Building Haunted” meter – the supernatural wins when it’s at its peak. It’s all a little monotonous, with the meter ticking up and down, and just passive management.

The only non-meter-based interaction occurs when ghosts approach civilians. You have to do a Gears of War active reload on them to calm them down. (Hey, we’re Ghostbusters, not social workers.)

(Image source: Illfonic)

These civilians live in half a dozen drab locations, mostly businesses haunted by the specter of unpaid wages and OSHA violations. There’s nothing special about any of them – I was hoping real brainstormers might wander around the world of the iconic Firehouse Center, but even as a regular fan I found very little there to Save me from being bored between ghost hunting shows.

Not all ghosts are the same, as Dan Aykroyd’s legitimate image and voice told me–players can control five different slimer-likes, each with different abilities to harass and hinder human players. I didn’t find the ghosts particularly fun to play with or fight against: they were too quick to catch up when they broke down, and too fragile to take risks while in shock. At first glance, Poltergeist seems like the meta choice, slightly faster than the already too fast default ghouls, and capable of spawning annoying defensive mobs.

(Image source: Illfonic)

Spirits Unleashed isn’t all that satisfying to play–“combat” doesn’t reward precision or accuracy in any meaningful way, focusing entirely on cohesive team play. Well, I thought — we guys, we gotta stick together. But the ceiling for individual play is low: there’s very little equipment, and the Proton Pack upgrade feels indistinguishable from the normal model. Unless your communication with your teammates is ironclad (which is never the case in quickplay), you’ll rarely get away with winning.

It all comes down to preventing a ghost from going through a door after breaking free. As a result, flying solo online is often too tedious to be worthwhile, and the AI ​​is too simplistic to offer much challenge at the moment. For most of the races, my human team achieved all goals except destroying said ghosts. I’m not sure how much of this is due to the twisted balance versus the apathy of the quick game, but that doesn’t change how frustrating Spirits Unleashed is at times.

I’ve been told bustin’ is a tough blue-collar job, but there’s no real moment-to-moment urgency here like Dead by Daylight, and victory and defeat are never quite in my hands.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.