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Online Free Games vs Paid Options: Which One Should You Choose?
In today’s digital age, gaming has become more accessible than ever before. With a vast array of options available, it can be overwhelming to decide between online free games or paid options. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so let’s explore the factors you should consider before making a choice.
When it comes to cost, online free games clearly have the upper hand. As the name suggests, these games can be played without spending a dime. This makes them an attractive option for those on a tight budget or simply looking to enjoy some casual gaming without any financial commitment.
On the other hand, paid options require an upfront investment. While this may deter some players initially, it often leads to a higher quality gaming experience. Paid games generally offer more advanced graphics, immersive storylines, and regular updates that enhance gameplay.
The availability of games is another crucial aspect to consider. Online free games offer an extensive range of choices across various genres such as puzzle, strategy, adventure, and more. These games cater to a diverse audience and ensure there is something for everyone’s taste.
Paid options typically provide access to exclusive titles that are not available for free. These premium games often boast cutting-edge technology and innovative gameplay features that set them apart from their free counterparts. If you’re someone who seeks unique experiences or prefers popular franchises like Call of Duty or FIFA, investing in paid games might be worth considering.
One factor that sets apart online free games from their paid counterparts is the presence of in-game purchases. Free games often rely on microtransactions to generate revenue by offering cosmetic upgrades or additional content for purchase within the game.
While this freemium model allows players to enjoy the core game without spending money upfront, it can sometimes lead to an imbalanced playing field. Some players may choose to spend real money to gain an advantage over others, which can affect the overall gaming experience.
Paid games, on the other hand, typically offer a complete and balanced experience without the need for additional purchases. This can be appealing to players who prefer a fair playing ground and want to avoid any pay-to-win scenarios.
Community and Multiplayer Experience
The social aspect of gaming is often a significant factor in deciding between online free games and paid options. Free games usually have a large player base, resulting in a vibrant community with active forums and discussions. This can enhance the multiplayer experience as you can easily find opponents or teammates to play with.
Paid games tend to attract more dedicated gamers who are willing to invest their time and money into their hobby. As a result, these games often offer more robust multiplayer features, including competitive leagues or tournaments that attract skilled players looking for challenging gameplay.
Ultimately, the choice between online free games and paid options depends on your personal preferences and priorities. If you’re on a budget or looking for casual entertainment, online free games provide an excellent avenue for enjoyment without breaking the bank. However, if you seek high-quality graphics, exclusive titles, and balanced gameplay experiences, investing in paid options might be more suitable for you. It’s important to consider factors such as cost-effectiveness, game selection, in-game purchases, community engagement, and multiplayer experiences before making your decision.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered Review
The flowers are still standing..
Back in 2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game established itself as a rare exception. It was a movie tie-in of uncommon quality; an earnest and affectionately assembled love letter to fans of the legendary film series instead of a low-effort license slap. A decade on, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is still a wonderfully authentic trip back to early ’90s New York and the haunted heyday of these professional paranormal eliminators, but the list of improvements really begins and ends with a few visual tweaks and a resolution bump. The flaws of the original still cursed my playthrough, which meant that while it’s a joy to let its authentic slime wash over me again this remaster feels like a missed opportunity.
Ghostbusters (the game) takes place during Thanksgiving 1991, two years after the events of Ghostbusters II (the film). Prior to confirmation in January this year that a direct sequel to Ghostbusters II would be released in 2020, Dan Aykroyd had previously referred to the game as essentially being the third movie, and it’s easy to see why. It features the likenesses and voices of Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, and the late Harold Ramis, and the script was massaged by Aykroyd and Ramis themselves to ensure the dialogue matched the tone of the films. With a fun story linked to the previous exploits of the Ghostbusters – and set in the increasingly distant early ’90s – in terms of story, at least, I’m actually struggling to think of ways this upcoming, long-gestating third film could actually be a better follow-up than the game ultimately was (especially with the painful absence of Ramis).
Original developer Terminal Reality’s utmost commitment to detail is still vividly evident in the remaster and I enjoyed spotting many of the small touches I appreciated back in 2009 all over again. From opting to kick off proceedings with the old-school Columbia Pictures logo from the ’80s to really seat the game in its time period, to the way Venkman has a distinct, laid-back walking animation that sets him apart from the rest of the team (one that matches the kind of swagger I associate with Murray’s portrayal of the character), Terminal Reality made it abundantly clear that this game was made with genuine passion and respect for Ghostbusters, not by folks who skimmed through a synopsis on Wikipedia.
The Ghostbusters firehouse, in particular, is absolutely filled with fan service – from a huge and apparently still-haunted talking portrait of the previously vanquished Vigo the Carpathian, to a cute explanation regarding Tully’s absence from the story. The library level is also still excellent mix of ghost combat and ooky environmental shenanigans, though I won’t spoil any of the particulars here for those of you who haven’t played the 2009 original. I do wish some of the budget for this remaster had been allocated to securing more than a stingy 30 seconds of Ray Parker Jr.’s infectious theme song, though.
I’m a big fan of the clean HUD approach, with everything we need to know – health, weapon heat level – displayed on the Rookie’s Proton Pack, à la Dead Space. Occasionally objectives appear as text at the top of the screen but most instructions are verbal, so sometimes I found myself guessing our next move if I missed a piece of dialogue. This was a criticism I had of the original release and it hasn’t been rectified in the remaster.
Similarly, Ghostbusters feels a little creaky by modern standards but trapping ghosts is still a highlight, and there hasn’t been anything like it since. After sapping a ghost’s energy with your proton stream you’ll need to wrangle them towards your trap, close enough so it can suck them in. The spectacle of sizzling red proton streams and the cone of intense light drawing in ghosts – which distort and stretch as they’re slurped into the trap – is a brilliant recreation of how it appears in the film. There are other modes to the Proton Pack which emulate more traditional third-person shooter weapons (and they have imaginative, egghead explanations for the energy-based versions of what essentially equates to a shotgun or an LMG) but I really do still love the classic, crackling proton stream. For mine, it’s the part of the game that has dated the least; it’s still a glorious cocktail of impressive lighting and sound effects.
What has aged poorly is the occasional cutscene the remaster crew clearly couldn’t find the source material for and had to go with the original version. Aside from the pre-rendered clips, which are a little grainy but decent enough, most of the cutscenes are in-engine ones displayed at up to 4K, so they match the moment-to-moment gameplay. There are a bunch that aren’t, however, so occasionally everything takes a dive for a minute or so as everything reverts to its previous-generation appearance. The result is a bit of a fractured aesthetic overall, which is a shame. The shoddy lip syncing that was a regular occurrence in the 2009 original is again an issue, also.
It’s a bit of a warts-and-all remaster, in that regard. I hugely enjoyed Ghostbusters back in 2009 but if you can think of something that bugged you, it’s probably going to bug you again. At about eight hours it’s not exactly a marathon, and it probably could’ve done with slightly shorter levels and more of them, but there’s not a great deal a remaster can do about that. However, the loading times still seem long, getting impeded by half-broken objects is still a moderate annoyance, and the frustrating difficulty spike involving those stone cherubs towards the climax is still present. The original’s multiplayer component hasn’t been included at all, but I don’t recall it being enormously memorable.
Make no mistake, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a personal favourite purely for its loving attention to detail and will always rank amongst gaming’s most faithful and memorable movie adaptations – more than worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as The Warriors, Alien: Isolation, and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay in that regard. But this marginally prettier and inconsistent remaster doesn’t really make for a profoundly different or improved experience over the 2009 original, and there was a lot of room for improvements that could’ve made it more enjoyable to play through and appreciate all of that fan service.
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About This Game
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows 7 SP2
- Processor: Intel i3
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 630
- Storage: 24 GB available space
- OS: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i5-4690
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670
"GHOSTBUSTERS" with the "GHOST DESIGN" is a trademark of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. "GHOSTBUSTERS" and "GHOSTBUSTERS 2" movies: © 1984, © 1989 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. Developed by Terminal Reality, Inc. Additional development by Saber Interactive. Published by Mad Dog Games. Facial Animation software provided by FaceFX. © 2002-2007, OC3 Entertainment, Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Copyright (C) 2002-2008 Xiph.Org Foundation and contributors.
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Review: Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
I feel so funky
I’ve been a massive fan of Ghostbusters for almost as long as I can remember. That means I’m insufferably picky. I haven’t even watched the 2016 reboot or Ghostbusters: Afterlife . It’s already been proven you can’t top the majesty of the original film. Video games are similar. Most games made off the license are okay at best and abysmal at worst .
When Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed was announced, I was skeptical. I’m not typically drawn to multi-player-focused games, and anyone who touches my beloved had better have immaculate hands. This time, it’s Illfonic, makers of the Friday the 13th game. They’ve proven themselves before, even if it was sort of overshadowed by Dead by Daylight . So, as I fastened up my positron collider, I kept a stance of cautiously optimistic mixed with immovably scrutinous.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed ( PC , PS4 , PS5 , Xbox One , Xbox Series X|S ) Developer: IllFonic Publisher: IllFonic Released: October 18, 2022 MSRP: $39.99
The background to Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed has Ray and Winston (and maybe Peter, but he doesn’t appear) re-opening the Ghostbusters back in the old firehouse. Since the business only seemed profitable during major, apocalyptic disruptions and real estate in Manhattan is probably even more expensive than it was in the 1980s, this seems like a bad move. Even worse, they’ve hired a bunch of new ‘busters to sit around and eat Twinkies.
Okay, so apparently, there are still a lot of ghosts running around New York, which means we’re more in cartoon territory here. While there’s a storyline that runs as you level up, it’s not terribly interesting. It makes the same mistake that a lot of new Ghostbusters narratives do and brings in previously mentioned subjects and puts the spotlight on them. Of course, that’s hardly the draw here.
We’re really here to kick in the doors and be “totally discrete.” You and three other ‘busters are dropped into one of the game’s five environments with the goal of catching the ghost running rampant. The ghost has three opportunities to respawn through rifts hidden in the environment. Ghostbusters can close these rifts either by catching the ghost and forcing it to respawn or by locating a haunted object in the environment and using their proton stream to shut it. If all the rifts are closed, and the ghost finds itself in a trap, the ‘busters win.
No human being would stack books this way
The asymmetrical part of Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed has one player take the role of the ghost. Their goal is to creep up the place by scaring civilians and haunting objects. It’s largely a matter of survival, as rifts can be protected, moved, and re-concealed. If you’re feeling really sassy, you can sabotage or outright attack the ‘busters. You can’t fully eliminate the Ghostbusters, but you can delay them and frustrate their attempts to undo your work.
Haunting is actually a lot of fun, but unfortunately, I didn’t have much chance to try it in the lead-up to this review. Often, I was playing with the same groups of streamers and press in the pre-release period, which you’d think would mean I’d frequently be rotated into the role. But it rarely happened, even if I joined from the spirit realm. It’s likely that with more players running, there will be more opportunities, but I didn’t get all that much time to experiment.
The franchise rights alone will make us rich
The first time I played Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed , it didn’t click. It was chaotic and confusing, and everyone else seemed to be having the same trouble. When I went back to it, I quickly found myself getting invested. From the moment when the team splits up to seek out the rifts to the final minutes where they group together to wrangle the ghost, there’s a lot of dynamic fun to be had. Many of the game’s mechanics have smaller nuances, to the point where strategies take form over repeated plays.
Busting along can be difficult, which is something that has often been stressed across multiple versions of the universe. In Extreme Ghostbusters , Egon even remarks that going alone is breaking the first rule of ghostbusting. You can’t maintain a tether and throw a trap out at the same time, and a ghost that slips your stream can disappear quite quickly. It’s better if someone supports the person with the primary tether. Throw out a trap, open it, then help guide the ghost in. Better yet, if you can bullseye the trap under the ghost.
The whole experience feels rather polished and balanced. It may need some fine-tuning, but I had plenty of battles against talented ghosts who were one miscalculation away from seeing the inside of a trap. Spirits Unleashes feels like it has a lot of passion behind it. More than just a licensed multi-player game, the development team put some visible thought into how to adapt the subject matter into a compelling multiplayer experience.
Are you a god?
There’s a decent amount of customization available, which I’ll admit is very important to me. There are multiple skins for each ghost type and the equipment can be tuned with some very universe-appropriate upgrades that gradually get unlocked, but more key is the ability to deck out your ‘buster. You’re mostly forced into the uniform, but there’s a wide selection of ways to wear it, as well as colors to choose from. This means that while you can go wild with your creations, no one looks fully out of place.
Between jobs, you can also wander around the firehouse, check out your various collections and side tasks, and even interact with some of the equipment. While the narrative is a bit bust, it takes the time to actually be a Ghostbusters game. Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd are both here to voice their characters, with both Winston and Ray being lovingly animated.
Light is green; trap is clean
As a Ghostbusters fan, I’m left wanting more. I wish the humor were more in line with the original movies, but instead, it sounds more like it’s ripped from Extreme Ghostbusters . Being able to do something with Ecto-1 would have been nice, but something tells me Illfonic probably did some thinking on how to include it, but it fell out of scope. Frankly, while I wish for more levels and more customization, the price they’re asking for what’s there seems more than fair.
When the multiplayer was dropped from the remaster of Ghostbusters: The Video Game , I was rather disappointed. It was somewhat tacked on to tick a box that the publisher probably wanted, but it was kind of fun all the same. I’m not big on multiplayer, but busting makes me feel good. There’s been a drill-sized hole in my heart waiting to be filled, I just wasn’t expecting Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed to fill it so well.
And, as I sit here writing this, I can’t wait to zip up my flight suit and step back into my combat boots to bust some more. A lot of love was poured into Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed , and it speaks to me. I can only hope that Illfonic is able to support it for months or even years to come because I can definitely see myself returning to it again and again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an unlicensed nuclear accelerator to strap to my back.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
Filed under... #asymmetrical #Ghostbusters #Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed #illfonic #multiplayer #PC #PS4 #PS5 #review #reviews #Xbox One #Xbox Series X|S
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Review - Into The Ether
- First Released Oct 18, 2022 released
Bustin' makes us feel good, but not for as long as we'd hoped.
By Jason Fanelli on October 26, 2022 at 10:53AM PDT
If Illfonic Entertainment set out to make an authentic Ghostbusters experience, it's done so in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. The game's look, sound, and feel is true-to-form, right down to the voices of Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson as Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore, respectively. Manning a proton pack and PKE meter for the first time in order to track and trap ghosts is a shot of ectoplasmic adrenaline. As a video game, however, it falls into a devious trap of its own, one where excitement hastily shifts to monotonous repetition. Spirits Unleashed captures the Ghostbusters feeling well, but that authenticity belies a shallow, repetitive game that quickly wears out its welcome.
Spirits Unleashed puts you in the shoes of a new Ghostbusters recruit, a nameless grunt sent in to deal with the paranormal hauntings in New York City. The repurposed firehouse from the Ghostbusters franchise serves as your base of operations, and it features a workbench for upgrading gear, lockers to customize your Ghostbuster, and a training area to work out the kinks. Across the alley from the firehouse is an oddities shop run by Ray Stantz himself, where you can talk to the Dan Aykroyd-voiced character about the current goings-on.
The core gameplay loop is an asymmetrical multiplayer experience, where four Ghostbusters take on a single ghost; the Busters must trap the ghost with no chance of escape, while the Ghost must evade capture and scare NPCs through noise and possession in order to fill a "haunt meter." The ghost has three rifts that act as respawn points at its disposal, and when all three are destroyed, the ghost's next trip into a trap will mark victory for the Busters.
With a group of five human players, this approach is a ton of fun. Ghosts can wreak all sorts of havoc, from sliming Ghostbusters by dashing through them to summoning small AI minions to distract the team. The ghosts also have full range of motion in the 3D space, which allows the ghost player to stick to the ceilings to stay out of reach in some rooms. Conversely, Ghostbusters can tether a ghost by firing the proton pack long enough, pulling the ghost in whichever direction they choose. Furthermore, the PKE meter has a quick blast that can take out multiple minions at once.
That's the beauty of the gameplay system Illfonic has designed here: Every perk for one side of the battle can be countered by the other, and vice versa. Proton packs will overheat if used continuously for too long, so if a ghost can manipulate the tether long enough, it will break free. Should a ghost find itself in a trap, there is a "last chance" mechanic that will allow it to escape if done well. The push and pull of momentum in the heat of a match is done very well, and it makes for a ghoulishly good time… to a point.
I stress "a group of five human players" above because should any of the slots be filled by an AI companion/ghost, the experience buckles. The AI in Spirits Unleashed--particularly that of the Ghostbusters--is incredibly dumb, which sometimes results in decisions that actively hurt the team. In one match, I had a ghost tethered and was dragging it to an AI teammate's trap, and the instant I reached it, the AI picked the trap up, as if it decided "nope, this match has to go a little longer." The team eventually did capture the ghost, but I could not get over that moment. It's a good thing Podcast--that was his name, no joke--was only an AI teammate or I might have chewed him out.
No matter how many players are in a match together, the main issue with Spirits Unleashed--a deadly serious issue, unfortunately--is its longevity. Sure, it's fun in the heat of the moment, but those moments are fleeting and eventually give way to a feeling of tedium and monotony. Sometimes there's a literal lack of longevity, as one match played with four human Ghostbusters and one AI ghost lasted less than four minutes, but that's just a modicum of the real issue. There's an obvious lack of depth here, with the game's main game mode not offering enough of an experience to hold my interest for more than a match or two.
The main gameplay mode's loop, as fun as it can be, doesn't have much to it: Ghostbusters enter a building, hunt for the ghost, fight the ghost, and that's it. That's the only mode available right now, and as mentioned above there are times where a match can be over in a blink. This problem is exacerbated by each of the five maps--which include a museum, a microbrewery, and a cruise ship--doing very little to stand out from one another despite their drastically different themes. Because of this, after a while matches begin to feel repetitive, which in turn begins to put a strain on the novelty of being a Ghostbuster. I want to dive headfirst into this role, but the game's only letting me into the ectoplasmic kiddie pool.
That's not to say there aren't other activities in each match, but the ones that exist don't add enough. Talking bystanders down takes only two button presses. The collectibles to find in each map--including news clippings of the Ghostbusters' previous adventures and fungi of different sizes--are neat, but they don't serve any impactful purpose. The clippings fill a wall with readable journal entries, while the fungi contribute to a meter that gives extra experience at certain milestones. These small extras end up being inconsequential, and it's possible to completely ignore them while playing.
Speaking of inconsequential, there's an original story featuring Akroyd and Hudson that plays out as you bust ghosts. Every once in a while, you'll return to the firehouse and be greeted with a one-off challenge, which sometimes is as simple as "go talk to Ray in the shop." Once the unique scenes play out, it's back to the same gameplay loop. Other than brief respites from the monotonous main game--and admittedly great voice acting from everyone involved--the story adds very little to the overall experience.
What does add a lot to the game, however, is its customization system. As you bust ghosts, you'll gain experience, which will allow you to earn new upgrades for all of your gear. These upgrades allow for some interesting builds depending on the stat boosts given, which gives you a lot of wiggle room for experimentation. One of my group members preferred tethering and dragging ghosts, so they picked upgrades that focused on strengthening the tether and making it easier to pull the ghost around. I liked sniffing out hidden rifts and ghosts, so I built up the PKE meter as much as possible. Building my best Buster is very cool… I just wish I were able to do more with him.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed does a terrific job of capturing the feeling of being a Ghostbuster. Illfonic clearly put a lot of time, effort, and love of the IP into this game, and playing it with pals is initially very fun, whether you're playing as a Ghostbuster or a ghost. However, the game's shelf life is incredibly short, as the gameplay loop quickly becomes repetitive and stale. There are wonderful elements here--deep customization being a key one--but none of it feels impactful when the core gameplay so quickly stagnates. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed may make me into a Ghostbuster, but the job has a disappointingly small shelf life.
- Leave Blank
- Authentic Ghostbusters presentation
- With a full group of five players, matches are incredibly fun
- Deep customization and upgrade system
- Gameplay is shallow and quickly becomes repetitive and stale
- AI Busters are very, very dumb
- Story that has little bearing on the overall core gameplay
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Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Review
Pairing asymmetrical multiplayer experts IllFonic with the Ghostbusters license is a match made in the spirit realm. Previous outings Friday the 13th and Predator: Hunting Grounds pit Jason and Predator against camp counselors and mercenaries with flashes of greatness, but technical issues and uneven design choices held them back. With Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, the team has applied everything it’s learned about compelling asymmetrical multiplayer to a property that perfectly lines up with the game style.
Four fully-customizable Ghostbusters face off against one ghost on five maps ranging from an Alcatraz-inspired prison to a cozy lodge. The key difference from other asymmetrical games is both sides are fun to play. You’re not just biding time until you can play as the ghost. If that’s all you want to do, however, it’s easy to set your preference and be haunting random players online with hardly any wait time (at least during my tests on launch day). The active early player base and full crossplay between all platforms combine to make this happen, and it’s impressive to see such smooth execution out of the gate. If you’re a Ghostbusters fan who doesn’t like online multiplayer, it’s easy to play against not-so-challenging bots and still experience all the content.
The match flow starts with Busters fanning out with P.K.E. meters drawn to track down the ghost and its respawn points. These rifts are hidden within objects, and destroying them takes away one of the ghost’s three “lives.” If you encounter the ghost directly, you can zap it with your Proton Pack and wrangle it into a trap to eat up a life as well. On the ghost side, you try to haunt as many objects as possible and scare the NPC civilians wandering around to increase the overall haunting level of the map. Once haunting reaches 100 percent or the ghost runs out of rifts, a final endgame timer begins. If the Busters capture the ghost in that time, they win. The map is officially haunted if the ghost evades capture, and the Busters scurry away in shame.
Calling to your buds when you spot the ghost and cramming it into a trap as a team is extremely satisfying. While the Busters can be temporarily incapacitated with slime, no one is ever stuck on the sidelines watching the rest of the match play out. There’s always hunting or blasting to do. The only low point on the Buster side is calming NPCs with the same VO lines ad nauseam.
The five ghost types account for a variety of play styles. Do you want to be quick and mischievous, go on the offensive with God of War-style chain attacks, or use tricks to manipulate and misdirect? All ghosts have a basic attack, a minion summon (for occupying Busters or frightening civilians), an ultimate move with a long cooldown, and a unique action that’s different for every skin. Possessing objects is key to hiding from Busters and recharging the energy you need to do pretty much anything. Experimenting with how everything handles is interesting, like a smooth rolling beer keg or a floppy giant teddy bear. While ghosts are extremely powerful and mobile, they’re also vulnerable to capture at any time. One minute you’ll be triumphantly sliming all four busters and sabotaging their Proton Packs, and the next you’ll be frantically mashing buttons to escape the pull of the streams and deadly traps. It’s a delight to hear opponents’ confusion while you stay out of sight, or their frustration as you cover the whole team in a whirlwind of slime.
The classic firehouse serves as a multi-use hub when you’re not actively in matches. A handful of cutscenes tell a basic story through the game's early hours. The narrative is nothing to get excited about, but hearing Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson reprising their roles as Ray and Winston is nice. As you level up, you find new cosmetics, gear parts that affect stats, collectibles, and contracts that reward special items and experience bumps. Daily and weekly jobs encourage you to check in regularly as well. I found the steady flow of goodies kept my group dashing to the lockers to try on a new shirt or silly glasses between jobs. And the gear upgrades feel tangible, especially when your particle thrower can let loose for longer without overheating.
While the core gameplay is strong and engaging, I have concerns about Spirits Unleashed’s long-term sustainability. There’s only one match type, so if you get tired of that, you’re out of luck. The five current maps are solid, but I’m ready for more (IllFonic claims additional free maps and ghosts will roll out in the future). Story and unlocks keep things interesting during your first 30 character levels, but then the story comes to a hard stop. You’ll get all the core unlocks by 50. Beyond that, the current endgame consists of completing high-level contracts such as “do X-objective 25 times” and so on. Sometimes I would learn new aspects of the game I hadn’t realized before, but other times I’d be firing up bot matches hunting for floor waxers to shoot, or repeatedly throwing out my trap and picking it up to check off some annoying requirement.
The pre-release version of the game had some hard crashes, and I also got stuck in the geometry as a ghost a couple of times until the end of the match. I couldn’t replicate these issues after the day one patch, but it’s something to watch out for.
The ideal way to experience Spirits Unleashed is to round up your buddies, rotate through maps, take turns playing as the ghost, and proceed to hoot and holler. If that’s not an option, matchmaking with random players is smooth and quick, and in-game markers make teamwork possible even if everyone’s playing off-mic. The thrill of Ghostbusting eventually starts to wane, but it takes a while to get to that point, and updates down the road could help to keep those Proton Packs humming.
Note: IllFonic Inc. provided game codes for this review.
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