Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.
In this explanatory review, we’re covering Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – Ecto Edition by developer Illfonic:
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – Ecto Edition (The Explanation)
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed was developed by Illfonic and released on multiple platforms back in 2022. Now, about a year later, the game has been updated to Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – Ecto Edition, which includes all previously released DLC and is available on Nintendo Switch.
The game takes place after the events of the film Ghostbusters: Afterlife (though it is not required to see the film to understand the plot). The Ghostbusters have been re-established once again thanks to Winston becoming a rather successful businessman with a desire to bring the Ghostbusters back to its former glory, only this time, with fresh blood to take the reins of the company and a new generation of ghostbusters to bust some ghosts.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – Ecto Edition is an asymmetric multiplayer game where four players play as ghostbusters and a fifth player plays as a ghost. The ghostbusters are tasked with capturing the ghost before it can haunt a location and the ghost has to successfully haunt a location by scaring people and haunting/possessing objects before it is captured.
The player takes control of an avatar they can customize the look of to their fancy. This includes their body type, form, skin color, facial features, hair color, dress sense, down to the name on the name tag. When you have finished customizing your avatar (you can always customize them again at any time during your playthrough), it is time to meet the rest of the team and learn how to equip your proton pack and take on a short tutorial to learn the basics of ghostbusting like blasting them with your proton blaster and reeling them in towards your trap. Once you get it out of the way, you will need to earn experience and level up in order to progress the game’s story.
Now, the game itself doesn’t have any story missions but rather, the story will progress as you reach different levels. To increase your level, you can take on jobs that take place in museums, lodges, bowling alleys, subways, and other areas, and play alone with bots, or online with friends or random players. For extra experience, you can take on side hustles that will have certain requests like Calm down X amount of people, collect fungi, tether ghosts for a duration of time, etc. You can also earn experience by playing bounty missions against a particular ghost or by completing daily and weekly challenges. There is also the possibility of unlocking new customization items for your avatar.
Your gear can also be upgraded as well by increasing your familiarity with them in the field. The Proton pack and blaster are the easiest to upgrade because you use them far more than other items but do try to use your PKE Meter and Ghost Trap where possible so you can upgrade them too. The upgrades are not simply aesthetic either as they can also improve your gear in some areas with the trade-off being that it can make them weaker in other areas (like making the ghost trap stronger but the battery life less durable).
As for playing as a ghost. You can do so by going to the ledger in the occult store where Ray works, next to the firehouse. Playing as a ghost will also earn you experience and also the ability to unlock new ghosts that will have other perks and skill to the default. Speaking of which, playing as the ghost is different to playing as the ghostbusters as they offer a different playstyle. Ghosts have to rely on stealth and avoiding ghostbusters where possible. They can send out their minions to cause havoc as well as create a distraction. and they also have special skills that can help them escape tricky situations.
For the most part, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – Ecto Edition is actually a lot of fun. It has plenty of charm and carries itself well, respecting the Ghostbusters IP and offering an opportunity so that everyone has the chance at being a ghostbuster. While the graphics and performance may not be on par with the game on other platforms, the switch version is very stable and still looks pretty great. The biggest takeaway is that if you are a ghostbusters fan or enjoy spooky games that are more comical than dark, this is certainly a game for you.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – Ecto Edition (The Gameplay)
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Action, Adventure
No. of Players: 1 (Single System), 1-5 (Online)
Release Date: NA|EU: October 19, 2023
File Size: 5.6 GB