Bustin’ with friends again
Ghostbusters games can be hit or miss, but Spirits Unleashed: Ecto Edition has been a solid, fun 4v1 multiplayer project. The game functioned great on all platforms, thanks to developer IllFonic mastering the very specific multiplayer genre. With the announcement and launch of the Switch version, and the platform’s history as being generally a subpar home for these kinds of games, Spirits not only functions well but manages to nearly match the online multiplayer qualities of its bigger brethren on more powerful devices.
The Switch version of the game is a surprisingly full-featured and enjoyable experience. By focusing more on a playful, animated aesthetic that the console can handle well it looks visually stellar. And even though a few jittery models pop their head outs out like ghosts now and again they don’t impact the actual gameplay, which is still as fun as ever.
There were some issues, though. When we first got our code for the game a glitch prevented those of us with more than 100 Switch friends from being able to even launch the game. I had to play under an alt account with minimal friends for the time being, and it wasn’t ideal. A patch in mid-November finally fixed that problem and now I can hop in and play with any of my buddies who have the game. And frankly, more people should play the game. The 4v1 experience is fantastic — as a ghost we get to wreak havoc, and as a ‘Buster we rely on some quality teamwork to capture and escape. There’s a nice level of anticipation that builds as we’re getting ourselves ready, and then the fire alarm goes off and our mission starts and we’re running in fairly hyped up.
There’s even a weird itch that’s scratched as we unlock more cosmetics and accessories and ghosts the more we play, which dangles a little carrot in front of us so that we have an added layer of something to look forward to. Initially I played the game alone alongside the AI bots, to get myself used to the Switch controls and to play through the game’s fairly straightforward, by the books story. But multiplayer is where the joy really is, and the crossplay capabilities allow us to play alongside friends on different devices.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – Ecto Edition launched in October on the Switch, but with the holidays here and more family & friend time available, it may be the perfect moment to jump into the firehouse and Ecto 1 and Bust some ghosts together.
This review is based on a Nintendo Switch eShop code sent to SideQuesting by the publisher. It initially appeared on The SideQuest for November 16th, 2023.