New Ghostbusters game is a first-person, 4v1 battle against spooks, specters, and ghosts

A new Ghostbusters game from the developer of Friday the 13th: The Game and Predator: Hunting Grounds is coming to consoles and PC later this year. On Tuesday, developer Illfonic announced Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, an all-ages take on its brand of four-versus-one asymmetric multiplayer games, where you play as your own original Ghostbusters team — or take on the role of a ghost hellbent on wreaking haunted havoc.

As Ghostbusters, players will wield Proton Packs, Particle Throwers, Ghost Traps, and a PKE Meter in first-person in order to track, attack, and subdue ghosts as a team of four. As one of a variety of playable ghosts, players will also terrorize everyday citizens in a variety of locations, possess objects in the environment, and teleport across maps using rifts. Ghosts aren’t defenseless, either; they can slime and stun the enemy Ghostbusters team as they try to haunt each map to completion. (There’s no death in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, just ’busters going into a downed state.)

Your Ghostbusters team will set up shop in the original film’s firehouse, complete with the Ecto-1 in the group’s garage. Winston Zeddemore, voiced by Ernie Hudson, will offer guidance there, while Ray Stantz, voiced by Dan Aykroyd, will give insight into the spectral world from Ray’s Occult Books — conveniently located just across the street from the firehouse, for the purposes of the game.

Two Ghostbusters attack a purple ghost near a museum cafe in a screenshot from Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. Image: Illfonic/Sony Pictures Consumer Products

At the firehouse, players will customize their own Ghostbuster (and with the help of Tobin’s Spirit Guide, customize their ghost) and their loadouts. While the traditional Ghostbusters gear is available here in Spirits Unleashed, other unlockable weapons and equipment will also become available to further customize your team.

Speaking with Illfonic co-founder Charles Brungardt and chief creative officer Jarred Gerritzen, Polygon learned that that the team wanted to make a family-friendly, not-ultra-violent game that would be accessible to Ghostbusters fans of all ages. Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed will support cross-platform play across consoles and PC, and features AI-controlled companions to fill up (or backfill) teams in an effort to make getting into games quicker. Matches should last no longer than 10 minutes, the creators said.

Illfonic showed Polygon an extended gameplay preview of Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed last week, showcasing a team of Ghostbusters responding to a ghost infestation at a New York City museum. They battled a purple, minion-summoning slime, hunting it down and stunning it with a PKE Meter, then laboriously trapping it with their chaotic particle throwers. One teammate was in charge of the trap, throwing it and opening it at just the right time.

Later, Illfonic showed a battle from the ghost’s perspective — which is played in third-person — where the specter created mischief by startling museum-goers and inhabiting a variety of objectives (a wheeled mop bucket, “Wet Floor” signs, etc.), turning the experience into a prop hunt-style game. The ghost will also have the advantage of Ghost Vision, an ability that lets it see human players and NPCs through walls.

A ghost attacks a lone Ghostbuster in the museum in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Image: Illfonic/Sony Pictures Consumer Products

The debut trailer for Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed shows at least four playable ghosts, including Slimer, coming to the game. Illfonic also promises multiple maps and hinted at unlockable ghostbusting tools that fans haven’t seen before.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is set in the films’ canon, after the events of 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Spirits Unleashed will even borrow that film’s “it’s OK, good even, to cross the streams” to let players unleash a powered-up team particle beam. Players will not, however, get a chance to drive the Ecto-1 as part of their ghostbusting outings.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed will launch on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC (via the Epic Games Store), Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.