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Review

Review: Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime

I ain't afraid of no ghost!

There’s nothing worse than a boring game. You might, understandably, think that a terrible game is worse but it’s not. A terrible game will incense you so much that at least it sticks in your memory for a while to come so that you can rant and rave at your friends until you’re blue in the face. A boring game? Well, a boring game you’ll just feel disappointed and ultimately you’ll just forget about it forever more. Unfortunately, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is one such game. You’ll have fun with it, providing you’re playing with friends, but ultimately it’s very forgettable.

It’s all Lara Croft’s fault really. Thanks to Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light, there’s been renewed interest in the isometric twin stick shooter genre. The problem is that while Lara Croft reminds you how good such a game can be, Sanctum of Slime reminds you just how mediocre it can be.


Ghost busting has never been so dull.
Perhaps the biggest problem is it doesn’t fully capture the spirit of the Ghostbusters. Any child of the 80s remembers how awesome the ghost busting team is and it is quite possible to make a great game based on them. Back in the day we had Ghostbusters, a fantastic game for the Commodore 64 and Spectrum amongst other systems. At the time it was a kind of forerunner to the sandbox genre that we’re so used to now. Admittedly, a great many average Ghostbusters games followed but then there was also 2009’s Ghostbusters game and it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t amazing either but it did help me regress back to my youth. Sanctum of Slime doesn’t sadly. Instead it feels too detached from the original idea.

You take control of one of four new recruits rather than the main team. Business has taken off and so you’re stuck playing either Alan, Bridget, Gabriel or Samuel. While the retail game of 2009 didn’t allow you to play any of the team, at least you still interacted with them. There’s no sign of that here. There’s a comic strip based narrative to guide you through the storyline but without any voice acting, the humour all too often falls flat. Still, as long as it’s fun, right?

Initially it does fulfil the fun criteria. It’s all fairly standard. The left stick moves you around; the right stick controls the direction of fire. Not long into the game, your proton pack offers three modes of fire, each a different colour. These colours match with the colours of the ghosts you have to shoot. You can guess where this is going, match the colours and shoot the ghosts. There’s a steady supply of health boosts, shields and some Marshmallow men collectibles too. It’s all fine. Just fine and nothing more. The problem is that’s it. Sure there are end level bosses but it’s the same idea – wear them down with your proton pack until you can then throw a trap and play a little quick time event game to finish them off.


Don't cross the streams!
This could have perhaps been simply mindless fun, but then there’s the friendly AI who seem hell bent on infuriating you. It’s just not very bright. Your teammates are all too happy to use the various different firing modes, but far too often you notice that they’re using the wrong colour. At some points, you’ll find yourself up against a wave of ghosts all of different colours and there’s just no way of co-ordinating your teammates so that you all focus on different opponents. When you get knocked out, your teammates do revive you sometimes. Other times they just seem to panic. Simply put, they’re idiots and it’s you that suffers for their incompetence.

Of course, when played with friends, it’s a bit more enjoyable. Both local and online co-op modes are available, although bizarrely drop-in co-op isn’t possible. This does mean that you can find yourself on your own if, for example, your online teammates have to wander off somewhere else. Get a solid group of friends to play with though and it is decent fun. I suspect the fun most stems from the fact you’re playing with friends rather than what the game actually offers though. It also ensures that you can survive the nasty difficulty spikes that occur near the end of the game too, which in turn stops you throwing the controller in despair.

Pros

  • The Ghostbusters music is good as always
  • Can be quite fun with friends

Cons

  • It’s dull
  • In single player, it’s infuriating
  • There’s no variety
  • Did I mention it was dull?

Info:
  • Out on PSN, XBLA & Windows
  • PSN £7.19/360 800 MSP/Steam £6.99
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is just a shame really. The curse of the boring game. You’re not annoyed enough to be angry, you’re just a bit gutted. If there’d been a bit more imagination to the levels, things might have turned out differently. Instead this just feels a bit too by the books to be truly worth a purchase. Unless you and your mates are desperate for some ghost busting action (add a point to the score if so), best off giving this a miss.

4/10

9 Comments
  1. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Great read, real shame as it looks to have potential…..

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 17:13.
  2. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Downloaded the demo and totally agree. Was looking forward to this as well.

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 17:32.
  3. E8_BALL_
    Member
    Since: Jul 2010

    gb for the spectrum, hrs & hrs of enjoyment. very happy days indeed.
    del new demo after 5min.

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 18:05.
  4. hiab-x
    Member
    Since: Dec 2008

    I remember Ghostbusters on the ZX spectrum, It’s all relative ;-)

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 18:07.
  5. shields_t
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    That’s pretty much the same problem I had with the last gb game, sheer dullness. Even though that one had the voice cast the inane repeated samples just ended up grating after an hour. Looks like my expectations for this one have been confirmed.

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 19:00.
  6. JaffaMan24
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Agreed. Downloaded the demo, MASSIVE grin when the ghostbusters music belted out!! Two mins in though and I was already bored. I think some voice acting would’ve helped alleviate the boredom and monotony instead of stupid pop up messages appearing every few seconds.

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 19:11.
  7. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Ouch – what a chore it must have been to have to review the full game – the demo gave a really good impression of how awful it is.

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 20:10.
  8. scavenga
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Can’t believe they actually released this game… The last one was awful, so I thought they’d atleast made sure they had a decent premise with this, however simple…

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 21:36.
  9. Erroneus
    Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
    Since: May 2009

    Not surprised, this was a dead giveaway, just by looking at the trailer.

    Comment posted on 08/04/2011 at 22:29.

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