Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Review

By on April 3, 2011

Who you gonna call? Not this game.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Those of you expecting a true sequel to 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game can stop right now and go elsewhere. Those of you remaining to find out about this game read on!

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime puts you in the shoes of one of four new rookies to the Ghostbuster squad. The crew have been raking in the cash and are getting “too old” to handle the number of jobs coming at them, and naturally they decide to hire some new recruits, one of which you can select to play with.

While this game is obviously advertised as a sequel, it by no means really is, there are no indications made to physically connect this game to its amazing supposed precursor and visually the game is completely different. Among other things, the vantage point is different, none of the cast from the original game have returned to do their voice overs, and there aren’t any in-game or pre-rendered cutscenes to really enjoy the story.

The story itself, is presented using a comic book style storyboard format, except for the conversation your characters have during the levels. The levels themselves are a chore and only serve to drag out the agony of playing through them, and most often you will find yourself in chamber after chamber fighting enemy after enemy. While its fine in the beginning to get familiar with it, but this persists for the entire 12 levels in the game, and you will find yourself going back to the same areas again.

Control on the consoles is done using both analogue sticks, and while this doesn’t help with aiming it definitely works for better accuracy with the mouse on the PC. There are different weapon “upgrades” from your proton pack available to attack the three different flavours of enemy available. For simplicity you will attack the ghost or ghoul with the same coloured beam as the colour of the enemy type. This can be incredibly frustrating for certain types of enemies because the other two weapon beams do not attack as fast and the blue enemies take increased damage only if you bounce the blue shot off the wall. The yellow sometimes is just too slow and ineffective to take or slow hordes of enemies down.

As we previously mentioned, there are 4 characters to choose from, who for all intents and purposes are just mirror representations of the original squad, and while it makes sense from a story point, most fans would rather prefer using Ray, Peter, Egon and Winston. In singleplayer the AI works with you, if you aren’t playing with anyone else and this is perhaps the strongest suit of the game. They will heal you when you are down, they will keep attacking the bosses and enemies while everything is chasing after you, so if anything you can serve as the distraction while they do the work. AI characters can also revive you faster than human players could since we need to rapidly tap to bring our mates back. That’s all fine and dandy, the console versions get a better treatment as far as multiplayer co-op goes vs. the PC, which is limited to 4 players on the same computer.

It’s not hard, but there’s nothing of value to make you say “Hey, Let’s try this another way.” Just point and shoot, and after about 3 levels most people have had it, and once at the later levels, it gets downright ridiculous trying to keep hordes of ghosts at bay that can take you out in a few hits.

Visuals aren’t the best either, it’s a very simple, top down view dungeon type game with massive repetition. They did replicate the elements present from the previous game, such as the mentioned revival, and destroying environments to gain more cash, which essentially just serves as a scoreboard and nothing more. The sound on the other hand is great, all things considered, its even presented in 5.1 surround, but where it immediately lacks is the repetitive soundtrack. For those looking for achievements there are some to be gained and the Steam version includes 12 SteamWorks achievements as well.

While they may have had the intention to try the game from another approach, they managed to make a very sub-mediocre game, that would only serve to kill time, or let children play. As a Ghostbusters fan I would get the game because of the excitement and possible hype considering the 2009 Ghostbusters game, but quickly get disappointed at the lackluster offering of a $10 download. Hopefully there is a new series in the works to pick up where the 2009 title left off, I’ll buy 100 copies of it if it makes a sequel happen.

The Scorecard
Mindless, yes, can you kill time, yes , but do you want to keep playing? Probably not.
Nothing to be excited about really, simple and straightforward.
Has 5.1 support which is great is you have the set up, music is repetitive though, menu theme by far the best.
You can’t stand playing longer than the first few levels of repetitiveness, not even with friends.
You won’t think of playing this, even with friends for too long, unless you are under the age of 12.
Bonus 1 point for being a Ghostbusters game, please give us a good sequel!
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