Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
Who ys gonna call? Maybe not these guys...
Posted 2 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
Sanctum of Slime takes the franchise into a direction it hasn’t been before. Top down, twin stick shooter. Seriously. The Ghostbusters have gone from hit film franchise to pixelated action to third-person action and now they are taking the Smash TV/Dead Ops route. (See the time span there?) Only thing is, these aren’t the Ghostbusters you are looking for...wait, wrong franchise. Anyway, these really aren’t the real Ghostbusters. Sure, Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, Zeddmore...heck, even Mrs Potts all make an appearance, albeit in comic book form (i.e. the cut-scenes). But the actual playable characters are a group of no-name rookies that you won’t know anything about....nor really care about either...
The story runs the typical gamut of any Ghostbusters tale: An evil bad guy who’s been dead forever is about to be resurrected via the reconstruction of a broken artifact. As said artifact pieces begin resurfacing in modern day Manhattan, the PKE readings go off the charts and it doesn’t take long for our paranormal hunting heroes get worn out. Cue the rookie team. These four start off picking up the slack as the guys stay back at the firehouse to catch some Zzzz’s and end up spearheading the hunt for the artifacts.
Unfortunately, this is where the game begins to fall apart. It seems like the new team isn’t really all that new. The key to any successful foray into an existing franchise is to recapture the spirit (no pun intended) of what made it great to begin with. Developer Behaviour Interactive did indeed try to do that, only a bit too much. The rookies don’t seem to have a personality of their own; instead coming across as if they are more carbon-copies of the core team. And bad carbon-copies at that. The humor felt forced more often than not and the stuff that didn’t feel like it was being thrown at me fell flat upon delivery anyway. There was not one single moment where these characters didn’t come across as bad Ghostbuster’s impersonators. Not one.
To make matters worse, the Ghostbusters vibe is about all Sanctum of Slime had going for it if it wanted to achieve greatness. The level design was both bland and repetitive. Regardless of the environment, it all boils down to venturing from room to room, destroying all ghosts. Once a room is cleared out, the player moves down a hallway/sewer pipe/alley to the next room, eventually circling back to the beginning of the stage, only to head to the opposite side of the area. Wash, rinse, repeat. Even the environs themselves repeat, seeing multiple visits to the sewers, the same hotel and the streets of Manhattan. Fortunately, those street levels has the team riding in the back of the Ecto-4WD in an on-rails like segment, adding a SLIGHT bit of variety.
As far as controls go, it’s a twin-stick shooter. It’s serviceable, for the most part. The responsiveness was adequate, although there were a few instances where my on-screen ‘buster wasn’t able to spin his Proton Stream as quickly as I would have preferred. Speaking of which, there are three weapon types available, each strong against a different color ghost. To be honest, I could have done without this mechanic altogether. Frantically swapping between weapons every split second to account for each ghost type flooding the screen was more chaotic and irritating than strategic and fun.
Really, by the time I was done, I found it very hard to recommend Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime. Beyond the general lack of Ghostbustiness, the repetitive design work, poor humor, and the irritating weapon-swapping forced upon me made me feel like I had just been slimed. It’s functional, but it just isn’t all that fun. Though it does offer both online and local multiplayer support for up to four people, which helps things considerably. And as I said, it works, although it does little more than that. Even the Stay Puft plushie collectibles found throughout the game wasn’t enough to overpower its flaws. For 800 MP or $10, there are worse games to throw your money at. But if I were to go back to the franchise’s catch phrase, “Who ya gonna call?”, it most likely wouldn’t be Sanctum of Slime.
+ 4 player local and online co-op
- Bland & repetitive level design
- Weapon swapping is a chore
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Release Date : 2011/03/23
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Atari
Developer : BEhaviour Games
Category : Action-Adventure
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
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