Developer: Behaviour Interactive
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10 and older
Release date: Available now
I rarely rush out the door the day a game is released, but awhile back when Ghostbusters: The Video Game hit the market, I was there in a flash. The Ghostbusters franchise is one that is very dear to my heart, and usually anything branded with a no-ghost logo is considered awesome in my book. So when I heard there was going to be yet another GB game, I was extremely anxious to play, especially considering how much I enjoyed the previous one.
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime begins with comic-book style storytelling. Eons ago, a mad sorcerer named Dumazu was imprisoned and left to be forgotten. One of his cult followers seeks to resurrect him with the help of Janosz Poha (the eccentric museum director in Ghostbusters II who becomes Vigo’s lackey). Meanwhile, the Ghostbusters, feeling the effects of aging, decide to round up a new group of rookies to investigate the paranormal disturbances and put a stop to Dumazu.
Unlike the previous GB game, SoS employs a top-down approach to gameplay. You use dual analog sticks to move your Ghostbuster around and attack, using one stick to run and the other to fire the proton pack. It’s very similar to the style of the old-school game Smash TV, or the more recent I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!. All gameplay is co-op based, always having four ‘busters on the scene at all times who are able to revive one another when times get tough.
This is where I talk about what’s good about this new Ghostbusters game, but I’m sorry to say, I’m going to have to reach a little on this. I’m happy to see nice use of the Ghostbusters soundtrack and sound-effects gallery, as they are well used throughout the game. Also, I’ll give credit for the idea of the gameplay in that a top-down-style Ghostbusters game sounds like a great concept (some might remember that the original arcade game was in this format). But sadly, almost everything about the execution misses the mark by several miles.
When you compare Sanctum of Slime to the last Ghostbusters video game, you might be left scratching your head. It will be obvious rather quickly that these two games were written, designed and executed by two very different teams. There’s really nothing of value in Sanctum of Slime. The following aspects are just awful: graphics, writing and fun. Quite literally, the game consists of your team entering a room, shooting ghosts, moving to the next room and repeating. If that’s not enough of a recipe for frustration, I should mention that your AI compatriots are dumber than a bag of hammers and provide little to no assistance.
I’m probably in the top 1 percent of diehard Ghostbusters fans, and I can’t even recommend this game to people such as myself. It’s such a shame, too, because the franchise is on an upswing. This game didn’t have to be great to get good reviews, but it needed not to be boring. If you don’t like Ghostbusters, this game definitely won’t change your mind. And if you do, Sanctum of Slime is going to mightily disappoint you.