Because I was born in the eighties, I’ve always loved Ghostbusters. I was too young to see the first film at the cinema, but did manage to see the second film on the big screen as well as watching the cartoons. You can see from my review of Ghostbusters: The Video Game that I was impressed with the game, so I was hoping for something to match it. The game starts, the eerie Ghostbusters theme tune kicks in…but that’s where the fun stops. Unfortunately Sanctum of Slime falls short.
The story follows on from Ghostbusters 2 with Janosz Poha being sent to the nut house after his possession by Vigo, and in there he meets another minion to a wanna-be God. He then gets duped into collecting a stone for the bad guy. So in come the Ghostbusters to save the day.
The time then moves forward to the present day, but it’s not the original Ghostbusters this time around as they’re too old and tired with all the ghost catching they’re having to do. So they take on a group of rookies to help out, one of which is the nephew of Janosz Poha.
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is a four player top down shooter which you can play either locally or online with your chums. You can of course play the game on your own with 3 AI controlled characters but that can get very annoying very quickly. The controls are simple enough to use and will allow anybody to jump straight in and play. You use the left stick to move your character, and the right stick to aim and fire your proton pack, with the shoulder buttons changing your weapon after you’ve unlocked them.
One of the biggest let downs to Sanctum of Slime is how dumb the AI can be and how they make things more difficult for you throughout the game, especially the latter stages. The amount of times they have the wrong weapon selected is ridiculous, not to mention the times they’ve been reviving my character and then stopped right before I came back to life, as to leave me dead on the floor.
There are three weapons to choose from in the game. The first one being the generic red stream seen in the movies, a yellow web like arc that’s shot from your proton pack and is as useful as a chocolate fire guard, and then the final one is a blue plasma ball which isn’t too bad. The reason for you having the three different weapons is that all the ghosts are either red, yellow or blue and you have to use the corresponding weapon to kill the ghosts.
The ghosts throughout the game rarely change and you’ll find yourself fighting the same ones over and over. This is due to the fact that you’ll find yourself revisiting the same levels a couple of times each which makes the game even more monotonous. It would have been much better had each of the levels been in different locations as to break up the dullness of fighting the same ghosts over and over again.
At the end of most levels, you’ll come across a boss which doesn’t take much skill to beat. Just fire which ever weapon you fancy at it until you can release the trap, press the button combination that appears on screen to catch the ghost.
A couple of things which I found to be a tad annoying, albeit little issues, were the fact that Slimer appears in some of the levels and you have to attack him and also that you can cross the streams!! In the 2nd film, Slimer is no longer a nasty ghost and crossing the streams is the last thing you should be doing! Just ask the Stay Puft marshmallow man.
It was from level 10 that I really started to lose interest in the game and from the general feeling of the game, a lot of people found level 10 just as frustrating. There’s only so many times you can scream at your TV before you have to calmly put down the joypad and turn off your console before you put your foot through the screen. I’m all for playing tough games, but this was just ridiculous.
Sounds & Visuals
As below par as the game might be, the visuals are quite nice, yet the soundtrack is just on a constant loop throughout the game. Which is a shame as some of the tunes are quite good and do add an eerie feel to parts of the game. Throughout there are comic strip cutscenes which tells you what’s going on with the story with some of the text dialogue being beyond terrible with some incredibly cheesy lines. There’s no spoken dialogue which is probably a godsend for the game and has stopped me from ripping it to pieces even more than I already have.
Quite often the game will show some lag just before the ghosts appear which is quite poor for this kind of game, as surely this kind of thing should have been ironed out before release.
As you may have gathered throughout this review, I wasn’t impressed by Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime. I really tried to get into the game so as not to give it a bad review with it being a Ghostbusters game and my love for the franchise, but I just couldn’t do it. This might be better if you’ve got 3 mates to play the game with as to not suffer the poor AI, or get yourself online to play with other folk. Some of you may like the game, but overall this is a poor game and a stain on the Ghostbusters name in my opinion.
2 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.