Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Review

Ghostbusters: The Video Game was a great use of that franchises license that delivered a great Gears of War clone. Sanctum of Slime is supposed to be a sequel to the that game but it's connection is minimized to just the Ghostbusters theme on the title screen. What it could be compared to is a broken down twin stick shooter slightly reminiscent of any stock standard dual stick shooter. Game play takes you from one room to another in a predetermined path, almost always locking the door and forcing you to kill off a few waves of ghosts before moving on. This formula is bland and the game simply does not deviate far enough away from it to make this even a mildly amusing title to play. I played this once and died on the 3rd level and really had to will myself back into exactly the same scenario.


Since Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is presented in a top-down perspective, one would expect the graphics to be detailed given the amount of content that could be presented on screen. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. The colors appear dull and uninspiring. In particular, the ghosts lack a crisp, glowing appearance and instead appear to be transparent and grainy. This game definitely doesn't seem like a HD title and rather something that is a direct port from an older console. Having ghosts and the oppurtunity of utilising some awesome guns could have given the developers a nice incentive to some excellent graphics to do this game justice. Instead all that has happened is your average graphics that don't even give the title a chance to shine if the gameplay held its own.

As for the musical score, it’s your typical instrumental soundtrack that attempts to add to the spooky atmosphere. Conveniently enough, it actually doesn’t seem to be repetitive or annoying mainly because it’s muffled. Even the sound effects seem to be lacking some degree of clarity. There are the occasional echoes from the ghosts, but they fail to add that needed element of creepiness. Being a Ghostbusters game I was expecting some of the classic music from the movies. I was disappointed with the overall offering, it is poorly presented and doesn't offer the wow factor that should accompany a solid title.


Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime takes place in New York City, where ghosts are terrorizing its residents, and it’s up to the Ghostbusters to save the day. You, alongside three CPU players or friends either offline or online, must defend the city against these ghastly beings. Everyone has an energy bar and if yours is depleted, you will need to be revived by your fellow players. Quicker kills in succession result in the multiplier increasing for earning cash faster. Strangely, the cash won’t actually let you buy upgrades or weapons, but instead is recorded on the leaderboards for bragging rights. You’ll actually acquire additional weapons by going through the levels. These guns are colour co-ordinated and a particular coloured gun can only kill ghosts of that colour. The ability to successful rotate between the guns does offer a bit of strategy to the game but mainly just adds more frustration onto what should either aim to be a fully fledged shooter or a simple yet fun dual stick shooter.

The real problem with this game is that it doesn't really know what it wants to be. At times it is playing like your genuine dual stick shooter with power-ups to collect such as invincibility and health bonuses but then you might jump into a level where you are on a truck shooting ghosts that come along. There is nothing to draw you into the game and even fans of a particular genre of game won't be pleased with the entire package here. There are 11 missions to complete but about halfway through you start visiting the same areas again. That is, if you can will yourself to get this far through the game. The game is hard and you will die before finishing it for the first time. If you die you go back to the beginning which can be demoralising for many. If the game was fun I wouldn't mind the challenge of fighting past your best, but this Ghostbusters just doesn't manage that.


Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is a very average title that just doesn't offer any reason what so ever to invest your time and money into it. Poor soundtrack and effects, below par graphics and a frustrating game that can't even keep it original for the entire game leads a lot to be desired from this dual stick shooter. In a world full of dual stick shooters, this title will simply fall to the back of the shelf and honestly, that is where it should stay. I don't recommend this game to anyone unless you are truly in need of a dual stick shooter that you can play with 3 other friends.

Graphics - 3.5/10
Sound - 3/10
Gameplay - 4/10
Overall - 3.5/10