The Ghostbusters are well known for their English deprived slogan “I aint ‘fraid of no ghosts.” Apparently, someone forgot to tell the team’s new recruits from Atari and Behaviour Santiago’s Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime because one more than one occasion I witnessed them running from the action and cowering in a corner.
No, really. And that’s just the beginning of the downloadable title’s problems. From the terrible pacing to the insulting new team, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is a literal fail reel; not even the most hardcore dedicated fans of the franchise will be able to enjoy this turd.
Sanctum of Slime follows a familiar plot, drive around New York City blasting paranormal baddies. It all sounds great right? Here’s the thing though, the game features absolutely none of the charm or intelligence found in the movies. Hell, it doesn’t even have the original Ghostbusters. Oh, they’re minor characters in the story (spoiler: they’re pretty much desk jockies), but this time around you’re going to be playing as a new batch of recruits. This really wouldn’t be a problem, except that these new recruits are just so easy to hate. Come on, did the developers really think fans would welcome the idea of a Ghostbuster in a trucker hat? The new class is also incredibly boring and uninteresting. The fact that Atari and Behaviour took the Ghostbusters lore in favor of their red-bull generation (you won’t get much time with Ecto-1 here, the new recruits use a tricked out hummer) story is more than just a bit insulting.
The gameplay of Sanctum of Slime can best be described as Smash TV with a Ghostbusters overlay. More specifically, it’s a twin stick shooter; you’ll use the left stick to move and the right stick to shoot. It’s a simple control scheme, but here it comes off so sluggish that you’ll often feel like there’s a delay between your button presses and the corresponding action. Compare that with something like the Xbox Live Indie Game I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT, which uses the same control style, but only 100% times smoother and better altogether – and it only cost $1.
You’ll play through a number of missions set throughout different New York locales and blast different ghosts with weapons that correspond to their color. Sounds fun right? Hardly. Each level plays out essentially like this; go into a room, door locks behind you, blast all the ghosts. Move on and repeat. Sanctum of Slime’s level progression is entirely backwards though, as just when you think you’ve completed a section, you’ll find yourself backtracking through an area you’ve already completed. It’s really lazy development and shows how lacking the game really is.
Oh, it’s not like the game isn’t challenging, in fact somewhere around the 10 chapter in the story, the game ratchets up the difficulty to ungodly proportions. The game keeps throwing wave of enemy after wave of enemy at you and you’re unlikely to have the patience to deal with it. It’ not like the AI helps matters any bit either. They seem to panic when things get hectic, and fire the wrong weapons at the wrong enemies. Even worse? The fact that they get frightened and hide in corners when they seem to get scared. It’s quite possibly the worst AI I’ve ever seen.
The Blast Factor: As much as it pains me to say this, Ghostbusters seems like one of those franchises that seems destined to never have a good video game, but Sanctum of Slime takes things a step further – it’s an absolutely terrible game altogether. The AI sucks, the gameplay sucks, the pacing sucks. To put it quite simply, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime..well…sucks.
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is available now for PC, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live from Atari and Behaviour Santiago. A code was provided from the developer for this review.