Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Review

By Jeffrey Matulef - Posted May 02, 2011

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is a terrible product that's a disservice to the Ghostbusters name. A twin-stick shooter with clumsy controls, lobotomized AI, shabby mechanics, and an atrocious script, there's no reason to play it over other entries in the genre.

The Pros
  • Ghostbusters theme song
  • Color-coded weapon system
The Cons
  • Idiotic AI
  • Sluggish controls
  • Inconsistent difficulty
  • No personality

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Review:

Sanctum of Slime is a Ghostbusters game without the ghostbusters. This may sound like a huge oversight, but it's the least of its problems. The game starts off promising enough with the classic series theme song blasting over the main menu. This is pretty exciting and gets you pumped for an all new Ghostbusters adventure. Instead, we're given the story of four bland new recruits. Devoid of any of the series' charm, Sanctum of Slime is a dreadful attempt at a twin-stick shooter that's a failure in almost every capacity.

 



"I'm Terrified Beyond the Capacity for Rational Thought."

The number one rule about ghostbusting is to never cross the streams. That's not in effect here. This might make things easier, but it also makes it more generic. Instead players are given three primary color-coded weapons that are effective against enemies of the corresponding color. It's not hugely innovative, but it's a neat system that forces you to switch up tactics.

Unfortunately, the ghostbusters move at a lethargic pace, making them ill-equipped to deal with hordes of quick-moving enemies. Making matters worse, there's no option to run or jump so it's easy to get stuck behind a piece of rubble or protruding wall, particularly in dimly lit areas.

Even when you can make out the action, collision detection is awful so it's not always clear what's hurting you. Sometimes I'd squeeze between two enemies without a hitch and other times I'd get booted into the game over screen when it looked like I wasn't touching a foe.

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"Now is the Season of Evil!"

Ghostbusters typically go down in a scant few hits, so you'll be dying frequently. Your partners can revive you, but if you're playing solo the AI controlled ghostbusters are completely moronic. They'll dash to resuscitate you in spite of danger, yet pass up good opportunities to come to your aid in order to fight. There's no adjustable difficulty either, so later levels are nearly impossible in single-player due to incompetent AI partners.

Playing multiplayer helps, but this comes with its own share of problems. There's no option to drop in or out mid-level and context sensitive revive prompts are finicky. Even when you do get them to show up, mashing a button to rescue players takes longer than the AI partners would make it seem.

Elsewhere, levels are poorly designed and repetitive. You walk into a room, the doors lock, and you're stuck until every enemy has been defeated. This happens in every room and often they're too cramped to accurately maneuver around. Stages contain an abundance of backtracking and later levels are merely retreads of previous environments.

This could have been salvaged somewhat through proper use of the license, but even that's squandered. Only tangentially related to the beloved series, Sanctum of Slime removes all its best elements; notably the characters. The flimsy excuse is that the real Ghostbusters are "too exhausted," so they send rookies in their steed. This could have worked if the new cast were interesting, but they're not. Cracking groan-inducing jokes at every turn they're at best forgettable and at worst annoying.

For a game with such a pitiful script there's an awful lot of story. Cinematics are portrayed through still comic book panels and they're so long that there's actually an achievement for not skipping any.

 



Who Ya Gonna Call? Not These Guys.


Sanctum of Slime is the worst kind of game. It's a soulless cash-in that robs the series of everything that made it great and can't function on its own. Plagued with shoddy controls, muddled visuals, brain-dead AI, uneven difficulty, and unimaginative design, Sanctum of Slime has next to no redeeming qualities. It's fitting that the title's abbreviation is SOS. The ghostbusters have never been in a more dire situation.