Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Xbox 360 Review

April 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Publisher – Atari – Developer – Behaviour Santiago – Genre – Action – Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 12+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

Before the release of Ghostbusters: The Videogame, we hadn’t seen a Ghostbusters game in quite some time. Now, almost two years later, Atari has brought another Ghostbusters game to the market; this time it’s a smaller budget Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network release.

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime may feature the famous Ghostbusters characters at the beginning of the game, although due to the increase of paranormal activity, the veterans need some fresh help and bring in a team of rookie Ghostbusters. If you’re wanting to play a modern game to actually play as one or more of the more well known personalities, well there just isn’t one. The story is, however, told via some well drawn comic book panels, and the typical Ghostbusters humour has been kept intact.

There's the occasional vehicle section, which have you firing your weapons from the back of a 4WD.

Sanctum of Slime is a twin stick shooter played from a top down perspective, in which mini ghosts and mini Ghostbusters fight it out in relatively detailed environments. The number one Ghostbusters rule of never crossing the streams has fortunately been ignored; I could just imagine this to have caused a lot of frustration if it had featured this, with its shrunken down look and small areas potentially leading to too many crossed streams.

The team is comprised of four rookie Ghostbusters and there’s a welcome option for cooperative play for up to, you guessed it, four players. The game can be played locally or online, but you can’t mix and match, which is a real shame. There’s no drop in option either, which means that players need to be there from the start, and if all players leave when you’re playing online, well you’re on your own to face those ghosts, with only the inept AI to help you out.

This wouldn’t be so bad if said AI Ghostbusters were up to the job, but they aren’t. I was initially impressed with their eagerness to bring me back to my feet after being downed by a nasty ghost, but they’re overly eager at times and end up as a heap themselves, and when all four of the Busters are down, it’s game over and back to the last checkpoint. The AI certainly proves to be annoying in the later stages of the game and that’s why it’s best to team up with other players if at all possible.

When it comes to the actual Ghostbusting (in which you’ll be doing a lot of), Sanctum of Slime has the iconic Proton stream along with more ghost vanquishing tools. Enemies are colour coordinated, as are the weapons, so when you see a red ghost the proton stream will do the most damage, if you see a blue ghost it’s time to whip out the weapon that fires blue projectiles at your enemy. It’s a simple system which allows you access to each of the three weapon at a simple button press, but I do feel that the game could have benefitted from a few extra ghost zapping tools.

Bosses are lacking in imagination. Surely they could have come up with something better than the batch featured here?

The game could have benefitted from a little more variation in more areas than its weapons, why, for instance, do we have to get locked in a small area for most of the ghost encounters? Why do we revisit locations over the course of the game? It just all detracts from what is a generally fun experience, making it feel like a lazy development.

While fun, cheap and playable, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime could have been so much more. The game just has too many faults for me to recommend it too highly, chiefly the lack of variation and missing drop-in multiplayer option, but it’s certainly not all bad, with the game at its strongest and most enjoyable in multiplayer.