After Ghostbusters was released a few years ago, we were all excited to see what the future would hold for the franchise. After mostly positive reviews and reactions from the first installment, Atari (for some reason) decided to go a different route and make the sequel a downloadable game for XBLA, PSN and PC. Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime isn’t what anyone expected.
When it was announced as an over-the-top, shoot-em-up title, the game sounded great on paper. Throw four new Ghostbusters together and add paranormal chaos and a proton gun, and you’ve died and gone to ghost-busting heaven … right?
Wrong. Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime loosely expands on the first game, but this time, the action begins with four rookie Ghostbusters riding out on a paranormal call that the old team is too tired to take. You choose one of the four characters and play alongside the other three, combating ghosts as they pop up and fight you. Each level has numerous rooms. Stop in one room, fight all the ghosts, and continue on to the next room (and repeat). The basic gameplay is boring and repetitive.
As the game progresses, you end up with three types of proton rays, which correspond to the color of enemies. The three types are simple: red, yellow and blue. You must pick the right proton ray to have the best chance at defeating the ghosts.
Players will immediately notice the mediocrity of the levels. Sure, each one takes place at a different location in the city, but each section also looks the same as the last. Once you’ve played through a few levels, it just seems like you’re cycling through the same old routine.
Not only are the levels lacking in substance, but humans and ghosts are unfairly matched. In most cases, taking down a ghost or entity is much more difficult than it should be, especially when your character can only take two or three hits before dying.
Continuing on, the first few levels are without true challenge, but that pattern quickly changes when you reach the later levels and all you start to see is the Game Over screen. It probably doesn’t help that your fellow comrades are too thick to understand if they should keep fighting or try to save you. This extreme elevation in difficulty, accompanied by the troublesome A.I. of your fellow Ghostbusters, makes for one heck of an awful experience.
At the end of the paranormal-infested night, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is just another failed attempt at revitalizing the movie-to-game adaptation genre. The idea that looked good on paper translated into unfair challenge and highly monotonous gameplay on the screen. Sanctum of Slime will have you reminiscing about the days when the Ghostbusters franchise meant good films, not lousy video games.