Ghostbusters:-Sanctum-of-Slime-Review Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Review

   29/03/2011 at 20:31       Richard Horne       2 COMMENTS. - Score 2/5
 - Ghostbusters, Sanctum of Slime, Crossing the Streams, Ghosts, Classic 80s Nostalgia

Atari’s 2009 Ghostbusters: The Video Game was seen by many as a very welcome return to form for this hugely popular 80s franchise. It was a breath of a fresh air from an otherwise dead and buried franchise, and ahead of the much rumoured third film, helped revitalise interest and put Ghostbusters firmly back into the public’s consciousness.

Coming off the back of that, you’d expect a 4 player co-operative Xbox Live Arcade offering in the same vein as Smash TV and Robotron to maintain that momentum. It is unfortunate then, that Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime serves only to sully the goodwill brought about by the previous release and undo all that hard work.

In GB:SoS you take on the role of either Alan Crendall, Bridget Gibbons, Gabriel Sitter or Samuel Hazer as you battle against the evil and mysterious Dumazu. Heard of any of those? No, me neither.
The gameplay takes the form of a top-down co-op arena shooter and follows the traditional blueprint of taking you from one room to the next obliterating all that come before you with various unlockable weapons. Of course you’ll start off with your trusty proton pack and in a contentious move that breaks all Ghostbusters tradition, with four players on-screen all at the same time, crossing the streams is quite acceptable, and in most cases is actually key to success.

Enemies are frequently repeated, a point made all the more unforgivable thanks to their shonky animations and visuals. A unique twist is given to proceedings thanks to the fact that each is colour coded, with each indicating a vulnerability to certain weapons – all of which are rather handily identified by the appropriate coloured face-buttons. But with only 3 weapons to choose from it’s far too limiting and there’s just not enough variety. An achievement for killing a certain enemy type with the wrong weapon encourages you to mix things up a bit but it’s scant reward for persevering through what’s otherwise a fairly mediocre experience.

Still, online co-op play often manages to make any game fun and GB:SoS is somewhat redeemed by its simultaneous 4 player offering. An extra level of strategy is also added thanks to the ability to revive fallen comrades. But thanks to the un-necessarily busy visuals, it’s all too easy to lose track of your player, a point made all the more frustrating thanks to the numerous obstacles situated in each level that will often get in your way and block your progress.

Graphically things are a mixed bag with the rather nice comic-strip cut-scenes completely at odds with the 3D in-game visuals. The game’s audio is also largely forgettable with the characters’ one-liners and comic retorts unfortunately conspicuous by their absence. It all just feels a little empty and soul-less.
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is a complete missed opportunity. While the will they/won’t they rumours persist with regard to the third film in the series, what’s abundantly clearer is that this release could ultimately probably prove to be the final nail in the videogame series's coffin and that’s not a final note on which this legacy should end.

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