Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime
If there’s something weird and it don’t look good, probably best not to eat it or you’ll get the trots. Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime sucked me in from the start when I was treated to not just a cover version or 20 second looped sample, but the FULL version of the original Ghostbusters track from Ray Parker Jr.
You get to choose one of four characters, but don’t be discouraged when you find that they’re none of the originals as I guess Atari didn’t want to bother with the license of using them, instead, you get to choose from Alan, Bridget (female, to shut to women up), Gabriel (token black guy) or Samuel. Once you’ve chosen a ‘buster, sit back… well, maybe not too far back as you’re treated to a lengthy intro with a lot of text that’s hard to read from a distance (on a 32″ TV at 1080p, anyway).
There aren’t many options, but (although, you probably won’t need to if you read this) unlike me, it’s best to take a look and especially at the controls, so you don’t sit there for the first two minutes wondering why you’re not shooting proton beams and zapping ghosts. It turns out I needed to use the right analogue stick to aim and shoot, so that’s why the frantic pressing of every other button on the controller did nothing…
One of the things that make this a title to buy is the multiplayer action, not only can four friends from around the globe play co-op and get some busting action going, up to four players can play local multiplayer, but with no lag. The singleplayer starts you off on level one, obviously, known as Training Day, but it’s not exactly as simple as you may think, the difficulty level is not as low as you think it would be from the start and you’ll be forgiven if you die once or twice.
There’s a possibility of distinct repetitiveness due to the gameplay being pretty much the same, if I was to compare it with something, I suppose you could say it’s a top-down Left 4 Dead in the sense your task is to make your way through the level, wiping out swarms/hordes of paranormal spirits of varying toughness. The game gets a little tougher by introducing ghosts that are best taken out with other weapons, so when you think you’ve just gotten the hang of zapping the crap out of everything, it kicks up a notch by the need of using more equipment.
A word of warning, especially with big ghosts and bosses, you will die with one hit from them. No kidding, well ok, maybe not die, but pass out and have to be revived which is a bit much really. There are times when you’re happily zapping away and suddenly, you don’t see the big ghost shoot something at you, next thing you know, you’ve collapsed on the floor and the guy trying to revive you is also being bombarded, collapses and so on until you’re all dead.
Also, don’t stand still, keep moving as it’s the only possible chance of survival, you kind of find that out too when you think it’s ok to stand in a corner, oh no, it’s not as easy as that. Once you think you’ve defeated the boss at the end of the level, there’s the task of throwing out the trap which seems like it’s easy enough, it is, as long as you remember where you’re standing and that the trap has to go underneath the ghost or possessed entity for it to work.
Throughout the game, there are certain perks and power-ups to collect which will boost things like money bonuses and brief invincibility, with a ‘Savior Bonus’ when reviving teammates. There are little Stay Puft (you know, the big marshmallow thing from the end of the first movie) characters to find, four in each level, but it’s up to you to find out where they are.
If you’re not a big fan of Xbox Live Arcade games (which this is a review of, it’s also available on Steam and PlayStation Network), let Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime change that opinion. For those that like good graphics, this has that, for those that like gameplay, it caters for that need too although, as before mentioned, it can get a little repetitive.
It’s not particularly linked to any other part of the Ghostbusters franchise, it’s a whole new story with a group of all-new rookies that should keep the average gamer occupied for a while with each level lasting an average 20 minutes, more when it gets more difficult and everyone keeps dying. Do I recommend that you buy this? Yes, not just for an enjoyable single player campaign, but for some great co-op multiplayer too!