XBLA Review: Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime

Who ya gonna call? The morgue…

I’m not the biggest Ghostbusters fan, but I did enjoy the recent console versions that were well received by fans and critics. I wasn’t expecting the XBLA version to be better the last game, but I was hopeful that it would at least be enjoyable. So how did it go so wrong?

Sanctum of Slime has the ingredients of a good game. A story told through comic book cutscenes, a top-down perspective which is perfect for 4-player co-op. So what’s so bad about it? The game starts out strong through its plot, but then you actually see the game and notice just how awful it looks and then after 5 minutes of playing, you’ve realised you’ve seen all it has to offer. The game follows a very repetitive pattern of entering a room, zapping the ghosts and moving to the next with the occasional boss thrown in.

The problem is that it’s all very dull to boot. Combat isn’t the least bit satisfying since all you do is move the right analog stick to get rid of the ghosts who don’t differ that much in design or technique. You will get different weapons as you progress, but it still doesn’t make zapping ghosts the slightest bit fun. It doesn’t help that the game looks incredibly dated by today’s standards and looks like it belongs on a console from several generations ago.

What is annoying is that if you are playing solo, you’ll get stuck with 3 other AI companions who are pretty useless and worst of all, you can’t switch between them in a fight. So if your character dies, you need to hope that one of the AI revives you before dying themselves. It’s also quite relentless at times, where one or two hits will kill you…making it a highly frustrating game as well as being awful to play.

The Verdict

The level design Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is lazy and there’s not much variety in terms of enemies or things to do. It’s completely one-dimensional with its combat, plus it’s a very ugly game visually. The Ghostbusters are better than this, but nothing can save this game from its fate as being terrible.