Arriving in the wake of the excellent Tomb Raider: Guardian Of Light, Ghostbusters: Sanctum Of Slime is another attempt re-imagine a celebrated brand as an isometric shooter. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the thinking: Ghostbusters’ proton packs, streams and menagerie of multi-coloured spooks are ideally suited to this style of gameplay, and Sanctum Of Slime makes a good first impression.
The lighting is suitably moody, the uniforms are authentic, and you even get to drive Ecto-1, but the more I played the more its fundamental lack of humour and character became clear. Players can choose from a range of rookie characters, but they are all completely interchangeable, with identical powers and abilities and a complete absence of personality. Making matters worse is the text-based dialogue, which is far less amusing the comic-book inspired cut-scenes.
Sanctum Of Slime's gameplay is inconsistent and repetitive. Enemies are easy to defeat, your team revives you any time you fall (which happens far too often), and levels are mundane and, in most cases, predictable. Your team walks into a room, the doors lock, you destroy all the ghosts in the room and move on. Lather, rinse, and repeat. My boyhood dream of being able to wield my own proton pack faded quickly when its usefulness and power was reduced to mindless shooting.
Indeed, players will be bored out of their minds until the last couple of levels, when the difficulty suddenly gets turned up to 11. It left me scratching my head and wondering what went wrong, and why the previously helpful A.I. allies suddenly became utterly helpless.
A gamer of average abilities will be able to breeze through most of Sanctum of Slime in a few hours, when the action comes to a dead stop during those last few brutal levels. If you're able to find some friends to play local or online co-op with, beating the game and playing it is less challenging and more enjoyable. But if you take on the game solo, Ghostbusters will break you like Ivan Drago broke Apollo Creed. The difficulty ramps up that much.
If you're a diehard Ghostbusters fan who sleeps in a Ghostbusters bed, takes your food to work in a Ghostbusters lunchbox, and can recite every line from both Ghostbusters films, chances are you'll get your money's worth out of Sanctum Of Slime. Everyone else will find a pedestrian shooter that fails to live up to the Ghostbusters name.