Ok, we all know movie-inspired video games are usually doomed to fail. Hey, are you going to play the new game based off the family movie hit, "Rango?" Yeah, I thought so. How did those "Harry Potter" games treat you? More like, "Harry Pooper," right? More often then not, "movie games" are laughable.
But over the years, the "Ghostbuster" franchise has bucked the trend. The early 8 - bit Ghostbuster game playable on PC, NES, and Sega Master system was a blast. The later adaptation for Sega Genesis was pretty well received. More recently, the Ghostbusters full retail game for Xbox 360 and PS3 was met with mixed.. but mostly postitive reviews.
Now, we're given "Ghostbusters - Sanctum of Slime." It's a downloadble title you can pick up now. To quote the immortal lyrics of Ray Parker Jr., it's "something weird, and it don't look good."
To be blunt, it feels like Atari just pulled this one out of Slimer's ass. I know, we've come to expect so much more from the company that brought us unforgettable, childhood changing classics like E.T., the *original* home version (ha!) of Pac-man, and the revolutionary console with so much power, it could only be called "Jaguar" (well, at least it had Doom, I guess).
Irony aside, the game is lackluster. After firing up the demo, I could only get through about five or so minutes. It's that bad.
Much like "Zombie Apocalypse" or "Dead Ops Arcade," Sanctum of Slime is a top down shooter. You and your friends are in control of the Ghostbusters. No, not the iconic characters you've come to know and love... you play as rookie ghostbusters. The characters have no depth and to make matters worse, the story unfolds by way of comic book style illustrations. No voice work. No animation. Just plain old comic book pages. It's a technique that ensures you'll never give a damn about the game's narrative.
That's really Sanctum's downfall. You never really *feel* like you're playing a Ghostbuster game. The enemies are generic, bearing little resemblence to anything you've seen in the movies. My understanding is that boss battles are better but core gameplay levels are simply boring. Level *design* is "been there, done that." In the demo, I think I was busting ghosts in an insane asylum or something. Whatever, it was just a top down multi-room map, funneling me to my next room.
The controls are competent and responsive. The difficulty is set a level which is managable, yet challenging. Sadly, it's a challenge this souless game doesn't inspire you to take up.
There is some good news, though. Atari was able to license the original theme song, which plays during the "start" screen. Sweet. So if you really have to, you can justify this purchase by saying you bought a $9.99 mp3.
I'm normally not this harsh but trust me, skip Sanctum of Slime. The boring gameplay will annoy you but Sanctum's inability to tap into the essence of "Ghostbusters" may enrage you, especially if you're a fan of the movies.