There's no doubt that the Ghostbusters franchise is one that has a surprising level of endurance over the years. It's been over twenty years since the first film was released and since then we've seen another movie, cartoons and the odd game here and there. This generation has already seen a Ghostbusters game on home consoles, which we didn't mind at all, so how does this DLC version of the classic spook-seekers stand up? Does it reach the great and might heights of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man or is it a mere puny Slimer, filled with a sense of nuisance? Well, be prepared to be covered in green mucus...
Once again, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime takes place after the second film of the series. Business is booming for the Ghostbusters, but perhaps too much - there are so many spooks in New York City that they simply cannot keep up with them. As a result, they decide to hire four new employees to pick up some of the slack on the streets. The four they do hire are quite young and inexperienced, but the team has faith in their potential.
The main thrust of gameplay in Sanctum of Slime is reminiscent Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, in that it takes an isometric stance and uses a similar control scheme. However, the similarities end there. While we loved Guardian of Light for its varied gameplay and great presentation, Sanctum of Slime doesn't have a hope of being so engaging. You will find yourself going from area to area with your team members and vanquishing all of the ghosts inside a room before you can then proceed to the next room. Once you reach the next room, you will find yourself sealed in until more ghosts emerge, and you have to defeat them to progress to the next room. Ghosts will come in different colours, and the most effective weapon against them is that whose colours match - your standard proton pack, for example, shoots out a red stream that is most effective against red ghosts.
And so it keeps on going. Occasionally you'll get a boss-like character thrown your way towards the end of a stage, but there really isn't much strategy to any of them beyond shooting and repeating. You'll sometimes have to dodge objects thrown at your head and revive fallen team mates, but nothing exists beyond that which will challenge your playing abilities at all. The game might foster a bit more excitement if the presentation had some oomph to it, but this is also sadly lacking.
The graphics of them game are serviceable enough - nice and clean, with no real technical issues at all, though environments tend to be very similar and repeated frequently. This comes across in both the gameplay itself and the cut-scenes, if they can be called that. The cut-scenes consist of comic strips which let the story unfold. They are drawn crisply enough and there's even some decent writing buried in there at times that gives some good continuity nods and may raise a smile, but perhaps the biggest letdown in the game's presentation - beyond its repetitive gameplay - is the sound design. The classic Ghostbusters theme is heard in all of its crisp and funky glory, and is probably one of the highlights of the game. There is a certain thrill in hearing it, but any other potential thrills for the game come to a dull halt. There is no voice acting to speak of, just text. Even though the role of the original four Ghostbusters is relatively small, any voice work for the four new recruits would have been welcome to break up the monotony. The music within the gameplay itself is not only repeated but completely lacking in inspiration and personality, and does nothing to set any tone for the game. There's no sense of creeping horror, outright fear or the goofy comedy that the Ghostbusters universe is known for. Sound effects in the game are similarly muted and without variance, which could have also given the game some more much-needed personality.
There is a multiplayer option and it honestly does up the stakes a bit and make the game slightly more enjoyable when busting ghosts as a team, but it's far from a saving grace for the game and is met with the same dull, repetitive gameplay.
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime really doesn't warrant a lot of time to be spent on it. There's nothing technically wrong with it, it's visually passable and you'll get a kick out of hearing the classic theme as you boot up the game, but there are little other redeeming features outside of these things. The basic gameplay repeated ad nauseum, combined with a lack of any atmosphere equate to something that, after playing, will make you feel like crossing the streams aimed squarely at your head to eradicate the sense of boredom you've just experienced.