The new Ghostbusters game available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC is a fun arcade-style shooter that lets you bust plenty of ghosts with your friends. Don't expect too much depth or variety for your $10 though.
Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime involves an ancient, slumbering evil god named Dumazu the Destroyer and an insane cultist trying to awake him. The story is explained via comic book style cut scenes that feature great art, but small text, so be prepared to squint at your TV a bit. You'll play one of four rookie Ghostbusters hired by the original crew to ease their workload, since Dumazu's stirrings are causing a massive upsurge in paranormal activity. Gameplay is of the top-down twin-stick shooter variety; you peer down at the ‘busters from above, using the right analog stick to aim your proton beam and the left stick to move around.
While mastering twin-stick controlling like that can be a little tricky, that's pretty much all there is to the controls. This is a much easier game to jump into for a few levels of ghostbusting fun than 2009's Ghostbusters: the Video Game. Various ghosts will appear as you move into a new room, you'll zap them into oblivion, then move on to the next room. And this game does allow you to cross the streams – in fact, there's no friendly fire at all to worry about.
Sanctum of Slime allows both online and local multi-player, and the game is at its best if you've got a few friends to enjoy it with. Up to four people can play. The ghosts you'll encounter throughout the levels are immobilized or slowed when multiple proton streams are focused on them, so there's a nice teamwork aspect. You also get unlimited lives and can be revived by a team member when you're taken down by an angry ghost. Just don't let all four Ghostbusters hit the dirt at the same time.
At the end of each level is a classic video game boss monster. These monsters must be gradually worn down with proton assaults while avoiding their attack patterns. When they're low enough on health, you can deploy a trap. The trap is then activated by pressing a long sequence of buttons that appear on the screen. This can be a little difficult, but my wife and I, who are by no means hardcore gamers, were able to accomplish it.
There are 12 levels to this game, but unfortunately after the first few the gameplay gets pretty redundant. You revisit prior levels and keep running into the same generic ghosts. Without multi-player, this would get old pretty fast – even with friends playing, the fun starts to get a bit thin on the ground. The level bosses are unique and exciting though, and even some of the minion ghosts can be creepy. When you walk into a room in the abandoned asylum filled with motionless figures who suddenly animate and start spinning toward you, you won't know whether to laugh or shriek in terror.
As a budget title with a $10 price tag, it's hard to complain too much. Is it worth the $10? If you enjoy twin-stick shooters and you have some pals who are as into Ghostbusters as you are, you'll surely get a few hours of fun out of this.