|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC|
|Pub: Atari, Sony|
|Release: March 22, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
by Peter Eykemans
Atari is once again stepping up to the plate to answer the age old question of, "who you gonna call?" The answer, once again, is Ghostbusters. Set for release in the spring of 2011, Atari and developer Wanako are working on the downloadable title Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime. USA Today posted an exclusive preview of the game that dives into some of the gameplay components and contents of the sequel.
Taking a note from the success of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Sanctum of Slime is dropping the third-person angle of 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game and changing the angle to a more arcade-friendly top-down view. And shaking up the gameplay formula with the addition of four-player cooperative play either locally or online, the game is hoping to find a new market to succeed in. Scheduled for release as a downloadable title on Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, and PC, only time will tell if this changing of the gameplay guard, so to speak, is going to be successful.
We gave 2009's entry in the famous IP based on the 1984 classic film a decent score of 3.9, with points taken away for stiff animations, poor lip-synching, and bad filters. But by switching up the viewpoint altogether, several of those problems are squished from the get-go. There's no telling how this new take on the series is going to do. Among other changes, Sanctum of Slime is dropping the famous cast of characters that such a wide audience has come to know and love and focusing on the rookie that was introduced in 2009's game. There is no announcement yet of when exactly this tale is set to take place, although this sequel will most likely take place in the early nineties.
With what we can only assume are top-down shooter controls, players will also be able to pilot the iconic Ecto-4WD through the game world. Additionally, players will have access to top-notch ghost hunting gear including "the proton stream, plasma inductor and the fermion shock." Not bad if you aren't, indeed, afraid of ghosts.
The last promised featuring to emerge from USA Today's preview is the inclusion of "enormous bosses" that require working together with your team to take down. While we don't know who any of the bosses are just yet, I am hoping for another shot at the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
I'll be one of the first to admit that the most recent Lara Croft adventure was awesome, especially the cooperative mode with Totec. Using each other to help solve puzzles and bring down the waves of enemies flooding the screens was a blast and the game felt absolutely polished. If Sanctum of Slime can deliver a similar polish while letting players dive into a simply awesome supernatural world, we're all in for a treat and have absolutely nothing to complain about.
While information is scarce for the time being, we'll be digging up more ghostly info on this title for you as soon as we can get our streams locked on. Keep an eye out this spring for some arcade-style ghost busting.
Will switching the viewpoint send the franchise into a successful new direction or were gamers hoping for more third-person action like the last time around? It's early to start guessing how the game is going to play out, so once we start seeing some videos and more screenshots we may be able to begin getting excited (or frustrated). Wanako's last outing on the downloadable marketplace was Assault Heroes 2, so bringing that kind of frantic gameplay might just make this upcoming title a winner.
CCC Freelance Writer