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Swarm! Slam! Rescue! Battle! Ghostbusters!

Battle: Los Angeles

  • Xbox Live Arcade - 800 Microsoft Points (6.80)
  • PSN - 7.99
  • PC Steam - 7.99

With extra terrestrials this hapless, I'm not sure anyone has to fret too much about an alien invasion just yet. Just call in Team America, fire some hot lead in their general direction and crack open a celebratory Bud in time for dinner.

I realise first person shooters are getting shorter these days, but, come on. Did Saber Interactive really imagine that releasing a movie tie-in that you can sleepwalk through inside an hour was going to be acceptable?

The game starts off as it means to go on - with absolutely zero ambition to differentiate itself from the dozens of other military shooters all hooahing themselves into irrelevance.

4

Even the presence of stereoscopic 3D support can't save it.

If you were to be kind, you'd probably observe that it's built on solid technical foundations, but at this stage, that's a bit like commending a movie for having a good set. In reality, Battle Los Angeles is so content to go through the motions, it may as well be playing itself.

You'll trudge through the rubble of a few tight set-pieces, pull off the head shots where necessary, duck behind cover whenever you're in any danger, and even smash up a few unthreatening alien ships with the handily placed bazookas.

But at no stage does the game deign to get out of second gear, and by the time you've reached the end, there's a sense of relief that only 53 minutes of your life was wasted on this entirely pointless piece of digital merchandising.

4/10

Battle: Los Angeles' first 15 minutes.

Ghostbusters: Sanctum Of Slime

  • Xbox Live Arcade - 800 Microsoft Points (6.80)
  • PSN - 7.99
  • PC - Steam - 7.99

The number one, unbreakable golden rule of ghostbusting is that you do not, under any circumstances, cross the streams.

And if you can't manage that, at least bloody well try to respect the license. Don't just lovelessly slap the brand top onto any old half-baked twin stick shooter and expect people not to seek retribution for this wanton abuse of IP.

Stripped of all the fan service that made Terminal Reality's flawed gem so enjoyable, all you're left with is essentially a spooky Smash TV. You, and your three ghostbusting chums, wander from room to room, and take out all the restless spirits by zapping them with one of three weapons, colour-coded to match the hue of your enemies.

5

Come on Bill, get on with Ghostbusters 3.

After ten, 15 minutes of this monotony, you'll eventually meet a boss monster, and studiously chip away his giant health bar until he stops spamming you with cheap attacks. And so it goes on, through 12 levels of progressively trickier encounters.

It might have been mildly engaging if there had been more to do, but the Behaviour Studio's offering swiftly runs out of ideas after about the fourth level. And, to make matters worse, the further you progress, the more likely the game's dreadful health/revive mechanic robs you of any will to continue.

In a game where you become incapacitated after about two hits, a large chunk of the game is spent waiting for your co-op partners to revive you - and if they get caught in the crossfire, the game will quickly snuff you all out and return you to the previous checkpoint.

With the mood alternating between boredom and exasperation, Sanctum Of Slime is a spirit-crushing exercise that only a committed masochist could appreciate.

4/10

The first 15 minutes of Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime.

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