The debut VR title from developer Zoink, Ghost Giant is a Playstation VR exclusive that’s not to be missed. Here’s why.
We were intrigued with Ghost Giant right from the start, and it wasn’t because of the central premise – being an onlooker who interacts with a protagonist in the game world has been successfully done in VR before, for example in Moss. No, the main reason was that the development team at Zoink was behind it, and they’ve been responsible for some wonderfully quirky and creative little gems already. Stick it to the Man is an underrated classic for the Vita and I really enjoyed Flipping Death as well. I was extremely curious to see what they’d do with VR….
Your role is that of a giant ghost, and you interact with the game world using a pair of Move controllers. You can engage with objects all around, but your main interactions are with Louis, the game’s protagonist. He’s not the only character in the game though, as it’s a vibrant environment that is partly brought to life by fully voiced characters that go about their way as you try and help Louis overcomes the game’s small puzzle challenges.
There is no central puzzle mechanic in Ghost Giant that is a recurring theme for the game. Instead, gameplay gradually and organically evolves as you weave through the story, giving a sense that each scene was carefully and deliberately designed. There is a nice interplay between puzzle gameplay and the emotional bond that you develop with Louis as well, which is something I last experienced in VR while playing the amazing Moss about a year ago.
Like Moss, many of the individual sections of the game don’t feel all that large, but thanks to a condensed gameplay experience that’s paired with a sense of being part of something bigger, you never even really notice. Part of that is of course also because Louis’ tale is an emotional one, gripping you and not letting you go until well after the story wraps up. While Moss’ core (puzzle platforming) gameplay was stronger than Ghost Giant’s (partly because the Move controllers can be awkward at times), Zoink’s tale excels in the storytelling department.
The attention to detail I mentioned before can also be seen in the many little nooks and crannies you can explore during and after your playthrough. There are a ton of things to discover and unlock, and some to just play around with even though they don’t serve a narrative purpose. Add creative uses of the built-in microphone and the fact that physically moving around and looking at (or listening to) parts of a scene can also surprise you, and you’ve got great use of VR as well.
Audiovisually Ghost Giant is a lovely game as well. Zoink’s known for their slightly wacky presentation, but they’ve struck a nice balance here with Ghost Giant and its emotional narrative. There is still plenty of fun stuff to see and interact with, but it never downplays the serious undertone of the main story – and thus doesn’t get to be silly like Stick It or Flipping Death. As a puzzler it’s not the best or most challenging title out there, but Ghost Giant is certainly a highly polished VR game well worth experiencing.