April 16, 2019
Virtual Reality is an ever evolving commodity. The longer we support it the more we will push the boundaries on what to expect, we saw this gaming itself which has now elevated itself to achieve narratives that were previously thought out of its grasp. Ghost Giant is another great achievement in interactive story telling, while it may feature fairly simplistic controls those are made alarmingly difficult when your VR headset fills up with your own tears at a beautifully told story.
Ghost Giant acts as a marriage of the VR and PlayStation Move system, with simplistic controls you can either pick something up or point a finger to press buttons and such. Opening by the lake you act as a spectral being in the familiar but endearing trope of a child create fantasy to deal with trauma, local child Louis is crying by the lake and as you reach out to touch him the world surrounding you will spring to life.
Taking place in a world reminiscent of a children’s diorama after a flustered opening as Louis comes to grip with your existence you will set off to an array of locations in the small country town. Every setting is unique and exudes charm and warmth. Wonderfully intricate there are an array of smaller details that come together to create a believable little town. As the titular Ghost Giant you will follow Louis as an unlikely problem solving duo offering kindness and friendship to the small boy.
Each location will place you in a fixed position that you will be able to pivot left and right. You will use your enormous height and invisibility to everyone but Louis to interact with your surroundings. Each little set has heaps for you to do from opening homes to peek around inside, using a big magnet to go fishing for metal pieces or even using a mop as a paintbrush. There will be lots of little things to go looking for in each setting, bugs to poke, windmills to blow and basketball to sink into far off hoops. The puzzles won’t leave you stumped for too long but will offer at least interesting and less common resolutions without being too convoluted.
The motion controls of Ghost Giant weren’t the most polished I’ve come across in VR so far, however they are certainly not the worst. While at the beginning the game recommended I put the camera beneath my TV if I was playing while sitting—which I will do for any game that offer it. However I eventually had to return the camera to it’s original location on top of the TV as I easily left the sensor zone and would not be able to reach the item I was after. I’ve played other games that let you select far off items and bring them to your hand if you couldn’t quite reach them which dealt with this problem so this would have been a welcome addition. Outside of that the buttons felt natural and after changing my setup I didn’t really experience any problems with the drop off.
While the gameplay might be standard it is the story telling that elevates Ghost Giant to a truly touching experience and something I can’t recommend highly enough. Across the course of your adventures with Louis you will uncover truths about his life. We will learn about why he isn’t talking to his best friend and how he blames himself for something that even grown adults struggle with one a daily basis. Key moments through the story use the playfulness of the diorama, the ability to surround you with a moment in VR and playing with your characters size to create heartfelt moments. As I said in the open, this game made me cry, more than once both happy and sad tears.
Ghost Giant is an experience that I feel truly honoured to have experienced. A game that at it’s core speaks of kindness, compassion and heartfelt connections with others. Bringing your character to life through the tears of a young boy the story goes on to tackle the root of the problem in an honest and thoughtful way that I did not expect. If you are a lover of heartfelt storytelling and own Virtual Reality then you absolutely must play this game.