Review: Ghost Giant (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 None
  • Move Required (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Ghost Giant
Format: PSN (4.25 GB)
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Publisher: Zoink Games
Developer: Zoink Games
Original MSRP: $24.99 (USD)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Ghost Giant proves that a VR game doesn’t have to be played in first-person perspective in order to be absolutely engaging. It does all this while actually being a first-person game… in a way.

While initial appearances might indicate that Ghost Giant is a third person adventure game (one where you watch and interact with tiny characters in a miniature world), the truth is that you play a “giant ghost”. Unlike Moss, where you also play an ethereal entity, but also control Quill (the mouse) with the DualShock, Ghost Giant has you only playing as the ghost, as you interact with a small character, who is independently controlled by the AI.

Throughout the fairy-tale like adventure, you work with Louis (your cat partner) to accomplish tasks that he otherwise could not. Since you are over 50 feet tall, you can reach things that he can’t and you have the strength to lift things that would be impossible for Louis.

The interaction between you and Louis is very endearing, but also hilarious. Writing is excellent here and keeps you intrigued enough to see this story through until its conclusion. Since your character doesn’t speak, I often felt like I was in the movie The Iron Giant, playing as the titular character, which was an awesome departure from the types of characters that I typically play in video games.

Even certain things, like causing rain by crashing two clouds into each other or causing wind to blow by actually blowing into the PSVR’s microphone, was mesmerizing.

But it was opening panels to a tiny house, and peeking inside at the activities taking place within, that made me feel like I was experiencing something completely unique and special.

The puzzles in Ghost Giant aren’t particularly difficult, and even if you find yourself stuck, you can always tap on Louis’ head and he gives you progressively helpful obvious tips.

On top of solving the game’s main puzzles, there are plenty of hidden items and mini games within the environments, like finding hats and swapping them on characters, including Louis himself, or shooting some hoops with basketballs scattered throughout the world.

Visuals:
I’m not sure if Ghost Giant launched with a PS4 Pro update, but the visuals are fantastic. Maybe it’s because you are looking at a miniature world, but I found these to be some of the sharpest graphics on the headset. Even leaning in close and looking at the tiny furniture and paintings in the small houses yielded some crisp details.

Equally impressive is the inverse kinematics in your character’s ghost hands. While they are understandably floating hands, they stretch and bend as you reach for things. They could have simply been floating hands, like in other games, but you can actually see your glowy arms distort as you bend them, which contributes to the notion that you are an ethereal “ghostly” being.

Audio:
A great cast of voice actors brings to life the characters in this tiny world, supported by an absolutely brilliant script. I’m constantly reminded of one of those Lucasarts games of old, with Louis keeping things lively with his chatter and sound effects evoking feelings of a living, breathing world.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Ghost Giant delivers an engaging VR narrative with creative puzzle solving, memorable characters, and a unique interactivity that takes advantage of the VR platform in ways seldom visited. Said platform has been plagued with so many wave shooters, horror games, and early access junk, that it’s very refreshing to see a game like this explore avenues outside of the box. And Ghost Giant creates a new experience with grace and polish, alongside an interesting cast of characters to deliver a VR title you won’t easily forget.

Score:
8.0
* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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