VR games with effective storytelling are hard to come by but Zoink's latest imaginative virtual world is here to change that.
Ghost Giant stars a wee feline lad named Louis Lafleur. The story begins with him crying by a lake but we don't find out why until about halfway through the story and I definitely won't spoil anything in this review because it's a journey that you'll have to experience for yourself. Anyway, he soon sees a giant ghost emerge which he is initially afraid of. You play as this ghost and after the little guy gets used to you, you help him perform tasks that would be much more difficult if he attempted them by himself. As you progress, you'll come across many charming characters and they reminded me of the animals in the Animal Crossing universe although looking at them in VR makes them much more adorable. The voice acting is mostly superb although some voices seem out of place like one character whose southern accent stands out like a sore thumb. Also, some characters repeat lines way too often which gets annoying fast.
The gameplay merely involves you standing in a central spot as the Ghost Giant then you interact with your surroundings in order to move on to the next scene. Tasks include rotating buildings, searching for objects, throwing stuff at targets, and leading characters to certain points. I'm speaking at a very high level here because you end up doing far too many tasks to list in a review. You have to use 2 PlayStation Move controllers and the controls generally work well as most tasks can be completed without performing anything trickier than tapping a button or spinning a crank. However, certain parts force you to throw objects and I found these moments to be far more frustrating than fun. For whatever reason, I can never throw things accurately in VR games and often, the object just ends up falling instead of launching from my hand. Couldn't there be an easier and more intuitive optional alternative?
Thankfully, the scenarios within Ghost Giant's campaign are never confusing and I found myself breezing through most of them while also facing a satisfying level of challenge. The main parts where I briefly got stuck usually involved searching for objects so if you have just a little bit of patience then you can overcome anything Ghost Giant presents to you without too much trouble. I absolutely loved moving my big head through each elaborate environment as they're so full of life and detail that it's easy to get completely immersed in the game world. In fact, I kind of want to move there now but I guess I have to live in the real world. Bummer.
As I previously stated, I will not spoil anything here but I do want to discuss the story because it's an essential aspect of Ghost Giant. As Louis' life slowly gets revealed to you, it's difficult not to feel for the little chum as he's usually full of positivity yet he frequently doubts himself and beats himself up a lot. The last thing he would ever want to do is hurt someone else but considering he has to make a lot of sacrifices, he sometimes unintentionally hurts his loved ones. I can't recall any video game protagonist as pure-hearted as Louis and I was engaged in his tale from start to finish. Speaking of which, when the story ended, I couldn't help but think "That's it?!" because the whole story felt like the first chapter of a book instead of a complete tale. I definitely wanted to hang out with Louis a lot more so I hope that there will be a sequel somewhere down the road. I mean, a few hours isn't bad but I miss lil Louis already.
Although I'm not usually one for video game stories, Ghost Giant really captivated me with its lovely tale. On top of that, its world looks incredible in VR and the puzzling scenarios are quite enjoyable to master. I just wish that there was more to it.
- + Adorable and lively visuals really pop in VR
- + Engaging point and click puzzle scenarios that never get too tricky to figure out
- + Lovely story will touch your heart
- - Story feels like it ends way too soon
- - Throwing stuff is super-frustrating
- - Some voices can be quite annoying