We've known about Ghost Giant for some time now, but it is always difficult to judge the merits of a VR game beforehand. There is much that needs to work out, particularly as the game controls aren't completely established and there is room for experimentation (and mistakes). As the case is with many of the best titles on PSVR, Ghost Giant requires the use of Move controllers, but then it should be said that it really makes the most of them and what we have couldn't have been accomplished in any other way. We wake up in a forest that reminds us of an old Dutch TV show, The Daily Fable, or Fabeltjeskrant (see Wikipedia if you're unfamiliar), the show was huge in Sweden where Ghost Giant was created so it surely served as an inspiration for the visuals. In front of us there's a small cat boy who is devastated, and the natural thing, as a giant blue ghost is to pat him on his head. He freaks out. What would you do if a massive ghost started poking you?
Soon enough we're given an opportunity to show our goodwill and help him carry out small tasks. The situation soon becomes clear. The cat boy, who is called Louis, works hard to keep the farm going while his mother is ill. We start out by picking weed, but soon we need to get the family car running so Louis can go into town and pick up seeds. This way we're transported through various environments that all seem to have been put together with cardboard and wooden blocks. There we are in the middle and able to rotate to see the full panorama. In spite of its unrealistic design, it feels solid and dependable, much thanks to excellent lighting and a brilliant three-dimensional sense of presence.
The feeling is similar to Moss where you also watched over a small creature, but it feels more alive and charming as Louis constantly talks to you. The interactions are also fantastic. You can pick up and twist and turn items, making it feel like a living puppet show. Sure, realism may not be top priority as a brass knob rotates a whole building so we can see what goes on inside, but Ghost Giant is a surrealistic game that reminds us of the magical storytelling in Jena-Pierre Jeunet's Amélie (2001) - but perhaps it's just the French theme that makes us think of that.
Ghost Giant is done by the developer who recently created the memorable Fe, and previously did more modest titles like Stick it to the Man. It's a cozy story they've crafted, and it doesn't drag out unnecessarily but does feel a bit on the short side at the end of the day. We thought we had one final left and then it was just all over. But while it lasts it's excellent, full of neat details and distractions off to the side that rarely fails in making us smile. The puzzles are for the most part clever and logical, often natural and intuitive. And we can promise you that we never thought we'd make use of our knowledge of how to churn butter in a modern VR title. It's only some times that the precision in the old Move controllers fails us, and we utter some dirty words trying to sink a basket from a distance. It can make it hard to tell if you're doing something wrong or if it's simply a matter of having the laws of physics work as they should. Thankfully these moments of frustration are far outnumbered by smiles, and on the whole, this is an excellent little game.
There isn't a great deal more to say really. In the adventure genre, Déraciné is a longer, more dramatical affair, and if you want some more action there's Moss with a similar concept. But this is another good example of how VR can literally create new dimensions to proven game concepts and immersive the player and create emotions in a far more effective way than in traditional titles. Ghost Giant is full of charm, character, and joie de vivre (if you'd pardon our French). If you own a PlayStation VR and a couple of Move controllers you owe to yourself to take a closer look.
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