If we were to hand out awards for adorability at the end of this year, Zoink! Games’ latest would already have the entire competition beat four months in. Ghost Giant has to be one of the most charming and lovable experiences we’ve had this generation, and to witness its beauty through PlayStation VR is quite a sight to behold. Packed with charm, delight, and truly heart-warming moments, it’s a journey unlike any other.
And yet, it’s the element of fright that pieces together the opening scene. Louis, an 11-year-old kitten from the town of Sancourt, is out and about simply minding his own business when he bumps into you. Taking the form of a large blue ghost, you scare Louis into taking every chance to run away. However, as he receives aid from yourself rather than pain, Louis starts to realise that you may not be so bad after all. A friendship begins to take shape, and so the two head off together in the direction of home.
Trust is what holds a relationship together, and it too is what helps the bond between you and Louis to blossom. Sat at the edge of a river crying, the narrative holds an immediate grip as a ponderous mind questions why Louis is so upset. The thought quickly slips into the back of your mind though as his cheery, selfless personality comes to the forefront as soon as he learns you’re not a threat. He’s a positive, thrill-seeking boy on the whole who only wants the very best for everyone else. But, it’s also those beneficial traits that make the game’s sombre moments all the more heartbreaking.
Louis’ journey is one of emotion. You’ll smile and laugh together, offer comfort when times get tough, and be the friend he needs as his relationship with his best buddy goes through a rocky period. There’s no grand twist to uncover, rather a moving, genuine, and thoughtful quest to bring joy back into the life of Louis’ sick mother.
Due to the fact that everything the title asks of you is designed to aid Louis, its perspective approach is a little different. Your viewpoint is located just above building level, allowing you to look down upon the sets presented to you. You can’t move your ghostly figure at any point, but you can turn your body about a compass at three to four different intervals that’ll give you a different angle on things. The PSVR headset allows free movement of your noggin, and doing so allows you to explore the scenes in front of you in order to complete objectives that advance the act.
Meanwhile, two PlayStation Move controllers give you the opportunity to interact with the environment. Acting as your two hands, there are two motions you can perform: point with a hold of the Move button and a pinch with a press of the trigger. They’re the only two actions you’ll ever need, and the game helps you out along the way by highlighting objects of interest with a coat of brass.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to lend Louis a helping hand. You’ll start off simple by moving rocks out of his way or by building a bridge for him to cross, but the complexity quickly ramps up. Soon enough you’ll find yourself luring townsfolk away from certain areas by way of a painting resembling a taco you just drew using the environment, or finding cogs at the seashore in order to get a crane back in action. Pull the rooftops off of houses to get a look inside, pull a lever to reveal a series of homes ascending into the sky, or open up trees to gain access to hidden items.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are some truly magical moments to uncover as you work your way through the game’s 13 levels, experiences that are only possible in VR. These seemingly simple mechanics of pointing and pinching take on a whole new lease of life as what you thought was in the realms of possibility is left behind. These enchanting scenes are going to stick with you for a long, long time – not just because of their mesmerising actions but also thanks to the effect they have on Louis. We cannot emphasise enough just how special a handful of Ghost Giant’s levels turn out to be.
What are just as distinguished are the other cats and animals you meet along the way that are simply overflowing with charm. Character and charisma can be found around every corner, from a group of friends in Sancourt town centre who are upset by the lack of art about the place to the jogger who only appears if you leave a certain level to linger upon completion. It makes the town feel like a real place rather than a series of situations designed to make Louis always come out on top. Hidden interactions flesh out the world and reward you for fully exploring every nook and cranny of a level, while performing your secret handshake with the endearing kitten is always a delight.
The title stretches to roughly five hours in length, but there are more than enough incentives to warrant a second playthrough. Multiple types of collectibles are hidden throughout the majority of the levels, from simple hidden objects through to pinwheels you can blow on in real life. It’s the perfect duration for this type of experience – long enough to thoroughly impress but never to the point of outstaying its welcome.
When it comes to visual design, the game is up there with the very, very best. Every level is presented as a sort of diorama made of paper and cardboard with the likes of clouds and stars hanging via strings. It’s beautiful, and the colourful nature of every rolling hill, calm river, and eccentric character only adds to the look. Being able to explore every single bit of each environment via PSVR is especially gratifying – you could spend a good half an hour probing every scene as you take a peek into homes and down back alleys.
Ghost Giant belongs in the conversation for the very best PSVR game. Its utterly phenomenal series of scenes will live long in the memory, complemented by a narrative that demands immediate investment. Louis is a wonderful companion, too – a relatable character who you’ll quickly learn to care for. Outstanding presentation that rewards exploration is the cherry on top of a title we won’t be forgetting about any time soon. If you own one of Sony's headsets, you absolutely cannot miss out on this special experience.
This sounds absolutely incredible. Thanks for the review, Liam.
Wow didn’t expect that.
Wish there was a demo.
Definitely on the radar now.
Too many VR games, so little time. Added to the wishlist.
2019 certainly appears to be the Year of (PS)VR so far. Great review @LiamCroft, this sounds like it's every bit as good an experience as AstroBot was last year.
Sounds great. Another must have PSVR game. Thanks for the in depth review.
I’ve never heard of this one before. Thanks for being a source for PSVR news. It’s definitely something lacking on the majority of gaming sites.
Wow I didant expect a score as high as that!I love Zoink and have loved the look of this since day one.Will be picking this up day one.
Cheers for a great review!
Slow your roll PSVR, I can't catch up.
Do we have a price on this one yet? Sounds too good to miss if you have a psvr
Can't wait for this one! I still have Moss to pick up and Play, as Astro Bot and Tetris Effect have been taking most of my time for VR! And, I still can't wait for Dreams!
Jeezo...Falcon Age and now this in quick succession and Days Gone in 2 weeks...I’m getting giddy here!!
Man, I really need a pair of Move Controllers; but €100... Is it worth it?
Wow, wasn't expecting that, sounds delightful.
Ooh, this sounds amazing. It sounds like a better version of Moss in some ways, but with a cat. You can’t go wrong with a cat. I’m developing a friendship with a cat. In fact, you had me at the cat part of this.
@Octane If you’ve got VR then yes. It makes a big difference and opens up more games. I’d say the money you spent on just the VR headset and camera isn’t the best investment without move controllers. You’ve basically bought half of VR.
@Jaz007 Yeah, that's what I'm slowly realising as well. And with Dreams coming next week, it's pretty much mandatory
@ZeD it's £25 from the places i've looked and that is a bit steep for a 5 hour game imo, game is interesting though.
think i'm going to wait a bit before i buy.
@huyi that is a little bit steep. VR games are always in sale (except Job Simulator 😡)
@ZeD yeah i'm going to wait for a sale on this one.
job simulator has yet to go on a sale, i'm still waiting lol
where did this came from ? amazing ! on my wishlist now...
@huyi Double the time of a movie so its not so bad. 😁
Once again, PSVR is KILLING it.
Have been waiting for this one since reveal.
Your review pretty much tells me my high expectations have been met. And then some.
Wow what a week for PSVR.
How much for this and why isn't it at the ps store?
@AFCC £19.99, and it releases on 16th April.
Looks great, glad it lives up to expectations. Been looking forward to this since the reveal last year. Another game to add to my ever growing PSVR backlog.
@LiamCroft where did you see it at that price? it's £25 on amazon right now.
@LiamCroft cool, now I can get 20 euros for Falcon and 20 for this! Excited to play both of those
@huyi The review guide the publisher sent us. £19.99 for the digital version.
@Flaming_Kaiser Exactly! I don't know why more people can't see it this way. If you're willing to pay $10-11 for a two-hour movie in a theater, which you can only see once there, then why wouldn't you pay $20-25 for a 5+ hour game that you can replay endlessly?
Dammit at this rate I’ll have to succumb to a PSVR soon...
Wow, that looks really great!
I really want a PSVR for WipeOut for ages now - Wonder if their is some drug I can take for VR motion sickness 😅😂
@LiamCroft that is cheaper than the physical copy.
Brilliant review @LiamCroft another damn VR game I need! There have been more VR games I want lately than regular PS4 ones!
Wow, sounds amazing! It looks a bit like the MOSS Diorama perspective, which is always a good thing in my book.
@Octane I need a set too.
@themcnoisy Every day I wake up hoping there's a pair of Move controllers out on the porch, with a note that says ''from Shu, have fun''. Haven't had any luck yet...
This sounds incredible. I have added it to the wishlist with moss. If its even half as good as astrobot then it will be excellent
@Agramonte I'm someone who suffers from motion sickness from time to time. I even felt a bit funny after playing the VR mode in Gran Turismo which from what I've read is mostly fine. But, surprisingly I've never experienced it playing WipEout VR. The misses was fine with it too. I don't know what magic the developers used but I'm glad because WipEout in VR is awesome. Also, unlike some other games the VR integration is the whole game, not just one or two modes. Even the menu is fully VR. Looks super cool too.
@Dange Oh, thanks for the info!
I get motion sickness in moving vehicles if I read or sometimes buses if I get stuck in the back.
I played EVE and Ace Combat (little bit of the REZ demo) at my nephews house. I felt a bit sick after trying it, not so much on REZ.
I guess it is from game to game.
So glad to hear this turned out! Cant wait to play it!
Ye I get motion sickness as well. First person shooters are a no no for me. How about an article on motion sickness ??
A masterpiece that only scores 9/10?
@huyi There is a physical copy these guys are Gods. Look Square-Enix you cheap ##### this company can give a retail game at the price you charge for simple remasters.
@Bluetrain7 Cant agree more. 😁 👍
Enjoyed it, finished it in 1 afternoon and thought ... "um, is that it?" The gameplay was nice, some great scenes but some major annoyances also. For starters the basketball "mini game" is appallingly conceived and executed even worse. The nets are miles away and the further you try and throw it, the less it moves.... pulled a muscle attempting it!! GRRR. When asked to get ingredients for an apple pie Lewis says "I wish we had a something like a whisk to stir the pot" .... I (foolishly) looked about for an hour and a half at his suggestion, finding a spade and a large needle... surely one of these would do? Nope ..... JUST USE YOUR GHOST FINGER!!! GGGRR!!! The puzzles are rarely logical and the "hint system" thats explained is a complete misnomer. The story doesn't delve into the illness at all. We briefly get a "mum's sick" ... then were magicked 6 months later where all is well. Its like they completely ran outta ideas for a last chapter .... so didnt bother writing one. For £20 I expected more than an afternoon of playtime. Really enjoyable touching game but not sure its worth more than £7.50 - £10.
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