Ghost Giant (PSVR) - Louis needs a helping hand

Ghost Giant (PSVR) – Louis needs a helping hand

The makers of Stick It To The Man create their first VR title and its one of the most charming and emotional story-based games of the year.

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For some reason theres a lot activity around VR this month. It seems to be just coincidence, because there arent many other new releases to compete with, but as well as Nintendo Labo theres also been a suite of interesting PlayStation VR games, of which this one is definitely our favourite. Not just because of what good use it makes of current VR technology but because its a great interactive story in its own right.

Technically Ghost Giant is a first person game, since you play the role of the eponymous oversized spook, but in practice it feels very much like a third person title – like a mix between Animal Crossing and fellow VR game Moss. You dont control any of the little animal characters yourself but you can interact with many parts of the game world and pick up and throw objects. The only person that can see you though is a very sad young cat named Louis.



You first come across Louis at night, as hes balling his eyes out at a lake near his farmhouse. Hes upset over his mother, although what exactly has happened to her is never explicitly stated and while at first it seems as if the backstory of whats going on, and who your ghost character is, is all too obvious the game is far more nuanced than it first appears.

The storytelling and dialogue in Ghost Giant, written by Swedish novelist Sara Bergmark Elfgren, is excellent. Perfectly family friendly and yet with a hint of darkness that makes the unfolding mystery all the more touching. The developer is Zoink!, the Swedish studio behind the excellent Stick It To The Man and its disappointing follow-up Flipping Death. They also did 3D Metroidvania Fe, but the former two were both clearly influenced by old school point n click adventures and so too, in its way, is Ghost Giant.

Although initially nervous of you, Louis soon realises youre not dangerous and ropes you into helping with the neglected farm and his other troubles. Soon enough the games structure becomes clear, as you move between a series of dioramas that look like sets from a stop motion childrens animation come to life. The visuals are absolutely delightful and peering around at the little world in all its detail is a wonderful use of VR, especially once you realise you can open up many of the buildings like a dolls house, in order to peer inside.



You cant move but you can turn around in a circle, to view one of usually three or four static angles for each area. You interact with the game world using the PlayStation Move controllers (theres no option for DualShock) and at first all youre doing is picking up objects too heavy for Louis to handle. But soon you learn to manipulate more complex objects like keys and pick up and throw pine cones and other missiles to hit targets in the background.

Once these basic skills are learnt the game starts to throw proper puzzles your way, all of which have solutions that are pleasingly logical but also involve manipulating the game world in a way that only makes sense in VR. For example, at one point you need to mix different colours of paint, each of which is obtained in a completely different fashion and ends up with you holding a mop like a paintbrush to paint the picture yourself. Or theres a tricky level in a graveyard/rubbish tip where you end up using a crane as a fishing rod to snag items you previously thought too far away.

Ghost Giant (PSVR) - for some reason everyone has French names but not accents

Ghost Giant (PSVR) – for some reason everyone has French names but not accents

We dont want to spoil any specific puzzles because the one great flaw with Ghost Giant is that its not very long, no more than five hours at most. Those are five wonderful hours though and unlike many games, both shorter and longer, it seems the perfect length for the story thats being told. Even if some will no doubt complain that the price is too high.


Its certainly true that theres next to no replay value as although there are various collectibles to be found in most scenes we picked up almost all of them on our first run through, without trying especially hard – mostly because finding special hats for Louis and popping them on his head is so darn cute. But with zero chanceRead More – Source