When we first reviewed Ghost Giant on PSVR in early 2019 we said this:
“It’s an experience in which emotional weight guides your each and every action, giving you reason to act beyond a simple state of failing and succeeding. It is at times delightful and at others unflinching, with moments of VR purity that tear down the barrier between you and your companion. If you want a look at where the true power of VR lies, look no further than Ghost Giant.”
Now Zoink Games’ seminal VR adventure is finally arriving on Oculus Quest. Not only does it survive the transition practically unscathed, it’s actually even better on the platform.
Most of the reasons behind this are, admittedly, down to Quest’s superior tracking over PSVR. The Quest rendition of Ghost Giant brings its diorama-sized worlds more fully to life, removing the need for artificial turning to view the world around you, and doing away with some of the bothersome tracking woes when solving the game’s puzzles and mini games. You’re able to lean and twist without worry of a wire or tracking boundaries.
It’s only a shame the game doesn’t afford you complete room scale movement; the screen fades to black should you wander too far.
Visually I was hugely relieved to find the game’s gorgeous cardboard cutout world almost fully intact. There are a few small differences; your hands are no longer a translucent blue but much more solid objects, and a few animated items are now more static. Unless you’re comparing side-by-side you won’t notice the difference, plus the Quest version doesn’t bare any of those unsightly meshed surfaces we’re used to seeing in most of the platform’s ports; textures and character models are still every bit as sharp as they ever were.
The only difference I could really spot was the lighting, which seemed a little subtler in the PSVR version and, in my opinion, created a touch more mood about the place. I wouldn’t really say that impacted the experience, though I did find the audio coming through Quest’s speakers to be a little flat. It didn’t provide the spatial experience I’m used to with most VR games.
For the most part, though, as is so often the case with Quest ports, there have been barriers torn down here that allow you to double down more on the experience at hand. And what an experience it remains; I’d worried that in the past 10 months since I first played Ghost Giant some of its charm would have waned. But mere minutes spent reconnecting with Louis were enough to pull me back in. Ghost Giant has a special sort of warmth to it, conjuring a kind of parenthood pride and protection that takes hold as you watch over Louis.
Ghost Giant Oculus Quest Review Final Impressions
All that is to say that Quest’s first must-play of 2020 is here. Ghost Giant remains a delicate balance of charm and poignancy; an important story told with the right amount of sensitivity, steeped in the power of VR connection and companionship. Solving its puzzles might present the occasional road bump, but you’ll otherwise be swept up by its marvellous world of miracles and the characters that live in it. And, thanks to Quest, that’s easier to do than ever.
5/5 Stars | Fantastic
Ghost Giant launches on Oculus Quest on February 20th.