Ghost in The Shell VR experience review: I expected something better

I just tried Ghost in The Shell VR review on The Oculus Store. And I admit I’m a bit disappointed.

I’m not a huge fan of Ghost In The Shell (not because I don’t like it, but because I barely know what is it), but since I’ve friends fond of it and because this movie is having lots of attention by the media, I was very curious about its VR experience that was available on the Oculus Store. After having seen it, I can say that I liked it a bit… but I expected something more.

First of all, you have to know that there is not Scarlett Johansson in this experience. This is the first turndown: my dream was being next to her, at least in VR… but even this has been ruined. FFFFFF. So, if I had to give a score for this experience, I would start from -10 just because of this big issue :D.

In the experience (that is not a 360-video, it is a Computer Graphics VR short movie) you start on a skyscraper of a futuristic town and then you move forward until you reach the main character (the girl who is not Scarlett Johansson). Here you notice one of the problems of this experience, that you will feel all the time: motion sickness. Every scene makes you move forward and this is surely not comfortable, at least for newbie users. There is a reason why Ghost In The Shell has been flagged as “moderate” comfort on the Oculus Store.

Ghost in the shell VR oculus review
An interesting futuristic landscape and a beautiful girl waiting for you… what do you want more?

When you reach non-Scarlett, she jumps down the skyscraper, and you follow her. This is one of the moment I liked the most: jumping off a skyscraper in slow-motion is super cool, even if it happens for just some seconds. This is why I love VR: it lets you live things that you can’t try in your life (well, jumping off a skyscraper is something you can actually do… but only once) and I loved this little adrenaline flow.

After that there is a scene change and you find yourself in a shooting scene: non-Scarlett starts jumping on walls and firing lots of bullets to other droids and that’s awesome, since it’s again adrenaline flowing in VR. But, again, this is ruined by motion sickness, since you slowly walk forward all the time to follow her while she kills enemy. Some animations of this scenes are… well, don’t know how to say that… they appear unnatural, you clearly see that’s a fake scene and this breaks the VR magic. Didn’t like these moments that much.

Ghost in the shell VR oculus review
Ths shooting scene… nice, but also meh

Then there is another scene change and you’re like underwater, surrounded by jellyfishes, with a big white light pointing at you. This scene is less adrenaline and more relaxation, but the graphics here are astonishing: jellyfishes are really well made and the white light pointing your eyes really hurts, like if it were a real light. I liked this scene because it made me say “WOW!”, it relaxed me and delighted me.

Ghost in the shell VR oculus review
This image can’t really show how you live this scene inside VR… trust me, that light pointing at your eyes while all around you is dark is something that must be lived inside a headset

Then… well, nothing. The experience ended. I was like…

When you see that the experience is ended, this is your face (image by know your meme)

It lets you with the idea that something is missing, like if the money ended and they had to cut the experience like that. Maybe this has been studied, so that you feel something missing and you go to the cinema to see the movie to fill this sense of absence… but in my opinion it makes the experience appear incomplete. From what I’ve experienced, I did not feel intrigued by the movie, so it has not pushed me to go to the cinema… so they missed their main goal.

So, summarizing. Good things of this experience:

  • Good graphical quality (awesome in some moments);
  • Emotions, emotions, emotions (adrenaline, relaxation, etc…).

Bad things:

  • Lack of Scarlett Johansson;
  • Experience is way too short;
  • Mediocre comfort (motion sickness);
  • Some things appear not completely refined;

In the end, I can say that it is a good experience, that if you have the time and the disk space to try it, you can enjoy it for 2 minutes. But make sure to not start with great expectations, or it will be a delusion. Just start with the mindset that you’ll just see a good VR experience, but not a great one. So, forget Henry standards, for instance… or Dear Angelica… Dear Angelica is a masterpiece, this is just a good short experience.

Ghost in the shell VR oculus review
Scarlett Johansson… since you can’t see her in the VR experience, I’ll put a nice image of her here! (Image by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro/Released)

Hope you liked my review… happy VR!

Skarredghost

AR/VR developer, startupper, zombie killer. Sometimes I pretend I can blog, but actually I've no idea what I'm doing. I tried to change the world with my startup Immotionar, offering super-awesome full body virtual reality, but now the dream is over. But I've still not waken up...