We’ve been a bit spoiled when it comes to Ghostbusters games lately. We get Spirits Unleashed, a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer game where one of you plays the ghost, and soon, Ghostbusters VR.
While I wouldn’t describe myself as a Ghostbusters superfan — I didn’t even watch the original movies until I entered college — there’s something incredibly exciting about the prospect of slaying ghosts in VR. .
Revealed as that classic “one more thing” tease during this year’s Meta Gaming Showcase, we don’t have much to do beyond a cinematic trailer just yet. Coming to Oculus Quest 2 (or rather, Meta Quest 2), the game takes us to San Francisco with a new team, trapping ghosts alone or with three friends for a cooperative campaign. There’s no gameplay footage yet, but the premise makes me at least cautiously optimistic.
I say careful because I don’t forget Sony’s previous adventure, Ghostbusters VR: Firehouse and Showdown, in 2018. Reviews from fans and critics alike widely hated it, calling it too short, too expensive, and underlining the game’s limited interactivity. Not uncommon reviews for early VR games, but if you were interested in trying it out for yourself… you can’t. It was delisted from all digital stores with no physical copies available, so it is (legally) lost forever. He’s a ghost, if you will.
However, I’m much more confident that Ghostbusters VR will be more successful. For one, the game is being developed by nDreams, which brought us the excellent Fracked on PSVR last year. Second, modern VR technology has made significant progress since those formative years nearly a decade ago. I know where virtual reality could improve; motion sickness and accessibility remain significant barriers to entry, but there are many areas where VR excels.
Much of Ghostbusters VR’s promise comes down to technology, of course, and VR’s greatest strength has always been immersion. Thanks to the Head-Mounted Display (HMD), we’re not just watching the action unfold on a TV or monitor, we’re placed right in the world of a game. Consider motion controls too to capture the ghosts and we might finally feel like we’re part of the action that happened in the movies, at least potentially.
Putting us directly in the shoes of your own original Ghostbuster, nDream’s upcoming adaptation could bridge the inevitable gap when viewing 2D content. After all, how many of us dreamed of being Ghostbusters when we were kids? Nostalgia is often exploited in modern games, but if nDreams succeeds, it could be something special.
Could we see a PSVR 2 version?
So far, Ghostbusters VR has only been confirmed for Meta Quest 2, which isn’t surprising since Meta dominates this space right now. There’s no word yet on PC or PlayStation VR 2 ports – and let’s face it, the original PSVR is too old to consider. However, with Sony Pictures Virtual Reality releasing Ghostbusters, a PSVR 2 release seems likely. Quality issues aside, Ghostbusters: Firehouse and Showdown have already appeared on PSVR and PC, so we’re definitely not ruling out Ghostbusters VR.
Imagine if it were to launch alongside Horizon Call of the Mountain? For more casual gamers who may not be very familiar with VR but recognize broader intellectual property, this would certainly be an attractive proposition. Factor in other rumored games like Half-Life: Alyx and Among Us VR, and Sony could be a serious winner.
Many consider Ghostbusters: The Videogame the pinnacle of game adaptations, but I sincerely believe Ghostbusters VR will surpass it. Of course, virtual reality remains relatively niche and it’s certainly not for everyone, but by putting ourselves in the shoes of a Ghostbuster, by removing appearances with our friends, there is a level of immersion that the traditional game simply cannot match. It’s only the beginning, of course, but right now I’m very excited to see what comes of it.