After making my way through Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and taking obligatory shots with celebrities to trick my parents, I finally made it to The Void’s Ghostbusters: Dimension.
I have to admit, I’m a pretty keen Ghostbusters fan – who isn’t right? So, apart from simply wanting to try a free roaming VR experience marketed at the general public I was excited to finally get my proton pack on and take on that freaky yet kinda cute marshmallow man.
The experience was part of a larger Ghostbusters exhibit with wax versions of the stars from the movies. Feeling like I’ve walked through the Ghostbusters’ headquarters definitely makes for a better experience when stepping into the VR game.
Surprisingly, I was alone when going through the experience, which was strange considering the museum itself was very busy. I saw a lot of people avoid the experience and move on. You did have to pay extra for it so this may well have been the reason.
After I was suited up I was guided into a room and told under no circumstances to take my headset off. I imagine this is because the room itself was pretty bare with just a few props to bring the VR to life. Of course I sneaked a peak at the end and got away with it.
The experience itself was pretty good, I was pleasantly surprised. The graphics weren’t amazing and the story itself was weak and a bit disjointed, in fact, it was difficult to concentrate on this as there was so much going on – something we’ve found we need to balance when creating our own virtual reality experiences. But, I was having fun – I was shooting and capturing ghosts, opening doors and going up lifts. Yes, I was very aware taking the lift was just the work of haptics and the door handles weren’t quite spot on but I was being hyper critical. Anyone not working so heavily in this space wouldn’t have noticed these details.
I was concentrating so hard on all the little details that my guide was prompted to ask me why nothing was affecting me and if I was actually enjoying myself. I had to reassure him that I was so used to VR this didn’t faze me but yes I was enjoying myself! He did try and push me at one stage and that definitely got a reaction! Maybe even an accidental wack with my ghostbusting gun.
It was a fun experience, the initial, cumbersome video tutorial long forgotten once I was immersed in the game. It could have had more depth with a better story and graphics but as one of the first free roam VR experiences it, mostly, lived up to the hype. The worst part of the whole experience was having to endure the Wax Museum in the middle of crowded Times Square! However, having the headquarters set up and wax characters definitely added to the experience - by itself it would have fallen a bit flat.
I think there’s definitely a lot of potential in this space but content’s going to be key – luckily The Void had the Ghostbusters brand to leverage off. And, I’m proud to say I think I could cut it as a Ghostbuster – at least in the VR world.