Ghost in the Shell isn’t the most VR-heavy cyberpunk franchise — it’s more known for its examination of synthetic bodies. Nonetheless, if you have a Gear VR or Oculus Rift (or just want to visit the Ghost in the Shell Facebook page) you can now watch the virtual reality accompaniment to the live-action adaptation, which premieres today.
The experience was created by Here be Dragons (formerly known as studio Vrse.works), which previously worked on the Mr. Robot virtual reality experience among many other projects. It’s not precisely a 360-degree video; instead, it reconstructs some visually striking scenes from the film’s beginning in 3D space. The whole thing is spoiler-free unless you’ve avoided learning anything about the film’s basic setting and premise, in which case, what are you even doing here?
I tried the experience in the Rift; its full tracking makes the whole thing feel a bit more real. As in the film itself, the cityscapes are beautiful, but the fight scene that’s shown doesn’t feel nearly as fluid as its edited cinematic counterpart, and the rendered characters and rooms seem a little off. Who knows — maybe that’s just a manifestation of the film’s underlying themes of bodily alienation.
Ghost in the Shell is an Oculus exclusive, but given that you can see the whole thing as a 360-degree video above, “exclusive” is something of a relative term.