“You’re not afraid of heights, are you?” says the guide at the new Ghostbusters: Dimension experience down at The Beach, opposite JBR. That’s an ominous start, and we do our best to hide a mildly-crippling vertigo phobia.
Launching on Friday March 24, Dubai is only the second city in the world to get its hands on The Void’s major new virtual reality attraction, and as you arrive you know you’re entering a slick, high tech and futuristic operation.
Players are led through a safety demonstration which exists principally to make sure they don’t get over-excited, but which also brings the realisation that they’re about to make a leap into a wholly different world.
The equipment looks like something out of a sci-fi action movie. Firstly, players belt up their chest piece which fully responds to being hit by objects or baddies in-game, jolting you with vibrations. The chest piece is hoisted up while players clip themselves in, before being released; it’s hoisted because it is surprisingly heavy. It’s a good thing we pride ourselves on working out that upper body…
A hefty VR helmet with surround-sound speakers descends over the gamer’s head and this is where they catch their first glimpse of a ghost-laden New York City. Once the head set goes on gamers see their virtual teammates loading out for the mission ahead. Finally, a space blaster is put in the player’s hand and the mission gets underway. Head through a doorway, and prepare to be suddenly transported…
Technology developed in-house by The Void guarantees a full-on sensory overload, and on the first run through of the Ghostbusters experience it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the surroundings and miss a lot of the game’s nuances. There’s a very real ghostly chill in places, things to touch, see, hit, shoot, clamber over and even [very mild spoiler alert] the scent of marshmallow.
We obviously won’t spoil anything, where would be the fun in that? Instead, we’ll say it’s easy to be overawed by the experience.
Avoid standing in the corner, gun flailing around – go and cause a mess, make a lot of noise, chat to the ghosts, shoot everything; but also take a second and have a sit down. It’s worth it.
There are five objectives throughout the mission, some are well hidden, and some are pretty obvious. Knowledge of the Ghostbusters universe is helpful, but not at all essential.
Epic fight scenes, little girl ghosts *shudder*, baddies, Ecto-1, the Muon Trap, ectoplasm, browny-grey overalls, the awesome theme tune, it’s all there to enjoy.
Our recommendation is to book two back-to-back sessions, you’ll want to play this again to explore everything the game has to offer. That’s what we do, and we enjoy every minute.
Actually, calling it a game or VR doesn’t do it any justice at all, this is a hyper-reality experience.
Oh, and try not to look at your feet – it’s really disorienting. Dhs110. Friday March 24, ongoing. Book online at https://thevoid.com/reservations Ghostbusters Dimension