“He slimed me.”
If you’ve seen Ghostbusters, you’ll know the scene. Peter Venkman’s unfortunate, goo-splattered encounter with Slimer, the franchise’s most recognisable ghost, is one of those classic moments of cinema. Or at least in our eyes!! We’d previously gotten messy at the Ghostbusters Slime-Along last year but Ghostbusters Dimension just pips that experience, seducing us with a faithful recreation of the aforementioned scene.
Dimension is a VR attraction that draws equally on the 1984 original movie and the 2016 version. For those who are sceptical about VR, this one’s definitely worth putting your doubt aside for. VR in attractions is a debate we’ll cover in a blog soon but, spoiler alert, we’re pro VR. The reason why we love it is that technical limitations and safety concerns (let us explain!) aren’t an issue in the virtual world. For example, one moment in Ghostbusters Dimension had us walking along an apartment building’s rickety fire escape, at least fifteen storeys up. No insurer would cover that in a live attraction! And we never expected to be confronted with a life-sized Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, it’s something that’s just not feasible in the real world! VR is really suited to the franchise, there are so many fantastical elements to the series that a live-action experience would fail to do it justice.
What makes the VR especially unique in Dimension is that it’s a completely wireless system. The guest puts on a ‘proton pack’ before entering the experience; this turns out to be a clever disguise for the VR’s processing unit! So you can freely walk around in this attraction and interact with objects in the virtual environment. The most common example of this is when you move to different rooms, you physically open the door that you can see in front of you. This level of interaction does so much for the immersion of the experience; when you can actually reach out and push a door open, it’s very easy to feel like you’re actually in the world that the attraction presents to you.
The basic story is that you’re a new Ghostbuster investigating mysterious happenings in an apartment block and everything takes place in that one location although you do move around from room to room and floor to floor. It’s broken into five main scenes where, as you can predict, the focus is on dealing with a menagerie of apparitions. Some were original to the experience whilst the others were taken from the 1984 and 2016 iterations of the series.
The one other thing we want to point out as far as Dimension goes is that the actions in the virtual world were augmented with real-world effects. When Slimer careened into us, we were sprayed with water – or at least we hope it was water! When we were navigating around the outside of the building, wind effects and sliding floor panels played havoc with our vertigo! And the proton pack vests that we wore also delivered haptic feedback. We really felt Slimer slam into (and through) us!
It’s possibly no secret that we’re big fans of the Ghostbusters franchise so the opportunity to play in it’s world, if only for ten or fifteen minutes was something that we couldn’t pass up! We would’ve been sold based purely on the recreation of that famous Slimer scene. And then we came face to face with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – this was a fan’s dream come true!
Although we have a slight bias towards anything with the ‘No Ghost’ logo slapped on it, there was more than enough to sell it to non-fans. The level of immersion was unprecedented for us – the closest we’ve gotten to it was in The Repository at Halloween Horror Nights last year. That was also a wireless system but your actions were confined to a single space and you couldn’t interact with anything that physically existed.
There was one thing that definitely could be improved upon in Ghostbusters Dimension and that was the Proton Gun. It worked absolutely fine as far as shooting things went but there was sometimes a lag between it appearing where you were holding it versus where you could currently see it. At points we had it held in front of us and could see it but when we lowered it, it was still visible for a couple of seconds. Considering how well everything worked, this shattered the immersion at certain moments, reminding us that it wasn’t real and was powered by an occasionally struggling computer.
Beyond that, we just wanted more of it! About another ten minutes would’ve done us!
Ghostbusters Dimension (2017) Madame Tussauds New York
Ghostbusters Dimension is an amazing experience that everyone should visit if they're anywhere near it! For anyone that's on the fence about VR, this attraction brilliantly showcases the potential of the technology. The fact that it's Ghostbusters-themed makes it all the sweeter!
Ticket Price: $20 (however, entrance to Madame Tussauds is required)
Address: 234 W. 42nd Street New York, NY 10036