The live-action Ghost in the Shell (2017) film starring Scarlett Johansson is already in theaters worldwide, but Oculus has today published the VR experience so you can get a slice of the android-kicking action direct on your Gear VR or Oculus Rift.

Created by VR studios Here Be Dragons and REWIND in partnership with Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks, and Oculus Studios, the Ghost in the Shell VR Experience takes you on an on-rails journey of the iconic opening scene of nearly every Ghost in the Shell series to date, the ‘building dive’ where Major, the film’s cybernetically enhanced protagonist, jumps off a skyscraper wearing a hip-hugging thermoptic camouflage suit.

Ghost In The Shell Oculus

The digital representation of Major, played by Johansson in the film, straddles the uncanny valley somewhat, but the 360 action more than makes up for it as Major shoots her way through killer android geishas and bad guys of all types. Near the end, diving ever deeper into her mind, there’s a moment when you come to to a jelly fish-filled pool that’s nothing short of awe-inspiring.

‘Ghost in the Shell VR Experience’ for Rift

‘Ghost in the Shell VR Experience’ for Gear VR

What’s more, Oculus Rift owners (and Vive owners using ReVive) get to enjoy a real-time rendered version of the experience, meaning you get an eye-full of some pretty crisp graphics with the immersive power of the headset’s positional tracking.

Ghost In The Shell Oculus(2)

The Gear VR version, while still inspiring, is a 3D 360 video—with all the caveats of the medium including lower fidelity and some weirdness around the top and bottom poles of the video capture. None the less, the Gear VR version is clear above average for 3D 360 videos.

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If you don’t own a VR headset, you can also watch the 360 video on Facebook, although you’ll truly be missing out on one of the slickest film tie-ins in VR to date.

VR studio Here Be Dragons (ex-VRSE) is known for producing critically acclaimed VR experiences and 360 film from a number of collaborators such as The History of Cuban Dance, The Mr. Robot VR Experience, Catatonic, and The Evolution of Verse to name a few.

REWIND is an immersive media company known for several high profile pieces including a VR experience featuring Björk’s single Notget from her 8th studio album Vulnicura, FOVE launch title Project Falcon, and a collaborative VR project with the BBC to create a 15-minute immersive virtual reality experience Home – A VR Spacewalk.

Update 04/01/2017: article was updated to credit REWIND in the production of the Ghost in the Shell VR Experience.

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  • dogtato

    I haven’t seen the new movie, but is her name really Major and is she really “wearing” a camouflage suit? Major is just her rank and the suit is just her skin in other incarnations, but it’s plausible that Hollywood changed a variety of things.

      • dogtato

        Not sure if you’re agreeing with me. That page refers to her as “the Major”, which I agree with. Sometimes characters call her just “Major”, but it’s when they’re directly addressing her. Like you’d say “President, we have a situation!” and not “Today, President signed some more things”

    • Reuben Cameron

      Her name is Motoko Kusanagi, in the Anime she was only wearing a face cover and her body did the rest. In the live movie shes wearing a rubber suit with no face cover. She was a Major in World War III and kept the title.

  • OgreTactics

    Impressive work, terrible movie still.

  • rodneyjohnson

    The movie was very good… the VR experience was horrible.

    • Foreign Devil

      shouldn’t that be the other way around? I heard the new movie was crap.

      • silvaring

        It is pretty crap, sadly :-(

      • VirtualBro

        I thought it was pretty good, but it was kinda racist.. against Westerners, haha. That’s OK though.

    • Joseph Chen

      Nooo… what didn’t you like about it?

      • rodneyjohnson

        I find moving in VR when I’m not the one controlling the motion to be pretty hard to watch and the whole thing was one big camera move through the scene. Also, the graphics seemed pretty cheap for something put out by a huge movie studio supported by Oculus.

    • NooYawker

      I thought it was a cool short. It’s just an ad after all. Didn’t see the movie yet tho.

  • Foreign Devil

    Is it on the Oculus Rift store? I’ll have to check it out tonight along with playing the newly 360 degree tracked Robot Recall. I need more free time!

  • DC

    Visually interesting in parts, very Blade-Runner esque, but an awful VR experience with choppy playback in parts if your system isn’t loaded. Should have been in live action, to match the film. Boring work from VRSE, surprisingly.

    • Joseph Chen

      Sucks you didn’t like it. Assuming you’re in Gear VR? What version of Android?

      • DC

        No this was on Vive. THe jitter was actially due to a bad HDMI, but upon rewatching, I just never found it to be that engaging.

  • I’m surprised this made it past GearVR’s / Oculus strict – no lag – policy. It looked like it was playing at 15fps on an S6Edge. (and no, not talking about the slo-mo bits).

    The “black rectangle” showing choppy framerate was throughout. Kind of underwhelmed that Oculus will make such exceptions to QC. #Doublestandards?

    The scene, and idea was good, even if texture/polygon formatted for mobile.

    • Joseph Chen

      Are you on Marshmallow or Nougat? Had a bunch of issues making this thing not run like a potato on Marshmallow.

      • Mashmallow. But really there was st-uuu-tt–er. I started with a cold phone, giving it the benefit of doubt. Which kinda tees me off, because Oculus returned a submission (to gearvR store) saying it didnt run on Note4!

        • Joseph Chen

          FWIW, I would try Nougat, unless you have reservations about updating your OS. Worst case scenario, try checking out the video on FB360 app or channel in Oculus video for now.

          • Updated to Nougat. Nope- it’s the same. Haven’t you experienced the flickering black rectangle border if you move your head even slightly around to check out the scene? (as well as the dismal framerate – slowmo non withstanding)

    • DennisonBertram

      yeah, terrible experince on my s6.

  • DennisonBertram

    Awe Inspiring?

  • Ahmed Habib

    Guys I just recorded this on my Oculus , it was epic ! Hope you guys like it !