There’s a real craft that goes into PSVR’s best horror experiences, and Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife is expertly executed. You play a photographer – well, to be more precise, the ghost of one – who is trying to solve your own murder and escape from a property where you appear to be trapped. But be warned: you are not alone in this mansion.
The gameplay consists mostly of stealth and item puzzles, although there are light combat elements as well as the ability to use some supernatural abilities. And with one notable exception, tricky door and item interactions like this, all of these gameplay components are tip-top.
Still, the malevolent ghosts you will encounter are absolutely terrifying to look at, with grotesque injuries, creepy lurching animation, and surprising aggression. Where a lot of forced stealth experiences can feel like a chore, the cat-and-mouse here is satisfying and full of excitement. Throwing objects to distract those ghosts while sneaking around a corner and making as little noise as possible feels awesome.
It’s a pretty meaty experience for VR, offering a six to seven hour adventure filled with twists and turns, terrifying revelations, and a hearty helping of collectibles to hunt down. The atmosphere of the game is so compelling, so creepy that every step through the halls feels like a tempting fate. Between the sparse sound design – which is often just steps – and the phenomenal soundtrack, the sound helps you feel just as comfortable as the surroundings. And what’s even more shocking is the effective use of jump scares. Jump scares are, frankly, rarely scary and tend to be just a nuisance or a disruption to the mood of a horror experience. But not like this here. There aren’t too many jump scares – an important difference – but the ones used are well selected, which makes for an effective, deserved Moments.
What you have left is one of the better PSVR horror experiences and one that is absolutely worth your time. Just be careful as this is not for the faint of heart.