Publisher – Fallen Planet Studios
Price – US $7.99 / EU €5.99 / UK £5.99 / AU $9.95
Release date – November 27th, 2018
Control Method – 2 x Move
Pro Patch – No
Digital only – Yes
Reviewed on – Oculus Rift
Affected: The Manor has been a staple of VR horror games with early versions of the game gracing the Oculus DK1 headset. Fast forward to 2018 and this title is available on almost every major headset and now us PSVR users can finally see what all the fuss is about. For those that don’t know, Affected is horror title aimed to scare the pants off of you as you explore a creepy mansion armed with only a flashlight.
Across the PS and PC headsets are few different control options with my favorite being very similar to the movement controls in Skyrim with your right hand holding a flashlight using trigger to walk and your left hand determining which direction you will actually walk in. It’s worth noting that due to the limited tracking of the PS headset you can manually turn by pressing buttons, an option not available on the other headsets, which I actually missed. Besides walking, the only other thing you can do is shine a flashlight around to help navigate. The flashlight is scripted to the game, so it will go out and come on as you navigate the 2 linear paths that take you through the mansion. That choice is given early on with you choosing left or right and each path will give you a choice toward the end of it that will give you a slightly different ending animation so in total there are 4 endings to seek out.
As this is a horror title with limited gameplay elements, it better have some decent scares and thankfully, it does! I’m not one to get freaked out in a game, but I do get unsettled and Affected does a really good job of you keeping you on edge. This visuals here are good, not great, but they more then do the job of making you feel like you are in a haunted mansion. It’s really dark, which the game embraces often, but the bouts where your shoddy flashlight kicks in highlight the attention to detail that was brought to this mansion. Haunting pictures hang on the walls, almost every room you enter offers a unique scare and the massive scale of some of these rooms is kind of scary in its own right as it made me feel very small and alone. Bottom line is that scary titles live or die on the visual component and what’s offered here works great!
Headphones are an absolute must as the 3D audio is superb not only at immersing you in the game but directing you at where to look when you may not be focused on the next big scare. This is some of the best audio I have noticed in a game so make sure nothing is happening around you in the real world to take you away from all the horrifying awesomeness.
While there are a plethora of these types of titles on many headsets, there are only a few on the PSVR so for those looking for a frame of reference, I would liken this to ‘The Bellows’ or even Here They Lie, though this is much smaller in comparison. Each walk through takes around 15 minutes so I think for many this is a half hour experience for most. For the horror junkies, unlocking all 4 ending will double that time but the main draw, to me, is sharing this with others. It’s a lengthy experience for onlookers, but the scares are so refined that those who are dramatically affected by these should provide a tonne of entertainment for everyone else outside of the headset. The only issue I encountered with the game is that on one occasion only, I walked to far before a room’s scare triggered, causing it appear almost inside of me. I’m sure many will take their time as they walk through this, so you may not even encounter what I did.
Affected: The Manor accomplished exactly what it sets out to do. Scare you. If you have never been at least a little freaked out by a VR game, then I doubt this will change that, but for anyone that’s ever felt uneasy walking through the Baker’s house or even took some thrill out of a real life haunted house then I bet you’ll enjoy your time spent in this VERY haunted mansion.
What would I pay? This is easily worth the $6 asking price just for your own personal playthroughs. If you have anyone you know will that will be freaked out by a virtual haunted house then laughing at their plight makes this an easily recommended purchase.