Imagine for a moment if you were put into a situation where your comfort zone was thrown out. A place where as soon as you open your eyes, you start to feel this unusual feeling inside like your heart can already tell that it needs to get ready for something. Imagine not being able to escape unless you press forward. So does Developer Fallen Planet Studios allow us to experience horror without any interaction, no puzzles to solve or anything to unlock? Let’s find out with AFFECTED: The Manor for the PlayStation VR.
Ok before we even start, please look at the warning, read the warning, understand the warning, and believe in the warning. Then I want you to repeat it until it lodged into your brain and then I want you to ask yourself this, “Self, I love you and all, but should I ignore the warning?” Because we all know you will ignore it despite my warning of the warning that is warning you to be warned. What all that said, let’s continue.
Now I am not going to spoil anything as that is not what you want in an experience of Affected: The Manor. No, I just can’t. I mean if I am going to experience, then you should all experience and bond with your time. But what is AFFECTED: The Manor all about? What do you do? These are all very good questions. In short, AFFECTED: The Manor is an experience with a choice of two routes with four alternate endings. There are no puzzles to solve, there are no keys to find and no interactive elements. So with this being an experience, you do have some control as far as turning and walking. So this way you are not forced to go through, but there is no turning back. So if you are the type that wants to just wait, you can, but once the noises start to play with you, you may want to move forward. So now that you understand a little more, let’s take a look at the very beginning before you even really start.
Now as it is loading you will notice the music getting a little more dramatic. Don’t let that fool you. In fact, embrace the dramatic music now, because what you will experience, well, just embrace it. Before you even really get into the Manor, you are in a room. If you look around you will notice some things such as a Fallen Planet Studio sign, the controls, an Ouija Board (I mean we haven’t even started yet and there is an Ouija Board out) and you will also notice names of all those who helped make AFFECTED: The Manor what it is. I want you to look at those names, study those names and remember those names as they are the ones who have struck evil upon your souls and in your dreams, as you try and sleep afterward. So as long as you know who to blame or thank depending on how you handle everything, you should (keyword being should) be ok.
But you will need to decide which controller works best for you. You can go with the DualShock 4 with smooth locomotion or use both or one Move controller(s) with snap turning. If you use the DualShock 4 controller, the light will be represented where you are looking at, while the Move controller will have you holding the light. I decided to go with the DualShock 4 for my controller of choice here.
As I mentioned, there is no turning back. No matter how many times and how many prayers one may have ( I counted at least three times myself). As you can see, you at least get a light that is controlled by the movement in which you turn your head which I really like. Before even moving and hearing that music starting to increase as I moved forward and hearing each step gave the sense that at least for now, I was all alone. Well, except for the owl, crickets and the birds. The thunder was a nice touch, but once you take that certain step and hearing and seeing the door open just put things in the perspective that this is about to get real.
One thing I have to state is because there is no interaction, it is important that sound plays a vital role in your experience. And I am very happy to say that Fallen Planet Studios did not disappoint in any way. Music increases when needed as it may reveal or not reveal what is needed. Doors open and creek which adds to an already scary experience.
When you have an experience where the sound is key, you have to have a visual complement to heighten the overall experience. AFFECTED: The Manor doesn’t need high detailed visuals. I think if it did, it may have somehow felt off like something was missing when it shouldn’t have. But here, having the low lights to flickering lights to the light that you provide that play off each other as well as sound and just give off enough of a presence that you know something is going to happen, but knowing to expect the unexpected and even that sometimes surprises you.
Affected: The Manor gives you enough to let you know where you are and know that you are the guest in this environment without a say. It adds jump scares where it needed and even then, plays on your emotional strings to teasing you at times with nothing to then surprise you when what you thought was an expected moment to turn that expectation into the unexpected. In life, we are sometimes giving the choices that will help define us without us even knowing it. Sometimes we take a deep breath and go for it while other times we pass only to think about what if later on. Just like those choices, Affected: The Manor is a choice that should be experienced.
AFFECTED: The Manor is out now on PlayStation VR and is also available on the Oculus Rift/S, Oculus Go, and Gear VR on the Oculus Store, Steam, Viveport, and Daydream on the Google Play Store. A review code was provided.
Also, check out the interview with Alex Moretti of Fallen Planet Studios.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have another alternate ending to witness.