Life Continues To Find A Way In VR's Jurassic World: Aftermath

If you ever have wanted to play hide and seek with a velociraptor, there's great news. Jurassic World: Aftermath has completed it's long-anticipated release on December 17, and reviews still remain largely positive. Set in the franchise's dino-centric island of Isla Nublar, Aftermath is a cat-and-mouse campaign where players must rely on observation, evasion, and wits to make it through.

They learned to open doors, right in your face. Courtesy of Oculus.
They learned to open doors, right in your face. Courtesy of Oculus.

As expected in a game that's marketed as a Quest exclusive, Aftermath does a few things very well right at its start. The cell-shaded graphics (think Borderlands or Saints and Sinners) are immersive and play stylishly within the Quest's capabilities. Aftermath's visuals are also more than enough to make the idea of being eaten or jump-scared downright unpleasant, but without bringing the type of gore that some users might find traumatizing. Its 3d sound is also well done, and it's critical to listen to where noises come from when tracking and hiding.

However, it should be mentioned that Aftermath won't be a perfect hit with every player. While the AI of stalking dinos isn't nearly as bad as the legendary xenomorph in Alien: Isolation's first release, some players seem very aware of obvious velociraptor spawns, and arbitrary changes in behavior when nearing a checkpoint. Moreover, Aftermath runs the risk of Vader Immortal syndrome, with many players find the inconclusive ending and its linear, 3-hour experience too short for the 25 dollar price tag. This is worsened by the reality that, unlike the dojo in Vader Immortal, there's no side-game to play for all perpetuity.

Aftermath's playstyle is also just not everyone's perfect cup of tea. While previous Jurassic-themed video games have been action and gun heavy, buyers should be in the know that Jurassic World: Aftermath breaks that trend by forcing the player to be prey without any other recourse. So if you love abusing dinosaurs to express your inner-Turok, Aftermath is just not for you.

Life Continues To Find A Way In VR's Jurassic World: Aftermath
Don't move. Courtesy of Oculus

There is, however, one special factor that can make this a solid holiday buy — Jurassic World: Aftermath is an experience that's better to share. While it is a single-player, watching someone else get their first steps in this one is also an experience in itself. Aftermath is great to cast with someone who's feeling age-appropriate and brave, and for many, playing in good company will turn unsteady nerves into good laughs. So if you think you may be sharing any VR experiences this holiday season, Aftermath may be worth adding to your library.

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About Eric Hillery

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