Life, uh, finds a way… to make unwise individuals return to dinosaur-filled theme park islands – that's the premise of Jurassic World Aftermath Collection for PSVR 2, anyway.
Set between Jurassic World and its sequel, through VR you inhabit a silent security expert sent to aid former researcher Mia in recovering data from Isla Nublar. When your plane crashes as a result of a pteranodon attack, she guides you over comms – because she’s injured elsewhere.
Ahead of its release the we found out how Jurassic World Aftermath Collection was made in a deep-dive interview where they discuss how the art direction behind this Jurassic Park VR entry, and the way they approached designing for PSVR 2, so how did all that hard work pan out?
Jurassic World Aftermath Collection comes alive
Your mission to grab data and then escape the island alive sends you through most of the central institution’s many wings and buildings as you activate computer systems, process research, and detour around crumbled, overgrown ruins aplenty.
The graphics are cel-shaded, forgoing the realism of the special-effects-driven movies, but you still get an incredible sense of immersion, the use of colour ensuring the dinos you encounter really pop. It also allows for clarity in environmental design, and makes some neat flourishes possible – for example, when you’re hidden, everything has a darker hue, and so you’ll be aware when you can be spotted.
Don’t let the bright colours fool you, though: Aftermath is a tense, often genuinely frightening horror-stealth game. Throughout nearly all of it, velociraptors lay in wait, looking for a human-sized meal. While genetically modified to behave more like video game stealth enemies (as you’ll learn from a note found in-game),
they’re no less deadly than you’d expect, and if they spot you it almost always results in a squeal-worthy death. You need to hide, either under desks or in lockers, listening to work out where they’re stomping around thanks to 3D audio, and possibly zapping distant electronics with your glove to create distractions.
As well as going from A to B through levels, you often have to search patrolled areas for objects or computer notes, which usually involve fairly rote and repetitive mini-games to access them (for example, Simon-Says-style pattern recognition). Direct interaction is quite limited, so don’t expect to be doing anything like chucking empty bottles around.
While thrilling, the game leans on one set of mechanics a bit too much, with basic new wrinkles doing little to spice things up as you spend hours avoiding velociraptors. Other dinos are all too briefly encountered – at one point there’s a T-Rex and to get past it you have to alternate moving carefully with staying completely still, while at another acid-spitting dilophosauruses try to ambush you in dark tunnels so you have to scare them off with light from your torch to avoid getting gunked in the face.
Jurassic Park Aftermath Collection for PSVR 2 does a lot with little and has some brilliant moments, but struggles to keep the momentum going throughout. If you're new to virtual reality or simply want a robust PSVR 2 game and love the franchise, the art style and implementation are worth experiencing.
If you're new to Sony's latest VR headset then read detailed PSVR 2 review and also catchup on other games for this new technology, including our Horizon Call of the Mountain review, Sony's own blockbuster game for this headset. For something a little more unusual, read our Song in the Smoke Rekindled review.
This article first appeared in Play Magazine issue 25. You can subscribe to the print edition, digital version, or save even more with the print/digital bundle – whatever you choose, you’ll be receiving an unprecedented trove of dedicated PlayStation coverage every month.