Introducing the Shadow: Behind the Scenes of ‘Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife’

Oculus blog
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Posted by Erik Odeldahl, Creative Director at Fast Travel Games
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27 January 2021
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The whole point of ghost stories is that the end isn’t always the end. Sometimes, it’s just the beginning. This is indeed true for the protagonist in our upcoming World of Darkness VR horror game, Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife. Photographer Ed Miller dies during a mysterious seance and becomes a Wraith, one of the Restless Dead who has unfinished business in the land of the living. Suspended between life and death, Wraiths must deal with the challenges of their new existence and the trappings of their old lives. Playing as Ed Miller, you must enter the Barclay Mansion—an opulent residence filled with Hollywood decadence and occult research—and use your supernatural Wraith abilities to uncover the horrifying truth about your death and the mansion’s dark history.

Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife is a single-player game with a heavy focus on story and exploration, but that does not mean you are completely left on your own...

A brief video of ‘the Shadow.’ For best experience, watch with headphones on and volume turned up!

The Devil On Your Shoulder

No matter how kind or cruel a person was in life, there were always dark aspects of their personality present. Things they were ashamed of, malicious lies and cheats, and mean things they said about friends. After dying, these impulses and urges become something else—something powerful and dangerous.

You know that little voice in the back of your head telling you to do things you really shouldn’t do? For a Wraith, that voice is all too real. It’s called the Shadow, an entity with a shape and will of its own. The Shadow is a part of a Wraith. Selfish and seductive, its main interest is to gradually push the Wraith one step closer to Oblivion—the inevitable end of the road for all departed souls, the destruction of all things. A Shadow relishes every second of this struggle—if the fight is over too soon, the Shadow is denied parts of the pleasure. Don’t expect this to be a short ride.

The Hidden Half of Ed Miller

You will have to fend off sinister Spectres—spirits of mortals who died in especially violent circumstances, or Wraiths who have lost their tenuous link to the world of the living—during your exploration of the Barclay Mansion. However, the conflict with the Shadow is always the most vicious one a Wraith will face. It is an enemy who can never be vanquished or avoided, who knows everything about the Wraith, including all their darkest secrets and hidden weaknesses.

A manifestation of Ed Miller’s dark subconscious, the Shadow will be your in-game companion and narrator in Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife. Speaking directly from the inside of Ed Miller’s head, he will sometimes help you grasp what it means to be a Wraith, occasionally point you in the right direction, and provide some context to the various revelations you come across as you delve deeper inside the mansion. Every Wraith is driven by passion, a powerful drive to do something. Driving Ed is the desperation of trying to find out what happened to his wife Rachel after the seance. The Shadow can help you achieve this, or complicate things instead.

It really doesn’t matter, since you do not have a choice. Without passion, a Wraith is just an empty shell, a roaming Spectre. Acting on passion allows Wraiths to carry on and maintain some connection to the world of the living. While you might not be able to trust everything the Shadow says... he’s really all you’ve got.

Being the first studio in the world to create a video game based on Wraith: The Oblivion and the first ever VR game set in the World of Darkness has made us incredibly proud, and we cannot wait for all of you to try it out. Stay tuned for more updates on @wraithafterlife, and I will see you all in the world beyond the Shroud this Spring!