Step into the twisted mind of an insane painter as he tries to finish a true masterpiece of fear. Experience some of the most innovative visual effects seen in a first person game, and possibly wet yourself a few times as you get dragged through an incredibly creepy house filled with all sorts of horrors. Read our Layers of Fear review below to find our more.
Platform Used For Layers of Fear Review: Gigabyte P35, Intel i7-4720HQ 2.60GHz, 16GB Ram, GeForce GT 965M
Developer: Bloober Team SA
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Horror
Recommended If You Liked: P.T., Among The Sleep, Outlast
I’ve had my eye on Layers of Fear for quite some time now and finally I’ve had the chance to review not only it, but the latest DLC to become available, Layers of Fear: Inheritance (read our review here).
To put it simply, Layers of Fear is a creepy first person game that puts you in the shoes of an insane painter as he is close to finishing his grand masterpiece, his Magnum Opus.
Layers of Fear is heavily focussed on it’s story and packs in heaps of snippets that let you learn how this artist became so twisted. Speaking of twisted, the Victorian-era mansion the game is set in provides some pretty amazing effects. Hallways all of a sudden stretch to infinity, rooms flip upside down and occasionally rooms will completely change as you turn the camera angle around. There is never a dull moment in Layers of Fear.
Going back to the story, the majority of it is told through notes found on desks, in drawers or cupboards, or lying on floors in well-hidden locations. Other times the sad story of the protagonist (if you can call him that) are acted out with voice-overs when you interact with a particular object. Such objects can be identified by a sound effect when you get close. Quite similar to how notes are found in KHOLAT.
A lot of the gameplay relies on you obtaining a specific item required to solve some kind of puzzle. Or finding a ringing phone and answering it, scouting down some numbers that have been strategically placed in the general area, and spinning those numbers into the awesome old-school telephone to change the environment so you can move to the next area.
There are no monsters to run away from, but that being said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any monsters! So if you’re thinking this is the kind of horror game that provides you with weaponry to defend yourself with, you’ve got the wrong game.
The way the developers of Layers of Fear have implemented such environmental changes is really, really cool! You might be running towards the end of a hallway only to find it doesn’t lead anywhere, so you turn around to go back. But with every ninety degrees turned, you find there are walls surrounding you. Keep turning around and the walls disappear to reveal a whole new room.
Oh and by the way, if you read on the wall “Don’t turn around”, it’s probably best you don’t. Don’t believe me? Then turn around and see for yourself!
Graphics in Layers of Fear are really quite beautiful despite the whole creepy atmosphere. Rooms chaotically streaked with paint are actually quite gorgeous but at the same time convey insanity and pain perfectly. We’re quite used to seeing rooms in horror games streaked with blood, but to be honest, paint does a very satisfactory job at being incredibly creepy too!
Sounds and music set the scene perfectly in and around the game. And sometimes when it’s silent and all you can hear are your footsteps on the floor, a sound like a telephone ringing is enough to send a shooting chill down your spine.
Layers of Fear is a thrilling experience from start to finish, and although you could finish the entire game in one sitting, there’s still quite a fair bit of replay value with all of the hidden notes scattered around the house. Actually forget collecting all of the notes, there’s replayability simply in going through the entire game again and enjoying the awesomely psychedelic atmosphere and trippy environmental effects and changes.
For those of you who enjoy being constantly creeped out and don’t mind a bit of sadism, you’re really going to get a kick out of Layers of Fear. It’s not as scary as I hoped it would be, but the underlying dark tone of the entire game is enough to keep you quivering for a good couple of hours. Make sure you wear headphones and turn out all the lights when playing for the best experience!
4 stars – amazing effects, incredibly creepy and intriguing storyline