I can safely say that I’ve been a fan of horror games since Resident Evil broke out on the Playstation 1. For me, horror games are like a escapism within escapism. Whether it’s hack and slash, survival horror or Zombie gut busting horror, I always feel compelled to pull back the layers of whatever is thrown at me. Speaking of Layers; Layers of Fear was released back in February 2016 by Blooper Team; a dev team that I’d never heard of until now. My question was: Did Blooper produce a significant enough game to win over the hearts and minds of current generation gamers?
Layers of Fear adopts a twisted style of gameplay to say the least. Our main protagonist is a nameless painter who appears to be slap bang in the middle of a psychotic breakdown amidst his efforts to produce his masterpiece. Psychotic breakdown is a easy way to describe the overall vibe and setting for our main guy but ultimately this sets the tone and story for our main campaign.
We are tasked to find six items within a Victorian Manor or rather Labyrinth. The level of distortions can be intense within the manor as we often come across doll-like apparitions, sounds of babies crying, muffled voices through walls and the odd scribbling’s a child’s handwriting all over the walls. After thirty minutes of playing this all seems like pretty boxed-standard stuff for a horror game which made me question at how shallow the depth’s or rather layer’s really were? In conclusion, incredibly shallow. I rarely felt scared, I rarely felt trapped and Layers of Fear became predictable very quickly. I never felt stuck on any puzzle the game presented me with. In star contrast; we all remember the P.T demo (*cries at the cancellation*) don’t we? Now that was intense. That was scary. I got lost in such a small space. That ‘L’ Shaped corridor had me cursing like a sailor! Layers of Fear is nowhere near the same level of horror, intrigue or disgust.
Layers of Fear is top heavy with story which seems to be drip fed to you through various clues within the mansion. Unfortunately these clues don’t come quick enough as I found myself becoming very frustrated with wanting to know what happens? Usually I adore the suspense and build up in games but Layer’s Fear gives you nothing to chew on. I literally felt like there was going to be no end to the madness within the mansion! What’s more is that I noticed a lot of repetition of inanimate objects: the same pair go glasses, the same military medal, the same door knobs lamp shades and books. Remember me saying Layer’s of Fear is incredibly shallow? Well there we go. I would have had a more immersive experience if this were not the case; it felt like a lazy attempt to dress up the experience when all it did was dress it down.
Whether you're playing Layers of Fear on the PS4, Xbox One or PC, your attention may be held for an hour at best. The monotony killed it for me. I preferred the pace and setting of Outlast. At least in Outlast I felt as though I was getting somewhere, I felt the fear of being slaughtered by some trapped, tormented soul and it lasted longer than two hours! This is probably one of the shortest reviews I've ever written but this is literally everything I have to say about the abysmal experience of Layers of Fear. Sorry guys! Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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