Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear is a first-person psychedelic horror game with a heavy focus on story and exploration. Players take control of a painter whose sole purpose is to finish his Magnum Opus. The player must navigate through a constantly changing Victorian-era mansion and ghastly visions of the painter’s fragile and crumbling psyche. Along the way, players will find bits and pieces of information that will allow the player to understand the dark and sad history of the painter.
From the earliest moments, Layers of Fear’s brand of Victorian horror feels fully realized: you play as an artist, driven to madness by a creative block that’s made it awfully difficult to complete his masterpiece. It’s a setup that’s brimming with the potential to channel Gothic, Dorian Gray-style dread, and at its highest points, Layers of Fear does illustrate this descent into darkness and anxiety in really interesting ways.
The game is extremely easy and finishes way too quickly for my taste. There are a total of six episodes and each episode plays out to about 30 minutes. There’s really not any challenging puzzles or anything, and the game is quite linear although hallucinations will make it seem otherwise. There are, however, plenty of traps and ghosts lurking in ooze-filled rooms that can kill you if you get too close to it. But they are far and few in between. Parts of the scenery, and whether you trip them or not is more luck than judgment. There’s no aiming, jumping or fleeing at all. It seems a little disappointing until you figure out that there is one monster in the game, the one behind the keyboard. Still, the story held my interest.
Some of the storylines involve you taking another drink while the canvas looms in front of you, or a light flickering dimly in the corner. You’ve created numerous pieces of art, but not anything quite like this. Why haven’t you done this before? It seems so obvious in retrospect. Your friends, critics, business partners—soon, they’ll all see. But something’s still missing. You look up, startled. That melody… Was that a piano? It sounded just like her. But, no—that would be impossible. She’s gone. They’re all gone. Have to focus. How long has it taken to get to this point? Too long, but it doesn’t matter. There will be no more distractions. It’s almost finished. You can feel it. Your creation. Your Magnum Opus.
Dare you help paint a true Masterpiece of Fear? Layers of Fear is a first-person psychedelic horror game with a heavy focus on story and exploration. Delve deep into the mind of an insane painter and discover the secret of his madness, as you walk through a vast and constantly changing Victorian-era mansion. Uncover the visions, fears, and horrors that entwine the painter and finish the masterpiece he has strived so long to create.
About the product
- Psychedelic horror – A sense of insanity means each turn of the camera may completely change the look of your surroundings.
- Victorian setting – Explore a game world inspired by masterpiece paintings, architecture, and décor from the 19th century.
- Original and classic art – Numerous pieces of original art and music flesh out the story and environment.
- Story-focused exploration – Only through exploring the environment can you uncover the details of the painter’s dark and tragic past.
Title: Layers of Fear
Genre: Psychological Horror
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Developer: Bloober Team
Game Engine: Unity
Platforms: MS Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam
Reviewed by: Mike Davidson
Our Rating: 3.8 /5
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