Upon watching some beta/early play through of this game I decided it would be a perfect game to discuss, as it is centred around art. I, for one, am not an avid horror game player, as I simply don’t have the stomach for suspense, but the concept for Layers of Fear really peaked my interest.
The setting is an old fashioned mansion, all wood and doors that blend into the walls; with the only initial glimpse of a plot line being a note from a pest controller saying they can’t find any alleged rats. However, you quickly realise that you are a painter with an unsettling need to finish a painting, as you find out from choppy writing written on the walls of your studio. This sends you off into the house to search for the items needed to complete the piece, and this is where everything gets extremely strange.
Your character is set to wander about the halls of his house dealing with an array of puzzles which must be completed in order to progress. The rooms are incredibly dynamic, with objects, doors and contraptions appear and disappear as you turn around. Sometimes the only way forwards is to go back through the door you just came through, yet the room behind said door will be very different to how it previously presented itself. This creates a confusing game play, but in an extremely interesting and unusual way. The areas which you go through match this concept, as they are visually very weird but wonderful, with the house constantly shifting between the norm, and a painted fantasy realm.There is a general sense of unease in this game, although you don’t have any monsters chasing you in the dark, it is scary in a more sophisticated manner. It does rely on jump scares every now and again, but what really gave me the chills were the soft footsteps of an unseen enemy, the deranged narrative which presented itself whenever a piece of the puzzle was found, and the unnerving storyline (not to give anything away).
In order to not spoil the story, which is definitely at the heart of this horror game, I will cut this review short. However, I cannot praise this game enough, it is extraordinarily inventive and an enjoyable game for both seasoned, and casual, horror game players. With amazing scenes, chilling gameplay and an ending that is the best thing since Bioshock Infinite, this is one game that is a must play.