There is no denying the fact that first person games based on the horror genre are very popular. You only need to visit YouTube to see how many users are creating Let’s Play videos and getting lots of hits. Last October around Halloween a game called Layers of Fear landed on Steam Early Access and the Xbox One Preview Program which promised plenty of screams. Now four months later the game gets a full release and I get the chance to play it, so with a spare pair of underwear at the ready the review is below.
Developer: Bloober Team SA
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Release Date: 15 February 2016
CPU: Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 / AMD Equivalent
VGA: Nividia Geforce GTX 560 1GB / Radeon R7 250X 1GB
RAM: 4 GB
HDD: 5 GB
Thanks to publisher for the review code.
Layers of Fear is an Indie game that has been created using the amazing Unity Engine. You get to play the role of a once renowned artist who is close to a breakdown after recent life changing tragedies. You begin the game in the protagonist’s 20th century mansion and your first task is a simple one, open a door so you can enter the next room. As you begin to explore the mansion you find that this is a very elegant home and everything appears normal.
It is not long before you start to realise something is not quite right and that there is more to the house than meets the eye. The mansion is massive and the gameplay involves you having to explore rooms to find clues and key items in order for you progress through the game. You will find yourself having to solve the occasion puzzle and these are usually fun. While you all might be thinking this does not sound too difficult, the developers has fun messing with your head with mind bending distorting of reality.
This is very much like what Hideo Kojima did with the now cancelled P.T demo on the PS4. You find yourself doubting what you believe when you travel down a hall and find a wall where there was a door once. If that is not bad enough then you have to deal with the intense atmosphere that causes a few jump scares. These are probably better experienced with a pair of headphones and a dimly lit room. Words of warning…have a spare pair of underwear at the ready as you will definitely need them.
While the gameplay might not be the longest, I think it was just the right length. I would say that the game could be completed by the casual gamer in about 4 hours, which makes a nice gaming session to finish an intense game. The detail that has been put into creating the mansion is amazing. This is a very beautiful looking game and when you first explore the house you will go wow. The story is interesting and while it might appear to be vague at first, if you read all the clues that are scattered around the house you will soon get the full picture of what is happening.
Layers of Fear is a great game. The gameplay is the right length, the story narrative is enough to keep you intrigued and the atmosphere is eerie. While it is not a perfect game and you will find odd performance glitches, this does not affect the experience one bit. If you like first person games and the horror genre then Layers of Fear is for you.