Review by Leigh Carr
It’s scary. No doubt about that. Bloober Team – based out of Krakow, Poland – have done an excellent job with Layers of Fear, a psychological horror experience that portrays (pun not intended) a 19th century artist’s descent into insanity, all of it self contained within a rickety old mansion. It’s a disjointed story of drama, sadness and despair, one that will make you hungry for more as you strip back the layers. Oh – now I get it why it’s called that …
Inheritance, the new DLC for Layers of Fear, is a nice little addition for fans of the original as you play the grown daughter of the artist featured in the previous installment. It’s short, punchy and a nice expansion of the story complete with alternative endings. A majority of the gameplay reminded me of Among the Sleep as you play through childhood memories conquering the fears from the past.
Though the puzzles feel a little thoughtless at times, more akin to a hidden object game or a search for seemingly pointless and miniscule items (checkers anyone?), it mainly hits its mark delivering an immersive experience that you will dread having to come back to complete. Those of weak constitution will be haunted after leaving your screen.
Visuals and audio
The environment is extraordinarily detailed. You can rummage through chests, cupboards and drawers to uncover story elements. The game does its best at throwing various forms of creepy imagery and jump scares at already jittering players. The artwork featured in-game is amazing. Those with a love for paintings can become lost in the beauty of a singular portrait.
The sound design is incredible. Chock filled with giggling dolls, insane laughter, creaking doors and other noises that will chill you to the core. I chickened out and had to mute it a couple of times.
This game won’t be for everyone. There’s no guns, no shooting, no fast action sequences and you won’t be sprinting through the environment either. It’s a walking-sim disguised as a puzzle game, but one that does a fantastic job at pitching its intended atmosfear (pun intended).
The game is good! Real good. Then why am I still typing? Perhaps it’s me, I’m unsure. Stories like this are perhaps too disjointed for my personal taste. It’s hard to become absorbed in your surroundings when it is constantly changing and seemingly defying logic. This did not compel me to go back and uncover the many missed newspaper clippings, photos and drawings. But for a once off twenty buck chuck I’d thoroughly recommend it to players that love a good scare and an interesting narrative.
Born of a jackal, Leigh decided to devote his life to all things horror at a young age. Now that he’s an adult not much has changed. He enjoys Board Games, Tabletop Role Playing Games and Electronic games, has a loving family that have put up with his crippling addictions, and is an ordained priest of the First United Church of Cthulhu. In his spare time he is a facilitator for a bank.
Leigh is also the creator and moderator of the Call of Cthulhu Melbourne Facebook community, where he goes by the madness-inducing pseudonym of “Leigh Carrthulu”. If you love Old Squidface as much as we think you do, ask Leigh to join the Facebook community. (Before you ask – you don’t have to be from Melbourne to join. Great Cthulhu has enough love to go around for us all.) You can also read an interview with Leigh here on Games vs Play to find out why he started the Facebook community and, more importantly, how to pronounce “Cthulhu.”
Games vs Play wishes to thank Bloober Team for permission to use images in this post. To find out more about the latest reviews, stories and other cool things in the world of games, you can like us on Facebook. And remember – if you’re game, we’ll play!