Bloober Team’s original Layers of Fear (2016) became a gaming sensation almost overnight, with its evocative Steam Early Access version offering players a truly imaginative spectacle. The sequel continued the original theme of an artist being tortured, but swapped painters and actors and provided perhaps even more original visuals. Both games were great in my opinion, but nothing more. Now reborn in Unreal Engine 5, the previous one is sprinkled with new content. layers of fear (2023) seems like the definitive way to experience a horror series. But its haunting sites remain mostly empty. The new engine makes this game a visual benchmark, but it still has a theme-park haunted-house vibe, offering the illusion of danger but never genuinely threatening.
Perhaps the first hurdle in critiquing the reinvention of the series is describing exactly what this package offers. Both Layers of Fear and its sequel return almost 80% of what you’ve experienced before. If I remember correctly some scenes were redesigned or added and even removed. Both games introduce new but ultimately shallow mechanics, with several combat sections where you have to blast stalking ghosts with light to keep them stranded while escaping from a maze-like environment. Is possible. A short Inheritance DLC from the first game is also included, debuting an all-new DLC, The Final Note, which aims to bring the series together more neatly than before.
The best of all of these is “The Writer’s Story,” which is actually a constructed story. Built directly into the game, as you progress through the connected pieces, you’ll periodically jump back to the lighthouse where the writer tells the story of the game’s other ghost artists (painters, actors, musicians). As with the major games, the writers deal with their own ghosts, and I think the format is elegant and very novel for the medium. It feels like a horror anthology like V/H/S, but only in this case all the individual stories ultimately share a world.
While this representation is persuasive, it has the strange effect of further disappointing each individual piece as it struggles to hold up almost on its own. Layers of Fear has always felt more like an amusement park ride than a survival horror experience, and its MO doesn’t seem to help create any real tension. These new versions also try to add more potential game over screens, but the moments are too scripted and the enemies are basically non-existent. You walk into a room, see something strange happening, then turn around and the environment changes seamlessly, sometimes heart-meltingly fresh, but never scary.
The first game also feels desperate to avoid misunderstandings, with a very bare story, betraying the “show, don’t tell” maxim at every turn. The Final Note DLC, unlike the original and its Inheritance DLC, tries to over-explain even more by putting the player in the role of one of her characters that she never plays. “Inheritance” is also going to be mechanically frustrating due to some confusing puzzles, but the intention to show the world through the eyes of a child makes it difficult to find other, unless you consider the new DLC’s broken enemy encounters. It is more memorable than the work. The ghost that chased me got stuck in the middle of the floorboards.
The highlight is definitely ‘Layers of Fear 2’, which puts more emphasis on setting and story than the rest of the series combined.Unlike the unnecessarily blatant original, the sequel will likely that too It’s wrapped in tropes at times, but it’s all more interesting when you piece it all together.
For those who haven’t played the original Layers of Fear game, this reimagined package will definitely be a better first experience than the older version.
While all other games take place in endless darkness, Layers of Fear 2 is set on a cruise ship where the film is being shot, and is never afraid to turn on the lights sometimes, always with different palettes and I’m experimenting with scenery. Despite some nightmarish scenes, it’s more memorable than the original house, which had the same atmosphere from room to room. The story is a twisted tale of method acting, dark tragedy, and a near-constant homage to horror’s past, while its homages to The Shining and Psycho are laid out like horror museum exhibits. ing. All narration is also done by actor Tony Todd, especially for those familiar with his body of work such as Candyman and Final Destination, considering his vocal tenor. It fits well.
Still, even Layers of Fear 2 can’t break free from the shackles of the series. The gameplay throughout the series mostly comes down to walking, opening doors, and seeing what strange sights await on the other side. A few light puzzles disrupt the pacing, but the new chase sequences feel monotonous, many of which use the same lines over and over. To its credit, this new edition is built on his Unreal Engine 5 and appears to take advantage of the new Lumen lighting technology. This makes games like Fortnite a sight to behold. Here, naturally, the colors aren’t quite as bright as Epic’s cartoonish battle royale, but the lighting tech is still dazzling.i stopped many It takes 10-12 hours to complete all 5 experiences simply because the game looks great.
It is a pity that there is rarely more. Previously, Layers of Fear provided some great scenes and a moody atmosphere. Nearly a decade later, the game has been reinvented in some way, but it adds very few new strengths and its weaknesses due to the effort put into justifying the project in the first place. is only more noticeable. I feel like the studio heard complaints that the game lacked real threats, but in trying to remedy that shortcoming, it just left more flaws.
For those who haven’t played the original Layers of Fear game, this reimagined package is better than the older version simply because it looks better and adds a neatly framed narrative from The Writer’s Story. will definitely be an excellent first experience. But for horror enthusiasts already familiar with the series, that MO remains smoke and mirrors. There is no real horror lurking in the shadows out of reach. There are only some people’s suggestions, and like many of the artists tormented at the center of this story, they are left unfulfilled.
https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/layers-of-fear-2023-review-delusions-of-grandeur/1900-6418080/?ftag=CAD-01-10abi2f Layers Of Fear (2023) Review – Delusional Magnificence