One of my favourite things to do at the weekend is play a computer game with my husband – preferably a horror game. My favourite game of all time being Resident Evil 2.
We recently played Layers of Fear, which was £5.19 for the deluxe edition on the PS4.
From the blurb:
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.
If you’re brave enough to watch the trailer (link below), you will see that this is a seriously creepy game.
Layers of Fear reminds me of the old CD Rom games where you would wander around looking for clues. My favourite was one about the Titanic, but you would often waste hours going back over the same areas to trigger the right clue.
Layers of Fear is a guided mystery – you explore the house of an unnamed painter, who is trying to complete his masterpiece, but you start to realise something isn’t quite right.
As you go through the house the condition of the walls deteriorate, strange broken dolls appear, you keep hearing the creepy, really really creepy, sounds of a child crying.
The only thing the player really needs to do is click on all the clues – as long as you do that you’ll get through the game. It can be somewhat frustrating, you won’t be allowed to move to the next area until you have uncovered the necessary pieces of the puzzle. My advice is to try clicking on the back of an object, or if that doesn’t work turn around, or look up.
The game is more psychologically disturbing than out-and-out horror, but there are numerous bits that will have you jumping out of your skin. Mostly the creep factor is from the images of destruction, rot, and insanity; you’ll be walking along the hallway and the items in the room will change into rotten fruit, burnt corpses, crayon flames will be doodled on the floor… it’s more disturbing than it sounds. Overall this, the narrator calmly tells stories about carving flesh and how his wife’s face needs to be “fixed”.
Adding to the overall feeling of insanity, you will keep going through the same rooms and actions, with slightly different objects and outcomes each time. Through this the house starts to change slowly from a normal, albeit derelict, property to something resembling the ninth circle of hell.
The game has 4 possible endings. We received a trophy for getting the “conclusive” ending, but there were still unanswered questions. Layers of Fear doesn’t hand all the answers to you neatly tied up in a bow. It is for the gamer to decide what actually happened. The play time was between 4-5 hours, which is respectable for a £4 game, especially when you consider the thought and detail that has gone info it.
We also played the additional DLC Inheritance, which was included in the pack. Inheritance is much shorter, with game play of about 1 and a 1/2 hours, and you play as the daughter of the painter in the first game.
Inheritance isn’t as guided as the main game- it is possible to get lost and ramble around for half an hour. If this happens when you’re in the daughters dream world just look for crayon or painted paths and follow them, picking up any crayons or paintbrushes lying on the floor. It’s tempting to walk beyond the paths but you’ll just waste time.
Like in Layers of Fear, the graphics are weirdly beautiful and creepy – especially the Red Riding Hood puppet theatre of death.
Let me know if you’ve played this game, or if you have any horror game recommendations in the comments below.