Layers Of Fear

Review By Derrick Simmons

I had the opportunity to play Layers of Fear for the PS4 from start to finish and I have to say I was quite impressed. Being an Indie I was a bit skeptical but the fact of it being in the horror genre is what really had me wanting this to be good. I don’t know about anyone else but for me, like any good horror game I expect edge of your seat jumps/startle’s, what’s around the next corner, what’s behind the next door suspense and of course gore and a in sync soundtrack.

For starters the intro soundtrack will pull you in setting the tone as it loads. Fading to black you start to hear rain, thunder and lightning crackle then a male voice starts to speak. “I know how you must Feel. LOST, ALONE, HOPELESS. You probably deserve it. But even for you there is still a way… A way to bring it all back. (a door opens) The one precious thing you ever truly desired. (door closes) FINISH IT.” Then an interesting quote is presented “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Quoted from the philosophical novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde,

At this point I’m thinking to myself that’s pretty deep. I’m now standing in a mud room and ahead are wooden glass doors which go into a living space I will cautiously roam. I have to say the space in which you roam in is definitely well designed. I start to find clues into the life of however home I’m in. I find things like dog mussels, news clippings, report cards, strange paintings on the walls, drawings of a wolf eating a little red hooded girl, angry letters written to and from an exterminator and the list goes on. Note: it’s evident they did a horrible job ridding rats because they are running all over the place.

Everything is dim lit either by candles, lanterns, lamps , fire places, moon light or lightning strikes seen through the windows. Since it appears that I won’t be fighting anything with obvious lack of attack function and running abilities I anticipate I’ll be slowly strolling with the hopes of being scared at any moment. I continue to roam throughout the house coming across a multitude of doors some unlock and most locked leading me to believe keys are to be found or they are accessible later in the game. The sound effects are great in this game it really does make you feel as if you are all alone walking through this dark scary home. Hearing your own footsteps, the floor creaking, rodents running beneath your you, the rain and intense music soundtrack is surreal. The PS4 controller’s speaker also plays certain centralized sound effects when in certain areas of the house which was a cool addition to the gameplay.

I ended up in a room where it appears its use is an art studio and I see the easel and canvas from the games intro. I search the room thoroughly for potential clues and open trunks and cabinet’s where able. Last I read a paper that has scattered words and speak to the FINISH IT statement from the beginning and I pull the cover off the canvas to an unfinished art piece. I soon realize that this room will be visited many times over as I progress through the home. With the constant main characters voice narrating as I soon find out how sick and twisted this guy’s mind really is.

The home becomes a scary fun house in my point of view. The house was bit of a maze or labyrinth with all its eerie dark halls, spooky rooms, stairs, basements, doors with brick walls behind them and tight spaced elevators but getting lost was hard if that makes sense. Each wave eventually took you back to the art room revealing just a little more of the painting each time.

I really enjoyed this game the art was great the story was well written the ending twist was a bonus. The game pace was perfect though I would have liked to have jumped in fear a lot more than I did and I wish it was a bit longer not too much longer but I felt there was room for more puzzle interact. I anticipate playing it again just to get all the family heirloom I know I now missed after reviewing my awarded trophies at the end. It definitely worth the play I would highly recommend a play through for anyone that need some new horror in their life.