When the Bloober publishing team set out to create Layers of Fear, they knew they wanted a completely original horror game. When put in comparison other common horror titles recently released, this one accomplishes just that. Though writing a review, there is really no way to even compare this to any other game I have played – it’s that original.
The creators wanted a game with ideas that had never been visited, with strange concepts that were horrifying in a brand new way. This is why the main character was made to be a deranged painter. His life story is tragic. His wife had divorced him and his daughter was gone after he physically abused them, leaving him as a lonely alcoholic. All throughout his life, art had occupied him so much that it became an unhealthy obsession. After coming back from a court hearing over a past assault, the artist (you’ll be playing as him) goes to explore his old mansion. It is completely empty, and here is where you begin your journey. You must complete your magnum opus, the portrait you’ve devoted years and years to. The information given in the introduction is enough to make the mind wander, and to give you the desire to complete this awful story.
The portrait you will be working on for the remainder of the game is one of your wife, who you once loathed. She had committed suicide by slitting her wrists in a bathtub, with her main motivation being how badly you neglected her. It is inferred that she was beaten in a drunken rage repeatedly, until she decided to end it all. The game will lead you through floor after floor of mysterious rooms, all with hidden clues and puzzles that need to be found and completed before moving on. Almost any type of gamer can play this, especially considering it’s not the longest game out their either. Even novices can succeed with a little thought and devotion in Layer of Fear‘s environment, which can sometimes move at a relatively slow and sometimes boring pace. On the contrary to some pace issues, you will always find yourself seeking more, wanting to know what happens and where to go next.
You will make way through the kitchen, music room (your wife was actually a piano player and model), basement, attic, daughter’s bedroom, and every other secret corridor. These rooms will never once appear normal, though. Your art is scattered throughout, and you seemingly will be tripping on acid. Vibrant colors mixed with gory paintings of bloody corpses will appear everywhere, and the jump-scares will come too. Though not facing any physical enemies, the house will basically launch a full scale attack at you with collapsing walls, falling paintings, and shattered windows. They will be enough to leave you literally shaking! These “attacks” will come quickly and frequently, and somebody who had not read this would definitely envision a physical battle coming their way. When I originally played through Layers of Fear, I was almost one-hundred percent certain I would have to pick a weapon off and fend for myself. It built up such a brilliant anticipation that kept me on my seat, focused on every single noise and movement.
In order to complete your magnum opus, you will need to find six items. Disturbingly enough, they are all parts of your wife’s dismembered body. Your morbid obsessions will lead you to find her skin to be used as canvas, blood to be ink as the overlay, bone marrow as the underlay, a finger for smearing the paint, a brush made just from hair, and an eye. Disturbingly enough, the eye is used to satisfy the artist in the form of being an audience to view his masterpiece. In my opinion, these aspects have the ability to hit whoever is playing the game right in the heart. I say that because, just imagine your relationship with your wife unfolding like this. It’s really quite an awful thing, and it was certainly included to ensure one’s involvement in the game. It is meant to get into your own head, which is an aspect that any complete horror game has. Once completed, one of three endings will unfold. Based off of your decisions made throughout the game, the artist will either hang his portrait up and live the remainder of his life, kill himself and burn his belongings in a huge fire, or destroy his magnum opus and begin a new piece.
This game is a psychological trip that makes you really feel like you are the artist himself. It is not an action game by any means, and it might not necessarily scare one unless they’re truly focused on it. When completely indulged in it though, it is terrifying. It is a beautifully designed game, and the art that was included in it is dazzling enough (besides the fact that much of it is very gross) to seem like real-life pieces. The concept behind it is completely original, as there is really no other horror game with the same frameworks as Layers of Fear. Horror being portrayed through art is a brilliant idea that ended up being very successful, and the makers over at Bloober should be proud of their creation.
Layers of Fear19.99
- Story is thoroughly made with great twists & turns
- Game features a fully developed environment that will keep you on the edge of your seat
- Almost any gamer can play and succeed
- Graphics are fantastic
- Game doesn't take a very long time to complete
- Lack of multiple distinguishable characters
- Some spots in the game seem to get stagnant