Game Review-Layers of Fear (2023)

What lurks around the corner? What creeps inside the back of your mind? What souls are damned to this place? How do wretched creatures hunt? There are tons of terrifying questions that one could feel consumed by in their life. Layers of Fear set out to introduce even more horrific questions into your mind that you can’t ignore. Take my hand as I list out what makes this “remake” great…and not so great.

Description:

Today, Bloober Team and Anshar Studios are proud to announce the global release of Layers of Fear (2023), the crowning achievement of the celebrated Layers of Fear series, out now on Windows PC, Apple (Silicon) Mac, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. As one of the first horror games built from the ground up using Unreal Engine 5, Layers of Fear (2023) is the definitive way to experience the critically acclaimed franchise, featuring the original Layers of Fear, Layers of Fear 2, and all DLC’s, including a brand new chapter exploring the story of The Writer, whose tale ties together the overarching narrative of the series.

Features:

The Ultimate Layers of Fear Experience-The series’ crowning work casts an overarching narrative over the entire franchise.

Horror Reimagined-Everything in the Layers of Fear series melds together into a single experience, including all DLCs, so players can find all the answers they seek.

Shocking New Looks-Enhanced with Unreal Engine 5’s improved technology. This version offers a more immersive horror experience with the addition of Ray Tracing, HDR, 4K resolution, and the Lumen system.

Psychological Horror-A grim but gripping first-person psychedelic horror game focused on tense exploration, puzzle-solving, and immersive storytelling. Discover what lies in the depths of the human psyche with this mature, cathartic game.

New Tricks-New brand-new core mechanics that will be introduced to Layers of Fear and its sequel, as well as additional features, so all the chapters and stories will blend seamlessly.

Horror Through the Many Lenses of Art–Explore the depths of obsession with three different stories of craft-obsessed protagonists (The Painter, The Actor and The Writer) which are interwoven to create a truly immersive experience and gripping storyline

Classical, Ominous Soundtrack-Hauntingly beautiful soundtrack composed by the highly-acclaimed musician Arek Reikowski. He has composed a hypnotic score that adds an extra layer of tension to the game and will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Trailer:

Story Pros:

  • Bloober team has combined their main Layers of Fear games and DLC into one complete package, providing a more immersive and cohesive narrative experience.
  • The writer’s story is built directly into the game, offering a unique and captivating format for storytelling.
  • Layers of Fear feels like a horror anthology with individual stories sharing a universe, making it fresh and engaging for players.
  • Optional mini-campaigns revolving around the painter’s daughter and wife add depth to the plot.
  • Layers of Fear offers subtle changes and improvements to keep the terror fresh, subverting expectations.
  • Players can expect ample replayability with four distinct stories and multiple endings.
  • Layers of Fear 2 has done more with its setting and story than the rest of the series combined.

Graphics Pros:

  • Enhancements to textures and lighting are remarkable, creating an impressive level of realism on modern consoles and PC.
  • The game utilizes clever perspective tricks to increase suspense and unsettle players.
  • The use of Unreal Engine 5 elevates the title’s photorealistic horror to a new level.

Gameplay Pros:

  • The new flashlight adds stimulating gameplay elements like discovering ghostly echoes or animating mannequins.
  • Players can use the flashlight to stun stalker enemies or solve puzzles in certain situations, making for a more interactive experience.
  • The game’s horror is thematically appropriate, adding to the engagement and intrigue.
  • The game includes accessibility options and quality-of-life additions to enhance the player’s experience.
  • Light combat elements have been added to address past complaints, improving the interaction within the game.
  • Layers of Fear 2’s cruise ship setting creates a unique and unforgettable experience.
  • The narration by Tony Todd adds to the tenor of the game.

Cons:

  • The balance of tension and release in the game needs improvement.
  • At times, the flashlight tips the balance of power toward the player, making the enemies less scary.
  • Experienced survival horror fans may find the puzzles in Layers of Fear too easy.
  • The constant use of geometry-jumbling techniques and predictable jump scares can feel repetitive.
  • Some parts are retreaded from the previous releases, so it may not be as engaging if you have already played them.
  • Confusing puzzles affect the overall experience of the Inheritance DLC.
  • The gameplay largely consists of walking and opening doors, lacking diversity and balance.
  • The game lacks true threats, relying solely on “smoke and mirrors,” potentially making it less engaging and scary. This may affect the upcoming Silent Hill 2 game.

Final Points:

  • At a price tag of $30 Layers of Fear represents a great value for its quality and length. This means that you’re not needing to pay for all of the previous games and their DLC anymore. We recommend not bothering if you’ve already played everything unless you care about the one new chapter.
  • The delivery of the game’s story is compelling, providing a unique experience within the horror genre. It could just stand to give the enemies more bite and mix up the overall formula to keep it fresh.
  • This new edition is built on Unreal Engine 5 enabling the game series to have visual bells and whistles that their titles didn’t previously have.

Purchase Links:

XBOX

PS5

Steam

Mac

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