Layers of Fear 2 Review: A horror of a game
There’s a lot of good atmosphere building in this wannabe horror tale.
It’s best early on and has a slight Kubrick feel to it. But as you progress that drifts away.
The problem is the lofty ambition never gets realised by the developer. And what we’re left with is a confusing title that loses itself in a desperate bid to seem deep and meaningful.
The starting point is you playing an actor who’s tasked with creating a character on an eerie boat at sea. There are plenty of jump scares.
You’ll find yourself being chased down corridors, attacked by mannequins and monsters with weird things staring back at you in the mirror.
But they don’t have the effect on the player they should.
And it leaves you often feeling cold when you should really be hiding behind the sofa.
It tries to be a detailed insight into the mind but Layers of Fear 2, unlike its impressive predecessor, constantly tries too hard to offer a lasting impression and ends up failing.
The gameplay is bland – go here, open door, run from monster, etc. It’s all pretty basic and unfulfilling.
That said, visually this is a very good looking game.
The ship you’re on is detailed and when the weirdness kicks in the graphics live up to what’s trying to be accomplished thanks to thoughtful use of lighting and the whole 1920s noir film vibe.
And the sound is also well done. With Todd being a particular highlight.
But once the novelty of a new game fades, what we’re left with is a failure of a title that simply loses itself after the first hour or so. And you end up going in bizarre circles without any sense of satisfaction.
THE VERDICT – 2/5
– Reviewed on PS4
- Atmospheric, unnerving horror
- Great visuals
- A storytelling mess
- Controls are basic and bland
- Few original moments
- Little to return to when the novelty wears off
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