We loved the original Layers of Fear here at Punk and Lizard. It’s frightening journey into obsession and lunacy was crafted so well that when the Inheritance DLC landed we were chomping at the bit. Fast forward to 2019 and Layers of Fear has a full sequel. But will the follow up be a case of Layers of Fear, or Layers of Dear oh dear?*
Whilst the original explored the psyche of a tortured artist trying to complete their masterpiece in a Manor House, this time around you’re exploring the world of acting on an old ship. The two don’t appear to be linked at first glance, but much like the first game the story is told and connected through picking up items, reading notes and opening doors which lead you closer to the story’s answers. There are 5 acts, and as you progress throughout the story the game gets slowly more terrifying. In Chapter 1 I was curious, by Chapter 5 my nerves were on a knife edge every time I opened a door.
One thing passed over from the original is the change of scenery in rooms. Say you walk down a path and go to open a door but it’s locked, you’ll turn back around to find the path will look different. It may be one thing out of place, it may be blood on the floor, or it may be a monster. Whatever it means, it means you’re nervous to even and try and open a door, because you’re not only scared of what’s behind it, but you’re also scared of what’s behind you as well. It’s a superb mechanic that means you never feel quite settled in Layers of Fear 2, even if you’re in a quiet section.
Speaking of monsters, every now and then you’ll have a terrifying sprint away from these things. You will die a whole load here, as it takes a few runs to figure out where you can make yourself safe. Not only that, but you have a director popping up with creepy as hell commentary and directions. At the start of each Act you’ll be able to watch a new creepy film on the projector which ramps up the scariness too. Throw in collectibles and 3 separate endings and you have more than enough to keep yourself terrified for weeks to come. In short, if you loved the first one, then you’ve come to the right place as Layers of Fear 2 is very much more of the same, and I mean that in the best possible way. The original was only around 4 hours, and I always felt like I wanted more. Thanks to this superb sequel, I can now sleep unsoundly with one eye open.
Layers of Fear 2 is a wonderfully terrifying addition to the series and here’s hoping for a third one – if my blood pressure can take it that is.
Punk rating: 8/10
*Punk and Lizard would like to apologise for this quite frankly terrible line.