- Great theme and solidly entertaining story
- Consistent and confidently built atmosphere
- Some visually impressive scare set-pieces
(- Supposedly, there are multiple endings)
|Some of the paintings are actually the game's scariest parts.|
- You can't die or lose in the game in any way (no enemies, no combat)
- Way too many predictable jump scares
- Relies too much on horror tropes introduced by other games (for example: the P.T. demo)
- Scare set-pieces overstay their welcome and quickly lose their impact
- Fairly boring puzzles
|Oh boy. Where have I seen THAT before?|
- Being able to chase a ghost kid around corners...forever.
|Goddamnit! Just stop already!|
Layers of Fear works with an intriguing premise and cool theme for a horror game. With you being a painter, the numerous images and paintings haunting you in several of the games visually impressive set pieces set a great and consistent mood in the game. Unfortunately though, Layers of Fear relies way too heavily on old and by now very predictable horror tropes. Making use of way too many jump scares and the same visual tricks over and over again, Layers of Fear after a short while starts to feel incredibly by-the-numbers and progressively more and more unimaginative.
What further emphasizes Layers of Fear's weakness of being actually consistently scary all the way through, is that there is no way for your character to die or lose. This pretty much reveals Layers of Fear being actually less of a game but rather a series of scary set-pieces simply strung together, making it exactly feel like a haunted house ride and not really an actual game. It all makes even the game's boring puzzles be nothing more than a switch to trigger the next "scary set-piece".
Layers of Fear has a nice theme, an intriguing premise and actually boasts a solidly entertaining story, but with the game's bag of tricks running so quickly out of things to scare or impress you with, Layers of Fear is hard to fully recommend.
While for some people the game's story and atmosphere might be enough to warrant a quick playthrough (or rather runthrough), others might want to consider simply watching a better horror movie instead.
Final Verdict: 6 out of 10