REVIEW | Layers of Fear 2: Horror on its finnest form
Launched in 2016, Layers of Fear was one of the biggest successes of the developer Bloober Team and showed that the team knew how to play very well with the genre of “surreal terror”. 3 years later, the team returns to the same theme coined by the first game in a sequel that is as terrifying as one could imagine.
Available primarily for PC, Layers of Fear 2 now comes to Nintendo Switch and brings the possibility of taking scares directly to your bed, in the warmth of the blankets…
Camera, light… And terror!
First, we need to say that Layers of Fear 2 is not a continuation of its predecessor. He follows the same molds as the first game by exploring the story of a character who gradually loses his sanity, but now, instead of a painter, the protagonist is an actor who must obey a mysterious director and become the main character in a film made inside a sinking ship.
The film, which would be the director’s masterpiece, wants to explore the darkest backgrounds of our actor’s name, James. Through a series of collectibles and events that take place during the game, James remembers his difficult childhood when he had to flee with his sister and hide on a ship to escape his father’s abuse.
This is the bizarre, surreal and terrifying journey that James will take on this sinking ship as he tries to rescue painful memories to put together the perfect film for the director.
It’s not exactly an unprecedented storyline for the horror genre, but the Bloober Team team does its homework very well by mixing the elements of the narrative with a perfect atmosphere that create a terrifying experience to leave the player on tiptoe of anxiety all the time.
It is worth investigating each corner, reading each ticket and observing the details of each object to make the most of the story, as it is possible to complete the game in just 3 or 4 hours. The Bloober Team did an excellent job of recreating the interior ambience of an early-20th-century transatlantic liner that looks more like a haunted version of the Titanic: luxury and terror in the same place.
Time waits for no man
It is as the saying goes “If it is good, do not move”. And that is exactly what the Bloober Team did with the interaction mechanics of Layers of Fear 2. You will walk, interact and solve some simple puzzles in the same way that you already did in the first title. Considering that the game’s strongest element is its terrifying atmosphere, investing in elaborate mechanics would take the focus off the game’s “icing on the cake”.
Something that users who have already tried the game on the PC will notice is that on the Nintendo Switch the game is running at 30 FPS instead of 60 FPS. This was a small sacrifice that the technical team of the Bloober Team had to make to maintain the graphic quality of the title without jeopardizing the user experience. However, although it is not something that should hinder the gameplay, the game certainly seems less fluid.
Best of all, the unexpected scares are still present in the sequel. It is never possible to tell when the jump scares will occur. On many occasions, when you think they will happen, the game deceives you and surprises you at the most unexpected moment. This creates a palpable tension and a sense of constant fear that becomes even greater when a monster is chasing you and there is a sense that it can catch up with you any minute.
If you are looking for a good horror game with scares that you will never really know when they will occur, Layers of Fear 2 is a good choice for you. Even with a small performance downgrade to run on the Nintendo Switch, the title still retains its solid experience proposition. Oh, and don’t forget to play using good headphones, as the game uses the sound system a lot to create its unique atmosphere.
Final Opinion: Very Good
By Luis Antonio Costa