This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development.
Enter the world of a deranged and insane painter. Layers of Fear is a truly unique experience where each move of the camera can change your surroundings. You are placed in a strange a messed up world of an insane painter. You will examine his paintings and his scribbled notes as you delve deeper into his messed up mind Layers of Fear is developed and published by Bloober Team SA. They are a small team of developers based in Poland.
So let’s talk a bit about the game. Before I start I must mention this is still in early access, so this review is based on what’s available to play just now. The first thing I will mention is unlike so many other Indie horror games I have played, Layers of Fear is darn scary, wired and very impressive game. It doesn’t really feel like an Indie game; it feels more like a triple A masterpiece. As you began the game you find yourself standing in the hallway of a dimly lit mansion. You are pretty much left to your own devices from then on. The whole idea behind the game is you are left to explore every nook and cranny of the mansion, examining everything you find. You need to find keys to open doors and objects that progress the story. As you play you will find doorways opening up to a strange and very weird world.
The graphics (designed by the ever-increasing in popularity game engine Unity) are simply beautiful and very impressive for an Indie game. The artists are very talented indeed as they have created a whole mansion right down to the nails in the floorboards. You will find your jaw dropping in awe for a good few minutes. The developers have done a cracking job at building a mysterious and scary atmosphere. As you move around the mansion you can hear the thunder and lightning outside. As the lightning flashes you will think you have seen something in the corner of the room. This really starts filling you with fear of the unknown, and really does fill you with some fear of what’s behind the next door. The sound effects of the Lightning and the doors creaking is really something. It’s been a long time since I was instantly wowed by a game, especially an Indie game.
The gameplay and controls are very simple to master. You use the mouse and keyboard to move around (I didn’t try it, but I think it supports a game pad as well). As I have already mentioned you are left standing in a dimly lit hallway, and as you move around you are left examining everything and looking in drawers and cupboards looking for clues as to what is going on. I have to say for the first 30 minutes or so of gameplay that is all you are doing, Layers of Fear has a very slow start, but it’s worth it when things start to kick off. You soon start to find objects like keys and strange paintings that tickle your curiosity. I have to say that the game is pretty easy to play so far. The puzzles are easy and it does become more of an interactive story than a game. However, it is done in a cleaver and imaginative way. This doesn’t spoil the game at all. You are left with a huge cliff-hanger as you come to the end of what’s available in this early access game and it left me excited for the final version. I don’t think a release date has been given yet.
So what is Layers of fear really like to play when there are so many horror based games out there. Well the way it has been put together is cleaver. I really do like the way there is no intro cut scene or any information at all given before you start. I really like that idea. It’s like you are being transported into a dream. Not knowing anything at all and being forced into doing something that you are a bit unsure about. The way the story is revealed to you bit by bit, by reading notes and examining items you find, is really cool. The only slight complaint is it does become more of an interactive story than a puzzle game. You will find that after a while you really can’t do anything wrong. It’s not really an adventure game, it’s not point and click. It’s pretty hard to explain fully what kind of game it is; you really need to play it to understand fully. I can’t say enough tough, this game is simply beautiful. I found the story very interesting and it keeps you on your toes with excitement of what is coming next.
So the final question is, do you rush out and buy it? Well as far as early access games go I don’t normally go for them as I like to have the full and final version to play so it doesn’t spoil anything. I would normally recommend you wait until the final retail version comes out. However, on this occasion I would say why not. It’s a few hours of good mysterious and enjoyable gameplay as it stands, and it leaves you with anticipation for what lies ahead.
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