Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Layers of Fear 2 by developer Bloober Team.
Layers of Fear 2: (The Explanation)
Layers of Fear 2 is a first-person psychological horror game and a standalone sequel to Bloober Team’s Layer of Fear. It is not a continuation of the first game and has its own unique plot. The game follows an actor who is hired by an eccentric director. The actor is tasked with building his character whilst staying aboard a luxury cruise ship. Things begin to take a sinister turn however, as the actor has to dig deep into his memories and destroy himself so he can build himself anew.
Aboard the ship, you must navigate through winding corridors and staterooms as well as the kitchen, below decks, and the distorted reality as your memories manifest themselves. Nothing is what it seems and what began as a simple character building exercise becomes a living nightmare that is impossible to wake from.
Layers of Fear 2 is broken into five acts or chapters. Each act takes place in different parts of the ship and manifests itself on the childhood memories of the actor. As you navigate your way through the eeirily abandoned cruise liner, you will start to sense that you are by no means alone. Voices of the director echo through the hallways, and you are haunted by the voices of a young girl and her little brother. Those are the least of your concerns though as a dark grotesque figure onboard the ship with the sole instinct of hunting you!
The game blends storytelling with exploration and puzzle solving. As you move from one room to another, you will find yourself locked in that room with no means of going back the way you came. You must search the room that you are in to either solve a puzzle or trigger an event that will open the path onwards.
Progression is rather linear in this game as there is only one way to move forward. There aren’t any forks in the game that will take you on different routes. There are, however, events in the game that (depending on how you respond in them) affect which ending of the game you will see upon beating the game.
For those of you that like that little more in your horror games, you can find a number of collectibles throughout Layers of Fear 2. There are a number of slides and and audio films that you can find throughout the five acts of the game. It is worth noting that you must be thorough as you explore each chapter as you can not go back to revisit rooms. If you beat the game however, you will be able to replay acts and can find anything you missed the first time around. You will also be able to choose to react to events differently as well and change the ending of the game.
Layers of Fear plays the psychological game magnificently. It wriggles into your ear and nestles inside. it then begins to unsettle you little by little and then before you know it, BOOM! Jump Scare. Even when you know something is going to happen, you still find yourself at the edge of your seat and shudder every time something suddenly appears on screen.
The visuals and audio of the game masterfully weave a sense of uneasiness into you. It is recommended to wear headphones as you play Layers of Fear 2 because it features Biaural audio. This really helps intensify the experience as you really feel yourself become immersed in the game.
Bloober Team really are masters at creating games that don’t depend on excessive gore and violence to create something truly terrifying. If you enjoy psychological horror games that genuinely fill you with a sense of dread, Layers of Fear 2 is just the game you are looking for. It plays on the mind and instils you with a real sensation of fear and panic. It will ensare you in its trap and the only hope of relief will only come upon beating the game.
Layers of Fear 2: (The Gameplay)
Tags: Bloober Team, EXPlay, Layers Of Fear, Layers of Fear 2, Layers of Fear 2 EXPlay, Layers of Fear EXPlay, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Bloober Team
Publisher: No Gravity Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Adventure, Other, Simulation
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: May 20, 2021 (EU & NA)
File Size: 5.6 GB
This post was written by Mike Scorpio