Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear title screen and cover art
Layers of Fear cover art

Once there existed a playable trailer that was appropriately titled P.T. and it shook the world. It was horrifying. Playing it was anxiety-inducing. People ranted and raved for days on end that it was simply too scary to complete. The trailer itself no longer exists as something you can download. It exists now only on consoles that had downloaded it before the game’s plug was pulled.

Those of you that know this game also know that it was scrapped shortly after the trailer’s release. It was supposed to be another installment to the Silent Hills series, but Konami opted to focus their time on pachinko machine production instead of video games. Many agree that the move to can this game was a bad one, yet other game production companies saw it as a chance to flourish and stick their toes into a hungry market. Bloober Team came out with Layers of Fear under the promise that they would deliver on what Konami failed to give.

Layers of Fear the ghost of the wife
Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear is more of an interactive story than a game. There is not much to the gameplay; instead, the game focuses on experiencing the plot. There are no monsters to catch and kill you, so there are no negative repercussions to your actions. Additionally, there’s a lack of things to interact with. Simply put, there’s not a lot you can do other than continue walking through the game from start to finish.

The game rode hard on the fact that they were going to recreate what P.T. had, so much so that Layers of Fear often times felt more like a copy and paste job. The wife of your character, as you find out, died and her ghost haunts you as you walk through your empty house. She’ll stand in the middle of the hallway, head twitching and cry just as Lisa once did from P.T., and her “attack” is verbatim the same.

You play as a painter in the middle of a life crisis. We aren’t aware of the extent of his crisis in the beginning, but as the game pans out we are supposed to find clues in the game to unravel what happened between himself, his wife, and his daughter. If you don’t catch all of the clues you end up missing a big part. Unfortunately these key components to the plot are hidden throughout the game in places like drawers or in cabinets. Thus the games forces you into doing monotonous tasks if you want to understand the deeper plotline.

It’s a dreadfully boring game that doesn’t take an overly large amount of time to play through. The controls are basic, and the gameplay is little to zero effort. Imagine a track ride in Disneyland, but spooky and with jump scares. There are a few puzzles in the game, but hardly enough that I would call it anything other than a storybook. It wasn’t engaging and unfortunately, it wasn’t thought-provoking either.

The level of terror and anxiety was absolutely zero for me. I played it for my friend for some spooky fun. I was thankful to have played with her because she was the only one that truly made the game any kind of fun. Otherwise, it simply felt as though it were a chore to have to play it, which is unfortunate because the game was 20 dollars. I felt obligated to finish it so my money didn’t “go to waste”.

The story is garbled, meaning I don’t consider it to be a very well fleshed out thought, the jumpscares rose no reactions from me, and the gameplay was a snooze fest.

If you’re a sensitive individual who scares easily then perhaps this might be a fun game to play for some cheap thrills, but if you’re a seasoned horror fan like myself I’d give this game a hard pass for something spooky to play this Halloween.

I give this game a total of 4 spooky out of 10.

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