Perfection is the enemy of any artist. This true for any forms of art; painting, composing a masterpiece or even creating a game. It is that niggling feeling at the back of your mind that questions if you completed work is really complete. We all suffer from it however though the majority of you will not let it take over but there are some who let it rule their life.Layers of Fear explores this through the mindset of a painter who has lost touch with reality and pushes the limits of perfection to a new, disturbing, level.
Layers of Fear is not a unique tale. It borrows heavily from a lot of different media elements; The Picture of Dorian Gray, PT Demo and pretty much any Stephen King novel to name a few. What Blooper Team do successfully is manage to merge all these sources together to create a unique experience – you live the tale as it progresses. Admittedly there is not a lot to do interactively with the game other than walk through many different rooms and interact with select items but what little you do do does progresses the underlying plot of a mentally unstable artist as well as teaching you a few lessons along the way.
Layers of Fear offers an experience that you can not get anywhere else. You cannot go to a movie and expect it to react to what you do or see just like you cannot expect the same from a book. Layers of Fear (and other walking simulators) are just the natural progression of videos games. A video game is defined as “a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a monitor or other display” and with graphics becoming more realistic every month, it is obvious that this genre is going to be one of the newer ways to tell a story to the audience (and in this case, the player). There are always discussions about whether walking simulators can be classified as video games or not but for me, however you look at it, I will always define them as a video game.
Walking simulators are very popular at the moment and even though they all offer the same path of completion, they all offer a different setting or mood that makes them stand out from each other. In this case, Layers of Fear choose the horror/thriller genre to explore. I will admit there were a few moments that got me and it was not fear due to being afraid of something but rather the atmosphere created. The mansion you walk around feels like no one has lived there for a long time and I honestly felt like death was around every corner. This is a game with very little background and equally little narrative but yet it manages to create the perfect mood.
Walking simulators are the new form of media. It is using the power of a game to create tense situations that I believe you could only find in a novel. A novel requires the reader to use their imagination to create the world with the writer doing the rest, whereas walking simulators, Layers of Fear especially, have already got the world built; all it needed was for the player to input the fear and tension. Layers of Fear is a great way to show the world the diversity of a Walking Simulator. It tells a dark story set in a disturbed world and if you enjoyed the PT Demo you will find great pleasure with Layers of Fear.
Layers of Fear - 8/10
Who should buy this
- Gothic Horror Fans
- Gamers looking for a short, twisted story
- Any one looking for a game that is a little different
Who should avoid this
- Any one easily scared
- Sick of walking simulators? Skip this
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Mad Scientist with a passion for gaming!