Layers of Fear Masters Atmosfear, Falls Short on Substance

Layers of Fear Masters Atmosfear, Falls Short on Substance

Like two paintings fighting for control of a single canvas, Layers of Fear presents like a battle between atmosphere and narrative, with the former winning out.

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Yeah, I thought the game had a strong atmosphere and some pretty scary parts but was a little too light on explanation. There is such a thing as leaving too MUCH to the imagination.

I will give the devs props for actually making a game MORE creepily obsessed with babies than Metroid: Other M. And this time the creepiness is actually intentional, too!

Same. Strong atmosphere, but not much else. Before long, the protagonist leaves behind the boundaries of acceptable psychological conflict and turns into the developer's caricatured idea of the Tortured Artist. Gimpylegs McPainter's descent into utter douchebaggery felt like it was a crutch the devs were relying on, and it made the later set-pieces a lot less effective.

Plus, I don't care how well you nail the "Gloomy Victorian Mansion" angle, there's a point where jump scares stop being effective. After the first hour, I'd traded nervousness for mild annoyance. By the time a certain significant other of the protagonist's started showing up, all Jacob's Ladder and P.T.-esque, the only thing that kept me going was the desire to see the story unfold.

It had atmosphere in spades, which had me constantly pushing forward. I wanted to see what set piece would happen next. However, it felt like a one trick pony, because that's all it had to offer.

There was practically no tension, because there was no fear of death. Nothing chases you or hardly poses a real danger. I consider it on par with a haunted house experience. It was certainly fun, but not something I would call scary or unnerving.

 

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