Layers of Fear (2023), developed by Anshar Studios and Bloober Team, is an intriguing amalgamation of the original 2016 release and the 2019 sequel. It’s a psychological horror experience that delves into the minds of artists spiraling into madness. The game’s narrative is driven by the stories of The Painter, The Actor, and the newly introduced character, The Writer, each of whom is obsessed with their craft to the point of self-destruction.
Core gameplay remains largely unchanged from the original titles, with players navigating through a series of haunted locales, solving puzzles, and uncovering clues. Layers of Fear’s environment is a standout feature, with the developers expertly utilizing Unreal Engine 5 to create a photorealistic horror experience. It’s very dynamic and unpredictable, often changing when the player least expects it, which adds to the overall sense of unease and tension.
The narratives of The Painter and The Actor are compelling, with each character’s obsession with their craft leading to their downfall. The introduction of The Writer’s story serves to tie the narratives of the first two games together. However, the new part of the strory doesn’t add much depth to the overall experience and feels somewhat superficial.
The game’s visuals are impressive, with the Unreal Engine 5 upgrade providing a significant improvement over the original titles. However, the game’s darkness can sometimes make it difficult to see, which can detract from the overall experience. Performance is solid, with no significant crashes or framerate issues reported.
Despite its strengths, Layers of Fear is not without its flaws. The game’s scares can become predictable after a while, and the horror elements often feel more like a theme park haunted house than a genuine threat. The game’s story is also overly explained, with the narrative often resorting to telling rather than showing.
In terms of value, Layers of Fear offers a substantial amount of content for its price tag. With four distinct stories and multiple endings to choose from, players can expect to spend around 20 hours completing the game. The game also includes a number of quality of life improvements and accessibility options, making it a more user-friendly experience.
In conclusion, Layers of Fear is a solid remake that offers a unique psychological horror experience. While it doesn’t bring anything groundbreaking to the table, it’s a decent game that fans of the genre might enjoy. However, those looking for a truly terrifying horror game might be left wanting more.
Layers of Fear (2023) on Steam Deck
Unholy runs on Unreal Engine 5 and delivers very solid performance on Steam Deck. With mix of low-medium settings and TSR sert to balanced, it offers almostt perfect 40Hz/40FPS experience. It’s one of the best looking games on Steam Deck!
The interface and subtitles are fully readable, and the game fully supports gamepad and cloud saves.