One indie game painting fear into the hearts of gamers recently is Layers of Fear, a psychologically mind-bending horror that puts players in the unfortunate shoes of an artist as he descends into madness. The most surprising part about this game, which seems to have appeared from the shadows and impressed critics, is the fact that it was developed by Bloober Team SA , who are known for previously releasing Basement Crawl, rated as one of the worst games on PS4. I dodged a bullet there, because I looked at it on PSN… twice.
They seem to have turned it around with Layers of Fear, which takes place in the house of the deranged painter. As players explore the house, everything starts to get weird, and they will be left unsure of what is real, and what is a figment of their imagination. Paintings seem to watch you, things seem to change, move around or disappear entirely, and the player has to continue through the artist’s downward spiral into insanity, desperately trying to understand what is happening around them.
Layers of Fear appears to have struck a chord in the same way that Gone Home did. It leaves the player to their own devices, and has them put together the pieces of the narrative by searching the house and connecting the dots in their own head. While the Early Access status of the game means that this pieced narrative is still subject to change, it already seems like one worth discovering, even if you begin to go a little insane with fear along the way.
I haven’t played Layers of Fear yet, but I can already tell it has the kind of twisted mentality and narrative that I’ll enjoy, and many comparisons are being made to PT, Konami’s secret Silent Hills teaser, which will sadly never see the light of day. Sorry, I’m just not ready to talk about it any further right now. The wound is too fresh. For a new horror game, though, that’s definitely a compliment.
Here’s hoping that many more indie horrors sneak up on us in the same way that Layers of Fear has. It’s a refreshing change to hear of a game you didn’t even have on your radar immersing gamers in effective psychological horror, rather than another overhyped AAA title not quite being up to scratch. Please be in the Steam Halloween sale, Layers of Fear, because you’re painting such an interesting picture, and I want to see it for myself.