Layers of Fear: Legacy – Review
Follow Genre: Horror
Developer: Bloober Team
Publisher: Bloober Team
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Layers of Fear: Legacy – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Story, Atmosphere, Concept
Bad: You get used to the scare factor after a while
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Layers of Fear already passed our revue back in 2016 and proved to be a great and original addition to the atmospheric horror genre. While the game itself didn’t really last that long, and was purely story driven, its originality was its key asset and the overall concept was simply enjoyable, even for those who aren’t actually into horror games all that much. Now, with many more adult games being ported to the Switch, Layers of Fear: Legacy was released recently for Nintendo’s hybrid console and we were lucky enough to revisit the mad painter and the added DLC, which revolves around his daughter.

Layers of Fear Legacy

Story

The story of the Layers of Fear game all revolves around a deranged painter who is in a downward spiral into his own madness. From start to finish, you’ll find yourself in the family home, or at least a twisted vision of said house, in the mind of the painter. He has been working on that one piece that transcends all his prior work but to complete it, he has to let everything go and even cross boundaries a sane person would never do. You’ll see how it’s all puzzled together the further you progress. The overall psychedelic experience is intriguing and motivates you to press forward.

In the DLC, Inheritance, you’ll trade in your brush of chaos for the child of the painter. His daughter revisits her family home, and while exploring, new events will trigger that show her side of the story, or at least part of it. This added content adds an interesting point of view on the original story, albeit a bit more lackluster.

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Graphics

Graphically the game is simply stunning, especially for the Switch’s capabilities. While the PC game will probably still look better on heavy gaming rigs, the Switch port is decent, and it presses all the right buttons for adult gamers on Nintendo’s console. The house looks detailed, every room is designed with care, the creepy vibes of the moveable objects hit the right spot and the overall usage and lack of colors will put you in the right mood. The only thing that looks a bit dated and less convincing is the ghastly apparition that will haunt you for a big part of the game.

Throughout the game you’ll see the house go from a viable environment, to a gritty disgusting place of terror. While some rooms are a bit cleaner than others, the mind of the mad painter clearly is messed up and this is conveyed beautifully within this portable version of Layers of Fear. You’ll be able to examine some objects more closely and these objects have also been designed meticulously, making them stand out. Everything combined truly adds another layer of fear.

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Sound

Layers of Fear: Legacy makes perfect use of sound and music to make the environment creepier, or to allow the player to relax, to strike again once he feels at ease. More than once you’ll notice that the music just stops playing, all while hearing whispers, the crying of a young child or a woman, most likely your family, objects moving, doors opening and so on. The limp of your character is also presented in a clear audible way, as well as many of the different surfaces you tread on. Nonetheless, the latter isn’t always presented that well, as some wet and gooey surfaces don’t convey the proper sound, or you will hear it play when you’re not actually on said surface anymore. The overall chaotic mind of the painter is a mix of classical instruments, the wailing of your next of kin, a minimum of well performed voice acting and the eerie sounds of the house itself, making this one well orchestrated spook-fest.

Layers of Fear Legacy 2

Gameplay

Layers of Fear: Legacy is an atmospheric horror game, that bundles both the base game, as well as the DLC, Inheritance, the latter revolving around the daughter, rather than the messed up painter. From start to finish, you’ll be wandering around the house, and psyche of a deranged painter that is trying to make his masterpiece, that one painting he has been aiming at his entire life whilst ignoring his family and other aspects of his personal life. The downward spiral into the deranged mind of this painter is presented through the usage of the house he lives in, which constantly shifts and changes the further you progress. Doors don’t end up in the same rooms anymore, you’ll go from one messed up chamber to another, with limited lighting, odd sounds and of course scary happenings. For the most part you’ll be sent on a linear path, all while you’re able to fully explore the different rooms, often with no way of turning back.

While the goal of the game is pretty simple, namely finding the components for your masterpiece, you can find a lot of information on the deranged painter’s personal life, by uncovering pictures, letters from his wife, info about his child and so on. While you’ll have to piece together the puzzle yourself, you’ll still be motivated to press forward to see what lurks behind the next incredibly dark corner. The story pays off, even if you don’t completely get what is going on by the time the credits start rolling for the base game. The overall atmospheric thrill you’ll get by playing this game is enjoyable, and whilst this game may fall in the horror category, you’ll get somewhat used to the ‘scare techniques’ halfway through the game, somewhat dulling the ‘jump scares’ this title utilizes. Some may see this as a negative point, others may find some comfort if they wish to explore this title but otherwise like to avoid scary games altogether.

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The controls are self-explanatory. You  can only inspect items and open/close doors, be it actual doors or those of cabinets and closets. The latter sometimes feels a bit clumsy, as you’ll have to select the handle, keep the trigger pressed down and then move the right stick in the proper direction. Of course, you can also do this with the motion controls, but overall playing with a pro controller is just a lot more pleasant as it feels more comfortable. Other than that, the game does what it is designed to do, safe for having some issues with the actual targeting of drawers and items inside of them.

Inheritance, the DLC revolves around the daughter and has a somewhat different vibe to it. This added content is fun to explore the events of what happened to the daughter, albeit in the same psychedelic sense of the main game, but from the standpoint of a child, namely the aforementioned daughter. It’s sometimes hard to know if you explored all of the different content in this add-on, but it’s an interesting extra of the game nonetheless.

The game itself will only take you around three to four hours, if you’re rushing your way through, with the DLC adding an extra hour. If you’re more into looking into each nook and cranny, you can add a few extra hours on said counter.

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Conclusion

Layers of Fear: Legacy is a great addition to the ever-growing category of adult games for Nintendo’s Switch. If you like spooky games with an intriguing story portion which presents you more than zombies or other typical horror elements, than this game should be marked on your radar. Even if you’re not all that into the horror genre, but love an original tale, this game has a lot to offer, even in its somewhat short lifespan.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Layers of Fear: Legacy - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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