Layers of Fear 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Psychological Horror
Developer: Bloober Team
Publisher: Gun Media
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Layers of Fear 2 – Review

Site Score
8.7
Good: Beautiful graphics, eerie atmosphere, great environmental storytelling
Bad: Can feel a bit repetitive at times, jump scares are a bit cliche, some puzzles are hard to figure out what to do
User Score
8.4
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.4/10 (5 votes cast)

Layers of Fear 2 is another gorgeous looking psychological horror game from Bloober Team, and since the first game was pretty awesome already, this game has some big shoes to fill! Layers of Fear 2 has you playing another kind of artist: an actor who is studying his next role for a movie. You can imagine that this will certainly lead to some identity-warping madness, and you will not be disappointed in that!

Story

You play an actor, and your task is to acquaint yourself with the character you’ll play. You don’t explicitly get to know which character this is, but it is clear that the ship you are on plays a significant role, and exploring the ship is an important aspect of getting to know this character. You’ll find many movie posters and tales of excited fans of the main actor of these movies, and stories about a movie director who seems a tad strange and scary but also brilliant. But not everything you’ll experience will be related to the actor, the director and the movie; you’ll also learn about other people wandering about on the ship, living their own stories. As you explore the ever changing ship, you’ll learn the ship’s personnel are on the lookout for mysterious stowaways who steal food, while you’ll also follow the voices of two kids who are hiding out on a ship; Lily and James, who are pretending to be pirates while trying to survive. Lily is the dominant voice you’ll be following, playing the captain, while her meek little brother James is trying to stay in character and keep his spirit high during these meager times. You’ll learn that Lily is trying to empower her brother to become stronger and braver, to eventually grow into his full potential.

Graphics

The graphics of this game are beautiful! The environments you’ll be navigating vary from crisp, colorful, sharp and the meticulously detailed ship’s interior, to twisted, grainy, dark and twisted black and white impressions of the ship’s inner bowels. The game often uses dramatic lighting and graphic effects to give an impression about the mindset of the main character or the story’s protagonist you are following. There are many jump-scares as well, usually in the form of sudden movement: a person or mannequin who suddenly appears very close to you, starts moving, or even jumps you!

Sound

The game is fully narrated and features very atmospheric music and sounds which will get you in the right mindset for the journey you’ll embark on. The sound effects and music can be really eerie and complement the beautiful graphics masterfully.

Gameplay

Layers of Fear 2 is a horror adventure game, where you’ll explore a ship to learn about the character the protagonist will play in a movie. While exploring, you’ll get a bit too much into the mind of these characters; exploring not only their motivations but also their deep dark fears.

The main gameplay mechanic is exploring: you’ll walk (or run!) around, opening doors, drawers and chests, see what’s in them, read notes and watch video fragments, etc. While exploring you’ll learn about the protagonist of the game; the actor, but also about his history, the strange director of the upcoming movie he will be starring in, the character he will play, and some other related characters. All this is presented in a bizarre and twisted way, sucking you into the experience and amplifying the state of mind of the characters.

Every now and then you’ll also get chased by strange and creepy beings from the past or your imagination, and these creatures will kill you instantly when you’ll encounter them directly. However, if you die and you’ll reload the scene, you’ll be transported back to a safe spot just a little while before you died, so it’s pretty easy to correct your initial mistake which caused you to run into the monster.

There are a few puzzles you’ll encounter, which aren’t too hard when you get the hang of it, but sometimes it’s pretty difficult to figure out what it is that you are supposed to be doing to solve the puzzle. Most puzzles are rather simple, and often the only thing you’ll need to do is find or solve a code.

While a ship is a pretty confining environment, the areas you’ll walk through during the game expand well beyond the confines of the ship: you’ll explore a twisted reality  of the ship, personal versions and impressions of different environments, and even bizarre mindscapes all influenced by ships. The game is pretty linear; usually there’s only one way you can go while exploring the maze presented to you in the form of the ship, but due to smart environment design it feels like you could go anywhere while you are walking around.

The game consists of several chapters; each representing a stage in the exploration of the character the protagonist will play. In-between chapters you’ll be walking around in the cabin of the actor, where you’ll also be able to view the collectibles you’ve found during your gameplay. These collectibles are slides for a projector, and movie posters.

There are several endings to the game, but getting all these endings is pretty hard without a tutorial telling you how. The moments where you make decisions which will lead you to the endings are not well defined, so it might lead you to an ending which doesn’t really feel right for you and which you wouldn’t choose for yourself. Luckily, after finishing the game you’ll get access to a New Game + mode, which will let you choose chapters to replay.

Conclusion

Layers of Fear 2 is another great psychological horror game from Bloober Team. The atmosphere as conveyed through graphics and soundscape is beautifully creepy, and the story and shifting environments keep the game interesting and will pull you back into the game to see what happens next. If you loved the first Layers of Fear and are a fan of atmospheric horror games like this, be sure to check out this game!

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Rating: 8.4/10 (5 votes cast)
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Layers of Fear 2 - Review, 8.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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