Levels of Horror: Layers of Fear
Heyo to my readers! Welcome to my next article, in which I will be talking about the psychedelic horror game, Layers of Fear. This game has very beautiful graphics and music which amazed me when I saw someone playing the demo (which was released August 27th, 2015). The game had its full release this past month, February 15th to be exact. It is available through Steam for a variety of systems including both Windows and Apple platforms, but it is sadly not available on Xbox or PlayStation systems. A lot of the graphics are based on a more Victorian style with the old house and the style of the paintings, giving them a very beautiful look and creating a really creepy feeling at times. As this is a horror game, one should expect jump-scares, and this game definitely provides the goods. Whether it be from a book flying across the screen or a sudden loud sound, this game is sure to keep you jumping three inches out of your chair.
In this story you follow a painter as he roams around his house, searching through drawers and cabinets as you find out more about his tragic backstory. A lot of these clues to his story come from letters to and from his wife, paintbrushes, perfume bottles, muzzles, and many more interesting objects. Not only do you get to experience his life through these small objects, but you are also on the hunt for six specific items. Each of them play a part in separating the game into different sections, which also reveals large portions of the painter’s background. The six pieces help the player to complete the painting which you visit at the end of each chapter. This puzzle plays a big part in the story, as the player can NOT progress without gathering these six pieces. Even the small puzzles, like gathering all the previously mentioned letters and objects, can help one to figure out more of the story and theorize on what had happened.
While playing, the gamer will encounter a lot of scares including creepy teleporting paintings and a variety of unsettling dolls. This is one of the big factors that makes this a horror game, as things can change from being really cute to creepy in an instant. The gamer can also run into the painter’s wife, or at least a ‘version’ of her, as you make your way through the chapters. She usually appears in rooms that are burned or filled with ink. There are a small variety of other “monsters” that appear in the game but don’t do any damage, except potentially making your heart stop. One interesting monster you may encounter is the monster that leaves trails of colorful paint as it tries to get to you. It will eventually wander away or crawl back into a painting that it came from. These enemies are more for show, as they help to illustrate the path of insanity that the painter is slowly heading down as you make your way through the story.
Each part of the game is supposed to symbolize part of the painter’s life. It focuses on how the painter slowly started to go insane after the incident that started all of the madness, which led to more incidents: from the fire at the gallery, to when he kidnapped his own daughter, even his paranoia about rats. As you make your way through the game and come back to the main workshop, you can see the changes that all of these incidents have had on the painter. The room slowly becomes more covered in paint, ink, and a baby doll infestation, which adds a lot of creepiness to his growing insanity.
Overall I would recommend this game for anyone who has an interest in games that show a more psychological side of a story, as you get to see the painter progress through the processes of falling into insanity and depression. Not only does it show what is going on the painter’s head, it gives you a sneak peek into how the wife felt when all of this started. You can find this game either on the game’s website or through the Steam store, where it is priced at $19.99. If you don’t have the money, there are a good variety of gamers that allow insight into the game with amazing walkthroughs. I would recommend watching more than one because you get to see different varieties of theories behind the game’s backstory. Hope you enjoyed this lovely article! See you next week for a new game!