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Much of the game is inspired by Lovecraftian horror wherein the player is constantly assaulted with their sanity being eroded as they try to regain their memories. Monster lurk within the game that are quite frightening and the whole game is sparsely lit with constant sounds surrounding them that could be eluding to their next encounter. See More
Amnesia offers immersive puzzles to the player by creating interaction that comes natural to the player. When a door needs opened, the player must pull their mouse towards them to actually open the door, same goes for drawers as well. It is through these interactions that the player can feel as if they are actually manipulating these objects instead of just pointing and clicking like so many other puzzle games. See More
Players looking for similar or more intense versions of the thrills found in their previous game, Amnesia, may be disappointed. This game does have some of those moments, but the emphasis is more philosophical, and the story has a far richer spectrum of emotions than Amnesia that can spoil the pure horror aspect some players might be looking for. See More
The story of an author trying to break out of a writers block slump, who is trying to meet a deadline, decides to travel to the countryside with his wife in order to relax. Of course the wife is kidnapped as weird events start following the protagonist around. This is just the outline, but it is very fleshed out through great voice acting as well as interesting TV like scripted segments that break up the gameplay. Overall it shows a lot of polish and makes for a story that is intriguing, that player wants to stick around to resolve. See More
The game attempts to be "too artistic" at times, opting for a surreal horror experience akin to an art movie instead of a truly coherent story with ordered plot elements. While this creates a good enough gaming experience, those looking for a solid story may be disappointed. Even though there are multiple endings, most are open ended and painfully inconclusive. See More
Layers of Fear truly focuses on the fear aspect via tension rather than cheap jump scares. Whether it's that darkened hallway where you can't see the other side, cheery paintings that melt away to reveal horrific imagery, or the shadowy shapes that disappear when you turn to face them, the game does all in it's power to keep the player guessing while feeling frightened and ill at ease. Rooms are dark and ominous, hallways stretch into blackness, a baby's cry can softly be heard coming through walls, and the player never knows what they're going to find in the next room. The architecture of the house shifts and bends, in impossible ways, to create rooms and spaces that simply should not exist. Since everything is changing all the time, there is no way to know or predict what horror lurks beyond the next door. See More
There's an ever-present sense of psychological dread by feeling constantly lost and trapped. By using clever visual tricks such as doors disappearing when you turn around and hallways that never seem to end, the impossible architecture of the house itself is used as a horror element. Most of the changes are so subtle, you won't even notice them as they're happening. You may be watching that strange painting morphing on the wall, only to turn around and see the entire room around you has changed. See More
Layers of Fear is almost entirely immersion based, meaning a majority of the experience consists of going from room to room and soaking in the truly horrific atmosphere. Rather than scratching your head over tricky puzzles, you can instead simply enjoy watching strange events unfold right before your eyes as you fall deeper into madness. There are a few puzzles and riddles to overcome, although they fit into the game well. Keeping an uninterrupted flow is a vital part in keeping the horror in the forefront and the immersion strong. See More
Throughout the game, the player can discover notes and journal entries that are small pieces of the bigger story. These are stashed in all kinds of different hiding spots such as dresser drawers. Those who poke into every nook and cranny will uncover more plot elements than players who opt not to do much searching. Additionally, there are some mysterious items scattered throughout the house such as a hand crank and an Oujia board. No direction is given on how to use these items, and it's completely up to the player to figure it out. It's still possible to complete the game without discovering everything, but extra secrets, multiple endings, and additional story elements await for those who dig a little deeper. See More
As you explore the surreal house, sometimes you will be presented with multiple doorways or paths. Since a majority of the doors close and lock behind you as move through the house, your choice is permanent and will influence the ending and certain story elements. This gives the game a bit of replayability as you will have to play more than once to see everything the game has to offer. See More
Sneaking through dark levels and avoiding the prowling entities that lurk within creates some truly terrifying moments. There is no combat in this game, so fighting back isn't an option. As a result, carefully avoiding monsters, hiding from them, or even running away if the opportunity presents itself creates some very tense gameplay where you'll always be on a high alert. You never know when you're going to round a corner or open a door and come face to face with a monstrosity. See More
The original Amnesia had an insanity system where you couldn't be in the dark too long, and had you scavenging for tinderboxes and lantern oil to stay sane. There was always the constant urgency of finding a light source. A Machine for Pigs completely removed this mechanic and, as a result, much of the tension of the original game is gone. You can take your time and casually stroll through dark areas without a care in the world. See More
The game opens with the protagonist Oswald Mandus, a wealthy industrialist, waking up in his mansion after a long sickness. Awoken by the voices of his two children calling out for him, Mandus sets out to find them. As the story begins, we quickly learn that he was in Mexico where a great tragedy struck and this is when he first fell ill. The story then progresses from there, often veering into strange and surreal themes where you may question what is real and what is not. It is told in such a way that information is slowly reaveled over time through monologues, memories, and in-game notes. The story is great at teasing its biggest mysteries and conveying a strong desire to push forward and learn more. See More
There is no inventory system at all, so whenever you need to use an object to complete a puzzle, you must manually carry it around the level and use it where needed. Not only is this highly inconvenient, but due to this limitation, puzzles are often extremely easy as they only involve one object. For the rare puzzle that involves several items, you will need to carry them one by one. See More
The audio design is excellent and scary, featuring plenty of disembodied voices, footsteps in dark hallways, and things scratching or pounding on doors. Hearing things thud and bump in the dark when you're trying to sneak around unseen creates a lot of scares, especially when you hear something right next to you scurry past. The consistent use of strange noises and ambient sound is brilliant, used in all the right places, and creates a truly frightening atmosphere. See More
The first few levels are nice and somewhat open, as they allow for a little exploration, but then things start to feel extremely linear. The latter levels are extremely linear point A to point B affairs. There is a bit of sidetracking at times if you're going for all the collectibles, but there's rarely ever any need to stray off the path the game sets out for you. See More
Often times featuring strange architecture, flickering lights, twisting and turning passages, and dark hallways, the overall level design is fantastic. Although most levels are rather linear, the attention to detail is immense. The Victorian-era mansion looks its part, the workshops and factories look like bustling industrial centers, and the more surreal areas really inspire a sense of wonder with their strange machinery. A lot of care went into molding a terrifying, yet realistic environment and the visually appealing levels are easily one of the game's biggest high points. See More
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