Layers of Fear 2




Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:   Bloober Team

Publisher:    Gun Media

Released:   May 28, 2019            

Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3470 (3.2 GHz) / AMD A8-7600 (3.1 GHz)
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 750 Ti / AMD Radeon R7 265
  • Memory: 5 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 14 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 11 compatible sound cards
  • Additional Notes: Requires a 64-bit processor and 64-bit operating system



By flotsam


Layers of Fear 2

Bloober Team

Note - there is a warning for photosensitive epilepsy when you start the game.

Last time we had an artist in a house. This time we have an actor from the golden age of film on board a transatlantic ship. Both have a troubled relationship with reality.

An ocean going liner is perfectly built for a claustrophobic encounter with what bedevils the mind. Myriads of small and confined spaces, narrow corridors and hallways, twisting stairwells. Noises abound, skin deep and from deep within. You can climb into the open air light or descend into the gloomy bowels. What better environment to experience an unravelling.

Described as psychological horror, much of the latter is in the mood. There are certainly some jump scares, and some frantic running away, but it's the sum of all the other parts that provides a palpable unsettlement throughout. It looks fantastic, and the sights, the sounds, the music when used – all play their part.

As do the mannequins. They might twitch, or fidget or just sit there with head in hands or lie curled up on the floor. Or something else altogether. There is a reason they are creepy.

Things are often at their best when they suggest something not yet seen. The anticipation of something horrible is usually better then the horrible thing itself. The chewing, scuttling noises are a case in point.

Other things are front and centre. The large entity that screeches and scrapes its way towards you just screams "run away". Which is what you have to do. Get caught and die and try again. Other things can also kill you, a giant fire-blowing head among them. Navigate the maze and hide in the alcoves to avoid incineration.

There aren't a lot of these sequences, and they aren't too hard, but each might be frustrating more than once. I liked what they added to the outing, but swore more than once when e.g. I again failed to get the door closed in time.

Needless to say, the ship is often not like a ship. Doors open onto all manner of environments, passageways bend Escher-like back onto themselves, doorways will be available depending on which way you enter a room. The exploration and working your way through the ship is a large part of the attraction.

That it is a metaphor for, or analogous to, the "mad" journey of the protagonist, seems obvious but the nuances (and perhaps more than that) somewhat escaped me. The background unfolds through notes and other material, but I can't pretend to have discerned the detail of the narrative. I didn't really care though, everything else being much of what I like.

There are three possible endings, and I am not sure if any of them are correct. Two seemed less wrong than the other, one of which I got. Googling will tell you what you need to do to trigger each ending, and you can watch each on YouTube if you don't want to play again.

Similar to the first game, you collect items (movie posters) which will be displayed on the walls of your cabin. There are numerous movie references throughout the game, more I suspect than I identified. Those I recognised I did enjoy.

The game is played in Acts, and finishing the game unlocks the ability to go back into any particular Act. It autosaves as you go, and uses the WASD keys for movement and the mouse for steering and exploring the environment. Hotspots will be revealed as you move close, and you will either click or mimick the required action (push, pull, turn etc.) to action the hotspot.

It played to my strengths and I liked it a lot.


I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz


Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB


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