Layers of Fear 2 | Nintendo Switch Review.

Thursday 22 July 2021

Publisher: Bloober Team, Gun Media, National Archive Publishing Company
Developer: Bloober Team
Nintendo Switch Review

*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone.

I won't lie, this would have probably been written a month ago if I hadn't just found the email for the code the other day but luckily I have it now! As you know I played the first Layers of Fear on PSVR and my experience of it will be a lot different compared to playing the second game on Nintendo Switch, I wanted to play the second one on Switch to see what kind of experience I would have and it's clear that I wasn't as scared as I was in VR mode. But enough of that let's concentrate on the game itself and the story for this second installation of Layers of Fear. 

The story surrounding LOF2 is completely different to the first, I actually felt a lot more intrigued with this one due to the setting on a boat. For those of you who have played Close to the Sun, LOF2 gave off them vibes. Once I finally booted up the game I was given two options which are normal mode (with monsters) and safe mode (you can still see monsters but they won't get you), I'm not sure how much of a difference your choice makes to be honest, it's a welcomed feature especially for those who will be too scared to play in normal mode. I was hesitant with what the gameplay would be like, I got the impression that the developers wanted to give the game a different kind of atmospheric feel compared to the first as it approached horror in a different way.

It's unclear at first who the game centers around, I found myself in an unsettling environment where even though it felt like I was alone I wasn't really, at first you notice small things that give you little jump scares but soon you come to find the unsettling realisation this was just the start of things. Once you start unveiling more of the story we come to find two young children named Lily and James have been exploring the ship you're on, their imagination runs wild pretending that they're pirates aboard the ship, walking down corridors and exploring rooms you come across objects that set off past conversations once they are picked up telling us all about their adventures on the ship and how reassuring Lily is when James begins to get scared. 

I wasn't too sure as to who I was playing as and why I was on the ship experiencing the children's movements at first, but one thing is for certain, there is something not right with them. Layers of Fear 2 relies on the scenery around you to help bring the story to life so your imagination doesn't have to do it all, it builds beautifully on each chapter whilst slowly raveling the obscenities around you. I unsure what to expect or how the story would play out, what scared me most when playing was what would come of the children more than anything, they were my main priority throughout my gameplay.

Within the ship the player will wake up in their room surrounded by objects they have collect, the most objects being a reel of film that would need to be hooked up to the projector upstairs in a room above their bedroom, after watching the film sometimes a door would appear on screen for the player to walk through, at one point a trap door opened just in front of it and lately you could just open the door you walk through to get to the room and find yourself in a different part of the ship to make your way through. much like the first game you can turn around one corner and the game perspective will shift to another room or another corridor and at one point I was no longer on a ship, I was in the children's childhood home slowly moving about so I wasn't seen or caught by an eery and intense monster lurking, waiting to try and get me. The best feature of the game was running away from the monster within a maze, in the game Batman Arkham Knight there is a level where you have to run from the scarecrow and make sure his light doesn't focus on you much like the monster trying to get you in Layers of Fear, it made me feel so nostalgic. 

The puzzles were easy to solve which only made it easier for my to sail through the game faster than I expected, in total it took me around 5 and a half hours to complete. There are 5 chapters to play through and your choices will determine which of the 3 endings you get, there is no wrong way of playing, if you are playing on Playstation or Xbox you will have to go back through the game to get any trophies or achievements for anything you have missed along the way, there are different choices to make to get certain trophies/achievements which will force another playthrough anyways.

Due to me playing the second game on Switch I was bound to have a completely different experience than on VR, I'm glad I did as I would have been a lot more scared to explore the ship in VR than I was exploring the creepy house of the tortured painter. On top of this a game centered around children in a scary environment makes me feel all the more uneasy than if it was a grown adult, children are innocents, I felt panicked over the thought of any harm coming to them, I'm a pretty sensitive soul when it comes to things like that. The developers have created a brilliant sequel that has a whole different feel from the first with a different new perspective on the type of horror you can experience from franchise, I hope they make a third!


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