Game “review” – Layers Of Fear 2023

Reviewing info: How I rate/review and other info is HERE . W.I.P This sentence will not be included if review format is finalized and blog updated.
Review layout: STEAM
Review type: Game
Review format: Normal, lazy

✅ Artistic side is beautiful – art/graphic quality & style, atmosphere, music, ambiance
✅ Main storytelling, daughter and mother side stories remain superb
✅ Multiple endings depending on choices (event changes & triggering) for each story (Main story and “DLC extra stories”)
✅ Plenty of collectibles and lore collectibles so exploration is rewarding
✅ Walking sim part of the game remains exquisite (how it plays, feels and how camera tricks change your surroundings, how you find stuff/secrets, doorways etc…)
✅ Life is made easier for completionists to see all endings/get all collectibles after finishing game once. (CHAPTERS SELECTION)
✅ Some fun and unique puzzles & most are extremely easy

❌ “creature banishing system” – The added “gameplay” elements felt unnecessary and removed the joy and awe I had from original game (will explain more in comments) (1)
❌ Horror element weaker later on, extra stories ain’t much of horror and more of artist mental dilemmas
❌ Exploration for collectibles is dice roll, as you don’t know whenever next spot locks you out due to progression or allows you to go back to previous room
❌ Some game section with “kill chases” after you respawn after death end with spawnkilling if you don’t either instantly move or stay in place.

(1) Let me get my main gripe out of the way first. The 2016 game what I loved about them was the amazing feeling, immersion and artsy walking sim it was. It was creepy, unique, sad, artistic but was so superb to walk around, see everything, move your camera around see stuff happen, change and so on. But with this remake what pissed me off so much and mainly ruined my fun a lot. Is the the actual F they decided to add “amnesia/outlast esque elements” … the whole gimmick of having light source with where I can focus light to “banish” monsters was more of an annoyance than tense, spooky or scary. In games where its main feature, it works, it creates tension while you deal with puzzles and progression. In this game it was just absolutely unnecessarily tedious and took the charm away the game used to have. New progression & collectibles with light focus I didn’t mind and liked actually.

On the artistic side game remains superb. Graphic quality, art style, atmosphere, ambiance, music, storytelling is beautiful and unique.

Main story I still enjoy a lot, rather sad tragic story with plenty of family dilemmas and fairy understandable how it unfolds and why most happens. As for side stories I did love the daughters “PoV” story and so did enjoy the mother’s story and they were as well fairly nicely understandable. Issue comes with lighthouse story and the after stories of those. The actors, director stories honestly, I couldn’t fully grasp. How much of them were about actual characters, how much of them were about script, how much about them were about mental dilemmas and by the end of these stories I were lost about who was even story going on about? But I did lose kinda interest and focus as well halfway going through world/setting of those stories anyways.

One good thing with story is that, for ending hunting and extra collectibles hunting you don’t have to replay game from start 100 times but you have “chapters” selection where you essentially can resume game from certain chapters and do stuff differently to obtain different outcomes.
Anyhow, plenty of lore collectibles, extra collectibles to find. And because how those game plays with your mind. Or well due to camera tricks, finding everything is rather challenging. But fun. Very trippy but absolutely love how this game does stuff with camera. Scenery can change every time you turn around, look stuff from certain angle, from 1 side of pillar or another and so on. BUT on the other side exploration is pretty much of a dice roll… because sadly quite often I ended up running in situation where I didn’t know whenever If I go through X point, can I go back or not? And if I can’t go back, I might end up missing side room… as this game relies on scripted moments a lot… there are plenty of moments you go through door, door locks behind you and goodbye your initial idea of checking the side room.

Another dumb Issue I had on few occasions. If I died to a “chase” sequence and respawned. I got spawnkilled by mechanic again and again. On one occasion I had to INSTANTLY move to certain direction to avoid that issue and on second occasion I had to stand still like a rock and wait for death to pass before moving.

Anyhow, in conclusion. It’s still beautiful game when it comes to its story telling and artistic side. And walking sim parts of the game are still one of the top notch of its genre. BUT…. The damn mob chases and ESPECIALLY the mob banishing system feels so damn out of place and simply annoying in this game. Not a single time it created tension or any extra horror element for me it simply created annoyance. In the end I loved the journey of main story, daughter story and mother story. Rest of stories, meh.

🌟 Total score: 7/10 🌟

Game status:
✅ Finished

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