As an actor working with an eccentric director on an ocean liner, stroll by unsettling reminiscences in a psychological horror sport that sadly takes one step ahead and two steps again.
Layers of Worry 2
Developer: Bloober Group
Platforms: PC (reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
MonsterVine was supplied with a PC code for assessment.
Layers of Worry 2 places you within the footwear of an actor who has been solid in a film being filmed on board an ocean liner. After receiving temporary directions from the mysterious, unseen director, you end up exploring the closed-off ship. What begins out as a traditional ocean liner, nevertheless, quickly shifts right into a nightmarish panorama crammed with reminiscences from the previous.
How is the participant character linked to those reminiscences? Who’s the director and what’s he really after? These questions drove me by the sport’s sluggish starting, however by the midpoint I used to be extra occupied with unraveling the somber story from the previous, whereas questions on its connection to the current lingered at the back of my thoughts.
Gameplay largely entails strolling by environments and choosing up objects, both to learn a doc or hear a brief snippet of dialogue that may assist you to piece collectively the story, or to resolve the sport’s occasional easy puzzles. The environments are lovely, though the sport has an unlucky behavior of switching to monochrome or sepia tones regularly, and the voice performing is nice–the director’s sinister musings construct the unsettling environment higher than something.
Now, whereas there are some aspect paths with collectibles, the sport is fairly linear; in the event you stroll into an space with three doorways, chances are high good two of them will likely be locked and the third will likely be the place you have to go. The unique Layers of Worry made me really feel as if I used to be making an attempt to discover a traditional home with every part being filtered by an increasingly-unreliable perspective, however right here it feels extra like being transported to different areas and occasions, following a set path from starting to finish whereas piecing collectively occasions that occurred elsewhere. That’s not essentially a nasty factor–a psychological horror sport most likely isn’t the place to query the way you ended up in a particular location–but it surely does make the sport’s acts really feel extra disjointed.
Like its predecessor, Layers of Worry 2 makes nice use of the approach the place the atmosphere modifications behind you, resulting in among the greatest moments within the sport. And the place the unique struggled with an overuse of leap scares, making them so predictable they misplaced their effectiveness, scares are positioned extra successfully right here. Then again, Layers of Worry 2 additionally introduces scripted chase sequences the place you run–once more, normally alongside a linear path–from an unstoppable enemy. Whereas the chases do add extra pressure and hazard, their scripted nature made them a bit tedious after some time.
At sure factors within the sport, you’ll attain sure key selections that decide which of the sport’s three endings you’ll get. These could be as imprecise as being proven two mannequins and advised to shoot one. It actually comes down as to whether or not you wish to obey the director’s directions or not. Layers of Worry 2 has three totally different endings, every of which means one thing totally different. None of them actually wrap up the story in a strong conclusion.
I loved the snippets of dialogue from the previous and I beloved my rising unease because the items began to return collectively, however the ending simply left me underwhelmed. Layers of Worry 2 may need fastened the largest criticism I had of the unique, but it surely ended up much less compelling total.
The Remaining Phrase
Whereas holding true to the identical primary gameplay components, Layers of Worry 2 takes nice steps towards distinguishing itself from the primary sport. Sadly, whereas this pays off in some respects, Layers of Worry 2 struggles to be as cohesive as a psychological horror sport needs to be.
– MonsterVine Assessment Rating: three out of 5 – Common