Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: Bloober Team SA
Release Date: Aug 02, 2016
Available Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Reviewed Platforms: Windows
Layers of Fear: Inheritance is a great compliment to Layers of Fear, as it came out at the right time and is a rare instance where the DLC exceeds the quality and storytelling of the core game. Layers of Fear ended up being more about jump scares and mind-bending visual tricks while telling its tale of insanity-ridden artist. Together, these games form the cleverly named Masterpiece Edition, and are two different games that creates very effective gameplay.
This old house continues to be shrouded in darkness and thunderstorms. This time given a flashlight to explore your childhood home, you will experience most of the game in flashbacks as a kid, camera height changed and all. Having your size reduced makes for more things to be fearful of, and naturally creates tension. Unique visual trickery with the child’s point of view, using essentially a fish-eye lens. Going through the house as the adult daughter feels like reminiscing and not like you remembered it. Having played the original in February, and then coming in now is the perfect time between them to feel like i’m revisiting a real home I once lived in. The memories are fed to me, but the feeling is right.
Inheritance is less about jump scares, and more about evoking feelings and telling a story this time. While it has jump scares and some moments of fear, it is subdued in comparison to the main game. For me, I enjoyed the game a bit more where the cheap tricks weren’t ever-present, so it really depends on what you’re looking for with this expansion. The puzzles remain light and uncomplicated, yet environmentally challenging without explicitly telling you where to go. The layouts of each of the rooms in the house are easy to navigate, making for less frustrating. The Inheritance DLC presents choices to you, and does so rather subtly. Over time you are either siding with your mother, or your father, and by game’s end, those decisions will result in a resolution based on that, which encourages replayability.
Layers of Fear: Inheritance‘s piano ambiance soundtrack is eerie as ever, and even somber as the game presents you with the oppressive, abusive, drunk father and husband throughout the daughter’s life. The voice acting is pretty well done, reinforcing how much of an uncaring asshole and demented fool the father character is. It’s a bit unnerving to listen to as an observer and partial participant in these flashbacks, proving their effectiveness.
There’s a really great moment where you have to stay staring at a painting, but the camera is constantly breaking focus by by things that are moving on-screen and things you would normally divert your eyes to because of what you see or hear. Having to fight the camera is really clever mechanic that’s not used after its one instance, but shows that Bloober Team is not a one-trick pony.
Going back for other endings is an absolutely must to see other choices to make, whether to forgive or resent the father. Inheritance has more replayability than than the main story of Layers of Fear. And given the DLC’s short playtime, there are no chapters to replay or anything. Once you’ve completed one story arc, you have to start it over from the beginning which allows for you to make your decisions. Layers of Fear: Inheritance is a mere $5 and provides so much quality and content to the overall game, making it more complete and fulfilling.
Retails for: $4.99, Recommended Purchase Price: $4.99
A Steam code was provided by the publisher for review purposes.