After sitting through the main part of the game that is Layers of Fear last year, the psychological horror title is back with a DLC expansion in the form of Layers of Fear: Inheritance. For those unfamiliar with the premise of the main portion of the game, you sifted through a house of a very disturbed painter who was determined to finish a painting one last time. Due to his mental state throughout his time with his family (including abusive behaviour towards his wife and child), bad things happen around the house with you trying to find out what exactly happened to the talented painter and his family by exploring the environment.
Game: Layers of Fear: Inheritance
Developer: Bloober Team
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 (Review code provided by publisher)
Fast forward and we have Layers of Fear: Inheritance which takes place after the end of the main game. This time round you take control of the painter’s daughter who wants to find the answers to why bad things happened before his death and most importantly, why they happened. Essentially, Inheritance works in the same way as the main game did; only with flashbacks, ever-changing parts of the environment, creepy interactions with objects and random voices from your father and your mother.
Inheritance starts with the daughter describing what her time with her father and mother was like when they were a family inside the house and how verbally abusive he was not only to his daughter, but his wife as well. The daughter also briefly talks about her fathers fears with his art and just generally how he hated everything about his personal life and also his work. The DLC then starts inside the main lobby of the house just like it did during the main game. The biggest difference with Inheritance is the house is trashed from top to bottom (unlike the main game, where it was still intact) and looks like its been left derelict for 10 years. Broken cupboards, tables, beds, walls, doors. You name it, its been smashed to pieces and the house is broken beyond repair. This is a really nice touch as it makes the jump from the main portion of the game to the DLC seem very natural and it’s not a huge sudden jump of what you remember from the end of Layers of Fear.
As per the main game, Inheritance has jump scares dotted throughout but unfortunately, they don’t quite hit the mark like they did in Layers of Fear. There were a couple of times that I got spooked, but that was it and compared to the main game (and the amount of times I jumped playing it), this is extremely limited and disappointing considering one of the main stand out features of this type of psychological horror is the jump scares. Maybe it was because I was expecting them due to the fact that I had already experienced it before, who knows, but I was very disappointed with the overall amount of scares happening in Inheritance. The changing environments that feature including illusions like a rabid dog trying to attack you were more frightening and this is a shame as the jump scares are what made the original portion of Layers of Fear such a tense and suspenseful part of the overall experience.
The overall gameplay within Layers of Fear: Inheritance consist of exploring the environments to find the answers to your somewhat weird and worrying concerns. Flashbacks of previous encounters with your father that include verbal abuse, occur when these flashbacks happen during various ’trigger’ moments in certain sections of each section of the house. Each flashback happens as you progress throughout the story with one happening in which the father says that he despises your mother for what she’s become and another where you are shouted at for while playing a piano out of tune. The further the story progresses, the more disturbing these moments become and in turn, show just how disturbed your father was as a person.
Just like Layers of Fear before it, Inheritance is brilliantly written and the storytelling within is brilliantly executed. Alongside the fantastic narration, the game looks the part as well. Not only does it look creepy and horrid throughout, the framerate holds up as well. Layers of Fear suffered from frame rate drops at times, but in Inheritance, this has been eradicated fully. For those wondering how long the DLC will take to complete, it will depends on how much time you want to spend within the environment. My playthrough took around 2 hours to complete, but I was searching a lot during my time with the game and if you wasn’t, Id imagine this could be cut down to around the 1 hour mark give or take. One nice little feature within Inheritance is the fact that the DLC has 2 different endings depending on how you progress, so thats good for those that want to get some replay value out of the DLC.
Layers of Fear: Inheritance is a good piece of DLC for those who have played the main game as playing it should tie up all the loose ends and explain exactly why everything happened throughout the life of your disturbed painter father. However, it is unfortunately let down slightly by a lack of what made the main game so good and that’s the jumps scares. For those that have experienced the main game within Layers of Fear and are expecting the same tense, suspenseful and jumpy gameplay like its predecessor, Layers of Fear: Inheritance doesn’t quite hit the mark.