Layers of Fear (Possibly) Finds Closure in Inheritance DLC
***NOTE** A couple of BIG spoilers for the base game, Layers of Fear, are in the text below. If you just want the core review (and a chance to win the DLC for PS4!) scroll down to the bottom (below the video) for some spoiler-free information.
I was the one saddled with the Layers of Fear review back in March, despite my discomfort with the "scary" genre. It boiled down to a terrible game for me, but I'm sure my review was a glowing success to the developers. It was so disturbing to me that I NOPE'd my way out of finishing the title, and barely made it through watching some Let's Play's to get a final synopsis worthy of the review. So, now that Inheritance, the new DLC for the base game, has come out, I find myself back in the mansion, wondering just what will happen, and if the creepy babies or that freaky woman will get me this time.
Inheritance is a tidy endcap to the game, fleshing out the story more whilst providing a modicum of closure to those who ended up invested in the game but still having questions. Taking place many years later, you control the daughter of the original protagonist, a painter who slowly went mad as he tried to create his magnum opus, which led to the death of his wife/your mother in a most grisly fashion. In the original game, several endings were possible, based on how much of the extra information you searched out. You may have still been wondering if the daughter even made it out alive, but here she is, all grown up. She has, as the title suggests, inherited all that is left of the mansion and the contents within, and today is the day that she goes to decide what to do with all of it.
Why the heck you go out to your newly acquired abandoned mansion in the middle of the night all by yourself totally baffles me, but here we are. It is several years later, and the home has fallen into disrepair. There is a notable age to the home. Your curiosity gets the best of you as you make your way around the home, thinking about those doors you couldn't open as the previous protagonist, yet wondering when the home will become a maze of interconnected confusion as it did in the base game. As the game progresses, you find yourself drawn into the same madness again. Is it the house? Or is it an insanity inherent in the painter's bloodlines? Again, pushing forward is the only way to know.
We come across the same problem I had with the first game, though. As you progress, anything that appears to cause death will be scripted or intentional. Any locked doors require X amount of doorknob rattles to get them to open. One entrance, one exit, you just have to figure out how to trigger the BOO! to get the next section to open up. The scariest part of the game, though, is the perspective. Most of the action is portrayed through flashbacks, as the daughter remembers what it was like living with the insane painter. The camera drops to child-height, making you feel all the more helpless.
Even without being a horror film fan, I think that Layers of Fear did the idea of DLC properly. At $4.99 (or for only an additional $3 for newcomers still needing the base game in the Masterpiece Edition), it's an affordable bite. Clocking in at a couple hours, with a couple different ways for it to end much like the base game, it definitely has the value idea down pat. And the five-month window between playing the original and getting the DLC further emphasizes the time difference between the original and the expansion. I almost feel bad for those getting into the game now looking for a good scare, as they won't have that time to "marinate" the idea between the original and the DLC. If you are coming in fresh, I recommend giving at least a couple days between to give the game that psychological distance.
Layers of Fear and it's DLC, Inheritance, easily get my coveted NOPE award, something I'm sure horror developers get at least a smile out of, and true genre aficionados look forward to hearing about. The eerie pastiche of the expansion perfectly mirrors the original's palette. It will offer some closure (if you can call it that) to fans of the original, and continue to freak the living bejeezus out of me. If you played and enjoyed the original, you owe it to yourself to continue the bloodline and try to bring an end to this family curse.
(check below the video for a chance to win a code for the DLC, Inheritance, for the PS4!)
Thanks to the developers for providing a code.
Now, if you wish to have a chance to get the PS4 DLC, all you have to do is make a comment below. Names will be collected in a week's time, and a winner will be drawn from them. *note--this code is for the DLC alone on PS4. You must own the base game to use it. However, if you don't own the base game, getting it and this free is cheaper than the Masterpiece Edition. Good luck!