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Layers Of Fear 2 jumps screaming into stores

All the world is a stage trap-door

First person psychological horror adventure Layers Of Fear 2 is out now. Sequel to the well-liked (if a little formulaic) Layers Of Fear by the amusingly named Bloober Team, this one puts you in the shoes/mind of a tormented actor. In this inner world (all of which is a stage), you're attempting to deliver the performance of a lifetime while harangued by personal demons, this time taking the form of animated mannequins. Perhaps not quite as subtle as it's aiming to be, but not every scare needs to get deep under your skin. See the launch trailer below.

Layers Of Fear 2 is set aboard one of those locations that seems relaxing when it's bustling, and all too claustrophobic when there's just murder-mannqeuins to share it with - a cruise liner. As with the first game (which cast you a tormented artist), you're once more inhabiting the spooky fractured headspace of a haunted creative. As you pick through the semi-real ship, you'll piece together the history of your own character, their motivations (on or off stage), and what exactly brought them to Jumpscareville, Population: Mannequin. Straightforward, but still potentially chilling at night with the lights off, if horror is your jam.

Watch on YouTube

Khee Hoon Chan reviewed Layers Of Fear 2 for us a couple days back, and said "it’s too fixated on traditional jump scares to embrace the twisted, palpitating gut of its story". Horror is one of the hardest genres to get right in any medium, so it's not too surprising that it misses the mark, but disappointing because it sounds like it came close. Of course, your mileage may vary. Reviews for the game are - owing to the genre's wildly subjective nature - as varied as you'd expect, and I don't doubt Layers Of Fear 2 will find its audience. It's just not as high-brow as it could have been.

Layers Of Fear 2 is out now on Steam for £21.41/€22.49/$26.99, and published by Gun Media.

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