Layers of Fear 2 - PlayStation 4 Review

An actor’s life isn’t all glitz and glamour

Game Info:

  • System: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Publisher: Gun Media
  • Developer: Bloober Team
  • Release Date: May 28, 2019

Who it Caters to

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Horror comes in numerous forms in the gaming world. However, one of the truly scariest horror genres in games are those that attack our sanity. Layers of Fear—developed by Bloober Team—did just that by casting us in a world of an erratic artist whose creations began to show a darker side to his mind. Once more Bloober Team has decided to throw us into a new mad world in the form of a sequel, Layers of Fear 2. Now in the shoes of an actor, your descent into stardom will be filled with nightmarish apparitions and memories that take you into past actions that could be…criminal. Is Layers of Fear 2 a worthwhile successor to the hit 2016 original? Our review down below will let you know so continue reader…if you dare!

What to Expect

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Layers of Fear 2 is a psychological horror adventure where players see through the eyes of an unknown actor. Aboard a cruise ship, the actor must navigate through a ship that bleeds between two realities…one of lofty beauty and another of darkness. Collect items to piece together the fate of the ship—and yourself—all while escaping the dangers both physical and mental. What awaits you in the lights of the stage? Stand for your opening act and begin the play in Layers of Fear 2!


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An actor must follow his/her director. As you awaken on a familiar ship, a voice rings out for you to begin. Despite the strange shape of the ship, you have no choice but to listen to the booming voice and allow it to guide you onward. Your shot is about to begin and your moment of fame is coming with it. However, is this a film you want to be in or would it be best to bow out before the director guides your hand too far…?


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Released back in 2016, Layers of Fear took the gaming world by storm. Players assumed the role of an artist whose life has taken wrong turns and has led them to a painful home from their past. Your decisions and interests in this world acted as your new muse to shape your ending and needless to say, Layers of Fear scared the heck out of many—including us—by messing with your mind in more ways than one. That’s why with such a success, it was only a matter of time before developer Bloober Team released another Layers of Fear title and we here at Honey’s Anime got our chance to enter this new nightmare for ourselves. Is Layers of Fear 2 a new psychological horror title worthy of invading your gaming library or is this a sequel that should have stayed uncreated? Let us find out in our full review of Layers of Fear 2 for the PS4!

In case you’re unfamiliar with the original Layers of Fear format, Layers of Fear 2 follows a similar theme. Players assume the role of an unnamed character who is clearly an actor in some twisted role. You’ll have to move around an ever-changing setting—in this case a cruise ship—and must piece together clues on what’s happening and why things seem out of the ordinary. Along the way you’ll solve various puzzles, deal with various enemies and try to keep your sanity as your reality changes in ways usually unpredictable. Like Layers of Fear, Layers of Fear 2 keeps you on your toes by messing with your senses and never being too predictable.

The main gameplay element of Layers of Fear 2 is to find clues and move forward to understand what is going on and finding a means to ending this nightmare. Often, Layers of Fear 2—like its predecessor—messes with your mentality as corridors disappear when you look away or doors lock behind you when a moment ago, they were open. Items you thought were on a table seem to change and out of the corner of your eye you’ll see shapes that could be human or could be far from it. Layers of Fear 2 hits your sense of understanding and that’s what makes its horror aspect work so incredibly well. Are you letting fear cause you to make up things happening around you or is Layers of Fear 2 really warping your surroundings? It might seem similar to the original’s set up, but Layers of Fear 2 does a strong job in some aspects and we were genuinely surprised.

Early on—for example—Layers of Fear 2 puts you through various cabins in the ship you’re exploring. Since most ships have hallways that look similar, you’re going to find yourself feeling déjà vu occur constantly but in a creepy way. You’ll open a door and enter a room to see a bedroom but then later, you’re going through the same door and find yourself in a dressing room littered with pieces of your past. The exploration element in Layers of Fear 2 might seem copied from the original, but in this sequel, the exploration messes with you even greater by truly putting paranoia in your mind with its ship setting. You’re on the ocean away from the world and away from people…let that concept sink in and you’ll find Layers of Fear 2 gets even more horrifying as time passes.

Outside exploration, Layers of Fear 2 is a pretty simple game to play. Occasionally you’ll solve puzzles—that are extremely easy to solve—and pick up notes/artifacts that act as the clues for the story. Picking up a periscope will cause audio to play explaining kids where acting as pirates on this vessel. You’ll find notes from crew members and fellow actors that paints a desperate picture of survival or something amiss with the ship’s voyage. Layers of Fear 2 also throws enemies at you that tend to chase you down the ship’s corridors causing you to flee for your life or die quickly. We did enjoy the fact that Layers of Fear 2 does add some decisions that affect the ending, versus the original’s sometimes ambiguous way of crafting an ending from finding clues and/or missing them.

Visually, Layers of Fear 2 looks incredible. The cruise ship is the perfect setting allowing developer Bloober Team to keep you feeling a slew of emotions. Sometimes claustrophobia will set in as you crawl through a ruined part of the vessel and other times, you’ll be thrown into a set piece that feel’s whimsical and nightmarish. Add to that some excellent sound design and you have an award-winning set up. There were times we jumped out of our seats when we’d hear a pipe burst behind us or hear a door slightly open that was locked seconds ago. Ship boards creek with realism and fire cackles with surprising depth. We also loved the director/narrator’s deep voice as it truly sells the feeling of being on stage with a lunatic who wants his shot no matter the cost.

Layers of Fear 2 is nearly perfect, but we feel it does suffer from a few issues. Primarily, Layers of Fear 2 is almost identical in design to the original and while that works on many layers—no pun intended—it makes the overall experience feel too similar. The jump scares in Layers of Fear 2 also are annoying and they rarely change. Various scares will be reused sometimes several times per chapter and while the initial scare will make your heart race, seeing it seven more times in bursts leads to annoyance. Chapter one—act one—is especially bad with having mannequins move so many times we began to laugh at them trying to scare us. Later acts do a stronger job but still suffer from repetition and in horror, repetition isn’t always scary.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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Layers of Fear 2 might be the same game as the original, but equally, it impressed us by being different. That sounds confusing, but with the new setting and the new sense of dread, Layers of Fear 2 leans on the original’s ideas but improves them with some truly creepy moments. We enjoyed our time with Layers of Fear 2 as the story kept us guessing what was really going on and shocked us occasionally with some impressive surprises. Plus, Layers of Fear 2 only costs half of what some other horror games cost and yet delivers a strong impact in all departments. Layers of Fear 2 gets a solid thumbs up from us and should definitely be added to your gaming collection!

Honey's Pros:

  • The ship setting is truly creepy and leads to some terrific moments of dread, despair and fear
  • Wonderful story with several endings and truly shocking moments
  • Simple but fun exploration and puzzles
  • Impressive visuals and sound
  • Nice price tag

Honey's Cons:

  • Might come off overly similar to the original
  • Jump scares seem to be overused ad nauseum.

Honey's Final Verdict:

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Layers of Fear 2 succeeds its first entry by using what made the original scary and psychologically disturbing and adding upon it. The new setting and narrative build up a world filled with uncertainty and despair as you watch an actor attempt to rise up by listening—or not—to his director. Layers of Fear 2 is a solid experience and easily one of the better horror games despite what seems like an overly simple premise and gameplay theme. Are you going to dive into the madness that is Layers of Fear 2? Tell us in the comments below! For more game reviews and anime related articles keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime!

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Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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