All stories need to have a beginning and for Bloober Team, it was the creation of Layers of Fear. It was not the first game we developed, nor was it made during the first years of our existence. It did, however, become the hallmark for our company. It was our leap of faith into a genre we always wanted to work with and after years of gathering experience we were finally able to pull it off.
In 2015, we sat down and started work on reimagining the philosophy of what we do. We knew we wanted to work with horror, but we didn’t want to create another shooter or survival game. We wanted it to be more personal. Monsters can be frightening, as is a need to constantly run for your life, but there were enough projects like that on the market and they didn’t fill the void left by the broadness of the genre, one discoverable in other forms of media. That’s where we came in with our story of a mad painter fixated on achieving greatness and the costs behind it, thus establishing our path as creators of psychological horror games.
Four years have now passed, and we are on the verge of launching Layers of Fear 2 on Xbox One. Our vision remains to create horror games that are more discreet and personal on a very basic level. We deal in experiences, providing questions and dilemmas for the players to take notice of and ponder. We want players to think about what they’re doing in a game, and how their actions correspond to their own philosophies and worldviews. There’s no right or wrong here, there is just a subjective interpretation of what we have created for you.
“All the world’s a stage,” as Shakespeare said. We all play our roles, but who are we exactly? Have we put our own imprint on society or just been imprinted by society? Are we indeed ourselves or are we just a creation of the surrounding world? Developing a game about an actor trying to perform the role of a lifetime, while losing his grip on reality allows us to tackle these questions in many creative ways. Are there simple answers? Of course not, and that’s the beauty of it.
The psychological aspects of our games are very important to us. People are terrified by an abundance of subjects, situations, spaces, and behaviors. Sometimes we don’t notice that even the smallest of things can make us tremble. We want to tap into that, to immerse our audience in experiences that are not too far away from their general lives that would make them feel unbelievable. At the same time, we build upon them with layers of madness, supernatural manifestations, and exaggerations – obviously, we still want our games to be entertaining in their core!
What can players expect from Layers of Fear 2? We change the environment around the players in real time to deepen the sense of being lost, of not knowing what to expect next. We dive into film history, reimagining scenes from classic movies, not solely horror, to provide that additional rush of excitement so perfectly mastered in the original films. Finally, we give you a very deep story that will be highlighted by the presence of our mysterious Director, played by none other than horror and film icon Tony Todd. The stakes are higher, as a threatening, roaming presence can end your life and force you to load the game from a checkpoint. There will be tons of content for you to discover, both laying in plain sight like collectibles and main plot line items, as well as those well hidden in the game and expanding your knowledge of it.
If you just like well-written stories, or are a horror buff, you’ll find something that will hook into you while enjoying Layers of Fear 2. Are you afraid to play horror games? We suggest you try it anyway; we’ve been told that Layers of Fear 2 makes for a perfect entry point to the genre, and no prior knowledge of Layers of Fear is necessary to enjoy Layers of Fear 2.
See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire